What we train for is serious, the idea that someone would want to hurt you or your loved ones is a grave matter, and our decision to train for that eventuality is not to be made lightly. However, our training for that possibility should be challenging but fun. We aren't ninja assassins going to storm the castle next week, and with a few simple precautions most people can go their entire lives without running into a situation where they will need to utilize such skills. Our members train for many different reasons; for fitness, for a personal challenge, for stress release, for connection with their cultural roots, or maybe they have chosen a career where "interpersonal incidents" are common. Regardless of the reason, what will keep the practitioner studying long enough to develop a high level of skill is the fact that they are being challenged and that they enjoy the learning process. Our classes are fairly informal, but do not mistake the laughter for a lack of focus nor a lack of uniform for a lack of discipline.
Our focus is on training adult students, we do not train students below 16 as practical instruction in the use of weapons demands a certain level of maturity.
The curriculum consists of three main sections of material:
Fundamentals: These are the basic elements of the entire art, these include the strikes, footwork, and body shifting that when combined together form the "flavor" of the movement associated with the fighting art.
Combative Drills: These are interactive training sets that start with rote patterns and quickly expand to random attacks to ingrain unconscious recognition of the attack, the better response, and the potential entry line to control the opponent. The various combative drills then tie together to provide a venue for training every likely attack from virtually any position.
Sparring: Once the initial combative drills are established and comfort has been reached for a particular set (knife, sword, club, empty hands, etc) sparring is used to test those reactions against an aggressive and trained adversary. Sparring includes both matched (stick versus stick, knife versus knife) and unmatched (stick versus knife, empty hand versus staff, etc) in every weapon combination possible and also includes multiple attackers and group fighting.