So you’re preparing for your first class. Awesome!
First a little about the Goju karate style:
Goju translates to “hard” (go) and “soft” (ju). Hard refers to closed-fisted, straight-line techniques using physical and external power. Soft refers to circular and evasive movements as well as internal power. Goju karate originates from Okinawa, an island off of Japan. Combining the hard and the soft makes Goju a very effective—and beautiful—fighting art.
Classes at Brooklyn Goju are based on cooperation rather than competition. Classes are set up so students can learn and grow to their fullest, at their own pace. As such, we don’t wear belts or participate in tournaments; we set goals and evaluate our learning processes in other, very rigorous ways.
While we have a training protocol that helps us stay focused and disciplined, we try not to compare ourselves to others. Each of us comes to our training with a unique body and experience with physical activity, and with our own approach to learning. We advise you to try to stay focused on yourself and your training, including your starting point and your own personal goals. Above all, have patience.
We believe in the value of cooperation and try to create a supportive and respectful atmosphere within the dojo (the training space), in which we all help each other grow. We are all of different races, ethnic backgrounds, sizes, sexual orientations, and gender identities. We come from different economic classes and have different histories, and we are all here to learn. We have had different experiences with violence, and as survivors we may face different issues when training. We acknowledge our differences, respect them, and continue to work together to build a strong martial arts community.
When you start training, please talk to your teachers about any disability or chronic injury that may (or may not) affect your training (you should also talk with your health care provider). You should certainly talk to a teacher if you might need medical assistance during class. If you develop an injury (whether it’s from training or not), talk to a teacher. We may be able to help you modify exercises. Never push yourself beyond what you can safely do. Perhaps those limits, over time, can be stretched, but pay attention to the messages your body sends you. If you have questions, please talk to a teacher.