Central FL: Sun State Martial Arts - My old school needs an evaluation
Basic Rundown of my School:
Classes are seperated by age. We had the "Little Dragons" which were students under 13 years old, "Junior Class" which were pretty much teenagers, and "Adult Class" which were mixed between adults and black belts from the "Junior Class"
There were two clubs one could join, the Black Belt Club and SWAT.
The Black Belt Club supposedly gave members access to more specialized training, however the special training days were rare. The only ones I had, not to mention the only ones our instructor hosted the whole time I was there, was Staff and Nunchuck training. Also, you get to wear a red gi. It also costed around $500 for membership.
SWAT (I forget what it stood for) was a program that focused on training you to become an instructor (I forgot if it was free or not). Only high ranked students were allowed to join this program. Basically, you're given a Kung Fu uniform (looks like this) and you're required to attend "Little Dragon" and "Junior" classes to help out with the instructor. However, you need a lot of experience in this program plus the approval of the instructors to be given a regular white gi with a red lapel (indicating that you're a junior instructor). Eventually you'll be given a regular white gi with a black lapel which indicates that you have the experience required to be a full-fledge instructor. Also, while in this program you'll be given cleaning tasks by the instructor.
When you come into the school, you're required to place your shoes and belongings in a shoe cubbard against the wall. After you've done this, you are required to "bow in" once you step out on the training floor and sit against the wall seperating the "parent area" and the training floor while waiting for the class before yours (if in session) to be done. If there's no class in session, then you're allowed to practice a little before your class is called.
All students are given a card which keeps track of their attendance. Their attendance does dictate whether or not you're able to test. If you miss any classes, then you're allowed to make them up.
Testings are pretty straight forward. You go and either test for forms, sparring or for your next belt. However, before you test for your next belt, one of the instructors must evaluate you to see if you're ready. Your are tested by a handful of instructors, both from our school and others. Testing for Black Belt is done outside of our school.
Sparring was pretty straight forward. Hand, head, foot gear, cup and mouth piece are required. Light contact only, anywhere above the waist is a valid target (except the back, back of the head and neck).
Despite one of the goals of my school being on self defense, self defense wasn't part of the curriculum.
And here is the website: http://www.sunstatemartialarts.com/index.html
Keep in mind, a lot of stuff has changed since I last attended 5-6 years ago, so what I typed up might no longer apply.