Frequent Questions

What are considerations for our family?

As a new student, you and your family should look at our program and evaluate if Ripple Effect Martial Arts provides something that, as a family, fits into your philosophical values. Is it something that is supportive of what you are trying to accomplish as a family?

When should we consider Black Belt?

As a new student, it’s very important to be thinking about training to Black Belt NOW. You need to get acquainted with the school— learn all you can about the environment and the philosophy of the school. And, get acquainted with the process of classes and curriculum. Frankly, whether as an adult or child, every time you are in class you’re going to have a lot of fun but the most important thing is that this is a school, just like any other school. If you go to Harvard, it is important to determine early on whether you’re going to be going from midterm to midterm, or whether you’re going to follow through and get your Bachelor’s Degree or your Master’s Degree. As you enter a school, it’s very important to determine why you are there and what the outcome will be. At Ripple Effect Martial Arts, the program goal is to become a black belt. Black Belt is in many ways a metaphor for the outcome; the outcome is confidence and discipline and focus. The outcome is a high level of physical athletic skill, a high level of physical fitness, as well as having the ability to defend yourself if you ever need to.

How can I be sure my child will stay motivated?

The nice thing about martial arts, unlike a team activity, is that you are not trying to keep up to any one else’s standards. Each student’s ability and growth is evaluated individually. We provide incentives and rewards on an incremental basis, so that each student stays motivated in class. Our curriculum unfolds gradually. There’s a high level of physical accomplishment that comes with becoming a Black Belt, but that physical accomplishment comes over 9, 12, 18, 24 months.

How is martial arts different from other sports?

It’s so important to realize this is a school, and it’s not a recreational activity. Training to Black Belt is a developmental process.

It’s fun! The kids are going to have a great deal of fun. They’re going to get very excited about this and they’re most likely going to maintain their excitement level over 3, 4, and 5 years.

However it’s not like a soccer league or baseball league. It’s more like elementary school.

The parents make a commitment to bring their child to class at least twice a week. The child has a regular class. They’re going to have a lot of fun in that class by a very well-trained, professionally- developed instructor. And through the processes, they’re going to earn a black belt.

For a 5- or 6- year old, it’s no more difficult to get to black belt than it is to go from second to sixth grade.

Do martial arts make kids violent?

Martial arts is about peace, harmony and diplomacy. It teaches children how to AVOID fights—not pick them. Our training will help your child with the confidence they need to handle hard situations.

What do you do to prevent kids from getting injured?

We take safety very seriously. Injuries can happen in any sport. We do everything in our power to prevent them. We start our classes with stretches and exercises and learn new content in a controlled environment. Classes are taught by expert instructors as students are shown techniques in a step-by-step manner at their own pace. A thorough stretching routine, matted flooring, and protective safety equipment are all part of our commitment to ensuring student safety. Martial arts is safe and fun for students of all ages and physical abilities.

Is martial arts good for a child who isn’t athletic?

Martial arts is a great sport and activity for any type of child. Martial arts teaches kids to be coordinated, flexible and strong. Kids who don’t naturally have these qualities develop them. Kids who do have these qualities develop them even more. Stretching and calisthenics will improve flexibility and balance. Kicking drills and partner work will improve endurance as well as timing, and the different forms and curriculum requirements will improve strength and muscle tone.

Will martial arts help my child’s confidence and self-esteem?

Absolutely! We have seen kids with low self-esteem often come out of their shells. As their skill level increases, they feel more and more confident. We also have a training program where kids can help with lower belts. They feel valued and are looked up to by their peers. Martial arts helps build a confidence, pride, and teamwork.

What’s a good age to start martial arts?

Our Little Ripples can start as soon as they are 3 (and potty trained) Our children’s program starts at age 6, we also have teen and adult classes! No matter what age you are, you’ll fit in here! We have lots of families who enjoy taking classes together.

Is martial arts good for both girls and boys?

You better believe it! If you have any questions, just ask Ms. Garcia. She is currently a 4th-Degree Black Belt! We have a good mix of both boys and girls in our class, and sometimes it is the girls who are the stronger ones!

What’s the atmosphere like at Ripple Effect?

We are serious about what we teach. We also have a lot of fun! Ripple Effect is a great place to be around positive people and good role models. Our students have fun and progress at an exciting rate.

What does discipline and respect look like at Ripple Effect?

When you show respect to other people, you cultivate respect for yourself. As a Ripple Effect student, you’ll regularly interact with peers, instructors, and parents, as well as judges and students from other martial arts schools and disciplines. You’ll outrank some. Some will outrank you. We all come from different backgrounds. What unites us is respect and discipline in who we are and what we do.

Whether on or off the mat, always refer to Black Belt instructors as Mr. ____ or Mrs./Ms. ____. Address a 4th or higher degree Black Belt as Master (as in “Master Macy”). When a Black Belt calls on you for an answer or gives you an instruction, always reply with a strong “yes, Sir!” or “yes, Ma’am!”

We show respect to the school, the instructors and judges, and our martial arts lineage with a traditional bow (hands to your sides, bowing at the waist). Always bow to the flags when entering or leaving the martial arts floor of the school and to the judges when entering or exiting the ring at a tournament.

Finally, dress and groom yourself appropriately for martial arts training, and never step onto the mat with street shoes (if you need to wear special footgear for medical reasons, we understand! Just talk to a head instructor beforehand).

Does Ripple Effect build character traits in students?

At Ripple Effect we channel a confluence of training in the fighting arts and the active development of positive personal character. For children, the benefits aren’t vague or theoretical. They’re real. Academically, students have gone from subpar performance to the top 10% of their class. Many are straight-A students. School teachers write us about specific demonstrations of good behavior, even in students who had been prone to poor choices.

We use many approaches in this effort. In daily “mat chats” instructors engage you with simple questions that go deep. What is modesty? When have you had to be patient? As a student, what does courtesy mean to you? As a parent, what does it mean to persevere?

These aren’t lectures but brief, impactful question and answer sessions that reach both the students on the mat and the spectators on the sidelines. Students as young as three and four draw incredibly powerful conclusions. You’ll walk out of the school with fresh perspectives that’ll carry on with your family and peers.

Throughout their weeks, months and years of training students also take on character-related assignments. These range from weekly job lists and Word-of-the-Month worksheets to 1,000-word essays on Black Belt character and volunteer projects that benefit the homeless, troops overseas, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and other organizations large and small. We also craft original short tales and videos that demonstrate values in story form–a proven tool to help students learn about abstract concepts and their relevance to daily life.

Everything is designed to reinforce the rewards of honesty, positive thinking and a solid work ethic that are proven to help people succeed in whatever paths they choose, over the course of their entire lives.

It really works. Come in and see for yourself.

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