Cortland Ohio Shotokan Karate Center
The sensei is Nick Verri, he has been training shotokan karate-do for around 30 years give or take (not 100% sure of the exact year he started). He is a retired (literally retired a few months ago) police officer who has had his fair share of real life encounters, what he trains us in is what he has used in real life situations and what he feels best reflects Funikoshi's original teachings. We are affiliated with Sensei Fumio Demura, anyone who studies shotokan should have at least an idea who he is and what he has done/does. Here's the break down as best i can figure it out:
Aliveness - 5: After more carefully reading the forum rules after suggestions from someone who posted on here, i have edited my aliveness rating to a 5 and deleted my "sparring rating" lol. Often we do free sparring, but it is not intense enough imo to merit a higher rating, nor is it frequent enough. it's one of the few downsides to this dojo. My sensei feels that time would be better spent on perfecting our techniques, which i agree with to a point, and honestly lets face it, 95% of us are never going to have to use this outside of a friendly competition, but i still feel it'd be in our best interests to spar a bit more and really apply what we spend years and years learning.
Equipment - 7: I would rate this higher but there just usually isn't everything we COULD be using. We have heavy bags, punching and kicking body sized pads, jab pads, sparring gear (though you're encouraged to purchase your own, but you're welcome to use what they have, having your own is moreso just for sanitary purposes, you never know if someone's sick lol), a small supply of weapons (we are supposed to have our own but again you're welcome to use what they have, but you're screwed if they run out for that class and you don't have your own), foam weapons that allow training with contact, and a few other things. The only real issue with this comes when we have a HUGE class on a given night, this means we either have to make abnormally long lines or someone might just have to wait longer to use something. Overall it's not an issue much though. On a plus note we do have several makiwara boards set up and we're generally welcome to use them anytime we wish other then during line drills or kata practice...which reminds me i need to start hitting those things more lol.
Gym Size - 8: It's a pretty good size, i'm not sure of the dimensions but it's big enough to where we can have around 25 or so adults and a few kids training at the time and not have too much of a room issue. Infact most of the issues of size come from when the STUDENTS aren't paying attention during line drills and sometimes they get whacked on accident. It's rare but from time to time it does happen, imo though it just means wake the hell up and pay attention to your surroundings lol.
Instructor/Student Ratio - 4: This suffers the most imo. Occasionally one of the black belts will assist in training, or he has the higher ranked lower belts break off with the newer people (like high purple/brown working with white/yellow belts) but overall we could definitely benefit from having at least 1 other person there who's there JUST for helping, he can't do it all on his own since the classes do get pretty big. On a plus note there's always someone there you CAN ask for help if you need it, this is one of the few downsides to this dojo aside from what i'll cover shortly.
Atmosphere/Attitude - 9: Just like aliveness, the overall attitude here is great. Everyone is confident but for the most part humble, only on rare occasion have we had some asshole walk in there thinking he's going to take over the class and thinking he knows everything and anything about shotokan. Generally those types can't keep up with the curriculum though and soon they leave or they get humbled VERY quickly when it's needed. My sensei is the nicest guy in the world but he does NOT put up with shinanigans, i'll put it that way. Overall i feel like it's a home away from home when i'm there, and you can't ask for more then that :D Everyone here (for the most part) feels like a family, and we always welcome new students into that family.
Striking Instruction - 8: Without a doubt, the highlight of this dojo is the perfection that we get our strikes down to. As is known, shotokan is a style that works more on turning a few strikes into weapons as opposed to 1080510851 different techniques that we "get the basics" down on. We do thousands and i mean THOUSANDS of repetitions of the moves that we do perform, and the ones who put the time in are able to deliver them with mind numbing speed and power. I've been in several dojos, both reputable and mcojo , and without a doubt, this one perfects these moves better then any i've been to or likely will ever go to. Definitely a 8 in this category.
Grappling Instruction - 5: Unfortunately when you work on perfecting one thing, often another suffers, and grappling is the one here. Not nearly enough time is spent on learning or perfecting it in the first place, and even less is spent on applying it. We do learn basic throws and joint locks/breaks though, and i have had a situation where i had to actually use this because the other person involved was NOT going down with punches, so i'm confident that it's applicable to real life, but i do wish we spent more time on it. I give it a 5 though since it is there, and i do study a bit of ground work and grappling on my own so i'm better able to apply the little that we do learn. This is the main area that needs improvement imo.
Weapons Instruction - 6: We study bo/sword/sai/tonfa at this dojo, the nice part is if you do NOT want to learn them you don't have to, there is some done during our normal classes and they have a seperate day just for weapons training if you're able to make it. I myself am not, but personally i like learning empty hand more since it's more applicable to a real situation. I might not always have a knife or a bo, but i always have my hands and feet. Overall it's a nice way to round out what else we do. Someone interested in competitive weapons or sparring with them should look elsewhere though.
Overall it's a great school, and i thank god every day that i have been going here instead of a mcdojo that i could have happened upon all those years ago when i started. I've had to use what i've learned on more then one occasion and each time i've come out on top, i feel personally i wouldn't be alive today had i not taken this art, the area i live in is less then...fantastic, and i wouldn't have been able to handle the confrontations that i've been in as well as i did without what i've learned. Check it out if you're ever in cortland ohio :D
Last edited by blood riot iori; 6/22/2010 12:14am at .
Blood Riot Iori, shotokan was one of the first martial arts I studied, and I did it for quite a while, eventually earning a shodan in it. I think that taught well, it can be a very good art with a lot to offer, and I got a lot out of my time in it. Please read the following comment with that in mind, and take it in the helpful spirit its intended.
If you have not already done so, you need to read the guidelines posted for what kind of numbers go in which category, and if you have, please read them again. Other than atmosphere, it really is not a subjective numbering system, the criteria are quite clear. I don't always love the system, but on balance I think it does a very good job of conveying accurate information, when used properly. I'm saying this because I think other people are going to come down on you harder than me, and I don't want to see that happen, because I like shotokan and would value having your contributions to this forum, and yours does sound like a really good school.
Lastly, just to clarify something, I thought Fumio Demura was a Shito Ryu practitioner? If so, where does that come in? Not saying a shotokan school can't be associated with him, just wondering how that came about.
Edited to add: Please fix the typo in the title of your post, so that if someone is searching for a review of your school, they won't miss it.
Last edited by Pen; 6/21/2010 6:58pm at .
Reason: see below
I am a noob but I am pretty sure thats not "aliveness". What you wrote in the aliveness section is actually "atmosphere and attitude" and what you wrote in the "Sparring Instruction" accounts partially for aliveness. Thank you for your reveiw of this dojo.
i can't seem to edit it. When i go back and view it with the "edit" button it shows it updated, but it still shows it as "Shotkan" on the title :(
Originally Posted by Pen
I see what you said. I just joined the forum a bit ago and i didn't bother reading all those posts before hand, i will edit my first post though based on what i'm reading now, thanks for the heads up :D
Well as far as i know about Fumio (and excuse any misinformation here, i'm by no means an expert on this info), i believe that Shitoryu and shotokan share quite a bit of similarities. That's one possibility. I will have to ask my sensei next time i'm in class as i'm sure he can fill me in on that :) I do know that Fumio associates with us partially because our school is very rooted in tradition, and he says that's not something he finds very often now a days. That and we're all super cool :qgreenjum
With that said, let me attempt to edit my first post with a more accurate rating based on what you both said and the info i read now on this forum :)
Last edited by blood riot iori; 6/21/2010 8:57pm at .
Blood, as far as I'm concerned, you're super cool for handling this like a pro, and being willing to go with the ways things work here. And the fact that you work with Fumio Demura is pretty cool too, he's a living legend. You're kobudo class must be awesome. Shito Ryu and Shotokan are both Shuri-te styles that have Itosu in their lineage, so they definitely have some things in common. I think its cool that you're school is getting two streams of info.
Also, if you haven't done so yet, head to newbietown and post a thread introducing yourself. Welcome and glad to have you here; we need more intelligent, thinking traditional martial arts types to contribute.
only a bullheaded ignorant person isn't willing to work around the way other things work :) If i don't know something that's one thing, but if i figure stuff out and still refuse to change...well then that's as bad as a karate practitioner insisting he knows everything there is to know and not absorbing any profitable information he might gain by simply listening to someone else ^_^
Originally Posted by Pen
I will head over there and check it out :) I always thought bullshido was a bunch of crap based on the youtube videos but now i see there are people who don't actually think "hey this style sucks and so does this one", alot of it is comedy :)
I'm super enthused right now too, my sensei told me my Heian Godan is looking better then it ever has before and that my tekki has improved alot ^_^ That makes me super happy as sometimes you don't know if the guy is actually paying attention to you or not but apparently he has been :D
I have tendonitis in both elbows that i've been fighting with for the last few years too, so until i find a way to combat that i have to work even harder at doing stuff that others might do more easily, if anyone has any tips by all means let me know :)
Fumio is going to be in new castle in a week or so, i won't be able to make it unfortunately, i was looking forward to watching the tournament there but hoepfully he'll make it out around my birthday like he usually does in super early october.
To have a 10 in striking you would need to have a world class striking trainer (not "just" a pro boxer/kickboxer, but someone who won international titles in full-contact competition). 6-8 maybe, but people are going to ream you for that 10, shitting up an otherwise decent review that tried to be impartial.
Similarly, 8 for weapons you don't spar with is way overrated.
It doesn't mean your school is bad to give it under a 10. Almost nothing deserves 9-10.
Don't snap your punches so much when hitting the air during kihon and kata, it kills your joints. Just an educated guess!
I have tendonitis in both elbows that i've been fighting with for the last few years too, so until i find a way to combat that i have to work even harder at doing stuff that others might do more easily, if anyone has any tips by all means let me know.
Last edited by maofas; 6/22/2010 12:16am at .
ah forgot to change that. When i originally made the ratings (again before i read the other threads heh), i was thinking it was based on a comparison type of deal. ya i'd say our striking would be more around an 8 then, but it's very good and definitely significantly better then any other dojo i've been in :)
Originally Posted by maofas
And same goes for weapons, but now that i see what the rating system is like i will go back and change them all ^_^
EDIT: double post please ignore
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