OSU Kyoushinkai Toronto - Toronto, Ontario Canada
I searched all over Toronto for martial art instruction that would be pragmatic, physically challenging, professional and suited to my personal needs for some time and eventually chose OSU Kyokushinkai.
As an amateur, and previously disappointed with other martial arts experiences, this dojo has succeeded in continually impressing me and maintaining my interest.
An avid participant could attend at least three classes a week, with the average class lasting a little more than an hour and a half that includes some serious warm-up, partnered kumite and conditioning exercises, a limited amount of kihon, liberal use of the pads and punching bags, more conditioning and exercising (learn to love push-ups), and the obligatory opening and closing bowing rituals.
The financial arrangements are also exceptional, with no mandatory contracts, ridiculous fees, sales pitches, useless products, or hidden charges.
As a full contact style with no protection we began conditioning training almost immediately, and within the first week I had fought a black belt student (who held himself back of course, the idea is to push you to your fullest, not murder you). The sparring isn't on par with full competition, no one is getting seriously knocked down or kicked in the head, but the punches and kicks are very real.
There are a few heavy bags, plenty of pads, and assorted gloves for those who don't bring their own - all are in relatively good condition.
It's a small but adequately sized dojo, privately owned dedicated space, close to the subway and well built.
Sensei Darren instructs most classes and is assisted by Sensei Marius, other black belts will take time to personally instruct newcomers in the basics with one on one training. Class size ranges from as few as four students to as many as eight (though, keep in mind, summer classes are smaller).
The atmosphere is professional and light, with no unnecessary talking or chit-chat during class. Camaraderie is The only downside is the occasional presence of children who are not part of the class interrupting it by walking on to the floor or tossing a toy into our midst (they usually wait patiently in a downstairs area).
Kyokushin is all about striking, and there's no want for it here! The majority of lessons involve striking and partnered striking exercises.
There is no grappling or weapons