Sonoma County Karate and Kickboxing Center
:seppuku:Yo! (I train now with Omega at SBMartialArts.com- it's awesome)
This is a review for Sonoma County Karate and Kickboxing Center (SCKKC) in Petaluma, Ca 94952 (my old, less known school). It is a kenpo karate school with a kickboxing component. The school gave me confidence in striking and sparring in very little time (~11mo. of training). The only thing to consider, is that there is a lot of sparring, especially for the females (which seems counter intuitive). When I kept getting injured every other week, I debated whether I should continue. However, my Sensei called me up after I didn't show up to a few classes (busted ankle for the umpteen time) and convinced me otherwise. So they'll push you when you start feeling like a *****; that's cool.
Aliveness: I gave this school of 5 because our contact is rougher than video in the 4-5 range but not as rough in the 6-7 range. We wear shin guards and sometimes gloves if we're sparring with kick boxers, otherwise no gloves for kenpo vs kenpo. I personally wear a cup (and I'm a chick!), double ankle protection and my shin guards for every class, since sparring will probably be happening. I've been punched in the face, heel kicked to the ribs, busted my left ankle aplenty (hence 2x protection), kneed in the crotch repeatedly and broke/sprained my toe several times. When I go to class I assume I'm going to have to spar/fight the other chick in class that is always entering tournaments; so I'm subjected to getting my ass kicked virtually every class. The school also has many injuries...this led me to give it a 5 vs. a 4.
Equipment: I got all my own equipment (gloves, shin guards, etc,) after the first couple of weeks because the dojo equipment stunk of sweat and I have sensitive skin...I do damnit...anyway, I gave the school a 3 vs. a 2 because the dojo has this cool u-frame/pulley thing with like 10 heavy bags on it, that's pretty cool, plus there's a boxing ring where I get my ass kicked...that's cool too. They also have a lot of hand held kicking bags but who doesn't right?
Gym Size: This dojo is huge, biggest one I ever been in even with the boxing ring...20+ easily could roll without running into each other.
Instructor/Student ratio: The head instructor, Mr. Raff Cousens, is always there but only teaches one group class a week...otherwise, he's doing personal lessons during group classes, so he'll come grab me from the group class to help with sparring somebody doing their personal...The student teachers are o.k., where the student kick boxer teacher is better than the karate student teacher...this is because the former will correct your form while the latter just says "yeah, that's good...let's move on". Fortunately, the group classes are rather small (no more than 6) and there's a diversity of belt rankings.
Atmosphere: Very friendly, yet competitive...nobody wants to look like a douche bag while sparring
Striking: This school is all about striking and kicking; both formal form and MMA style...in kenpo we focus on distance, making the strike count and vital points...in kickboxing it's all about speed, combos and movement. Both are incorporated into sparring and traditional techniques for self defense and/or taking an initiative and striking first at an opening. I gave this score a 6 vs a 5 due the emphasis on lethality.disabling strikes in kenpo coupled with boxing tech in the kickboxing.
Grappling: There is absolutely no grappling at this school...there is a bjj sensei that comes once a week to hold his class but us kenpo students are not privy to attend without paying another tuition
Weapons: The same goes for weapons, although we do do more weapons than grappling. Usually escrima basics not even once a week, more like every three weeks he'll have hit the bag or do compliant take aways from one another. Sometimes I see the blue belts play with bo staffs and kamas.
That's SCKKC in Petaluma, Ca in nutshell. A solid school with fairly competitive prices and NO hidden fees. In fact, when I left the school last month (I'm moving to SoCal) they gave me a month free in instruction! They care about their students, will call you if you don't show up and check up on your injuries. If you have in questions please do not hesitate to contact me!
Last edited by animlmthr; 10/30/2008 9:00pm at .
Cool review. You should offer your thoughts on Omega's school now that you train there.
I bet the equipment score could be brought up some, if they have enough gear for people to borrow, several heavy bags, etc. Excellent review, I like the explanations of the ratings. Sounds like a cool place to train, to boot.
Great Review! Equip rating should be higher though. Training center looks awsome. Looks to be a great place to train. Nothing like that anywhere around here. Of course, Im from Mississippi, But we need training centers like that. Maybe when I find the right commercial spot or build my own, I could do something on the same lines. A karate dojo and training center/gym.