Posted On:11/10/2009 12:49pm
Style: It's complicated.
For a variety of reasons (location, schedule, budget), I had to leave my Muay Thai and Sanshou training and was left with few options other than over-priced McDojo gyms. Since I had heard good things about Kyokushin Karate, I decided to request a trial from Kyokushin Ottawa. They generously allowed me to attend 3 classes for free. Here's how things went:
First Trial Lesson:
20 minutes stretching /warm-up exercises10 minutes conditionning20 minutes basic striking drills without pads / targets10 minutes conditioning and stretching
10 minutes of kata35 minutes striking combos with thai pads, focus mitts, kicking shields and (for a few unlucky folks) phone books wrapped in duct tape*15 minutes leg blow-out drills** and final stretching
(*I was pleasantly surprised to see that these combos included knees and elbows in addition to standard jab / cross / hook / uppercut strikes. The combos we were learning / practicing would have been considered "advanced" by most of the Muay Thai places I've trained at, including one of the more highly-regarded / respected Muay Thai school in my city which doesn't teach that sort of stuff to its students unless they've been there for at least 6 months and have moved onto their "advanced" group. )
(**The blowout drills were as challenging as any of the ones I've done in Muay Thai, if not moreso.)
It was very rigourous. I enjoyed it very much!
Second Trial Lesson:
20 minutes of stretching / warming up20 minutes basic striking drills without pads / targets20 minutes basic kata
20 minutes conditioning*20 minutes of striking combos with pads / focus mitts while slipping, bobbing and weaving to avoid punches to the face15 minutes advanced Kata (for higher-ranked belts)15 minutes of medium-to-medium/hard contact sparring with no gloves or protective gear**
(* Running around the gym on one leg and doing one-leg squats, running around the gym while piggybacking a partner of equal or greater weight, pushups and crunches with resistance, etc)
(**I was VERY impressed with the sparring. One black belt girl, who would be in her early or mid 20s at the oldest, took on 3 opponents in a row . . . one of these opponents being a 20something year-old guy who was a lot bigger and a lot heavier than her. He gave her a LOT of hard body shots and leg kicks, and she took them all like a pro. Very impressive!)
Third Trial Lesson:
20 minutes of stretching / warming up30 minutes striking drills with pads / targets20 minutes conditionning (sprints, pushups, squats, crunches, etc)
20 minutes standup locks and submissions10 minutes application of locks and submissions20 minutes standup locks and submissiosn10 minutes application of locks and submissions
Having previously done Muay Thai and a bit of MMA in the past, I had been skeptical about trying something that I would have norally categorized as a "traditional" martial art, but I was very surprised, impressed and excited by the training offered at this school. Also, based on what I've seen during my three trial lessons, the school seems to dedicate a lot of time to warming up, stretching and conditionning without sacrificing training and application. This is a balance I've found lacking at a lot of other places I've trained at.
I based my ratings on Bullshido's definitions but here are a few notes:
I gave it an 8 because what I witnessed was medium-to-medium/hard contact without any protective gear or gloves.
I gave it a 5 because there are focus mitts, Thai pads, kicking shields and other targets (like phonebooks wrapped in duct tape for knuckly conditionning) but there are no heavy bags (that I've seen during my three trial lessons). Most of what they have is in good shape.
I gave it an 8. It's not huge but it's there's more than enough room for everyone to do drills or spar without toppling over one another. It's a dedicated space in a community center.
I gave it a 10. Everyone gets personal attention from Sensei Laurier Goudrealt (the owner / head Sensei) as well as the Sempai (a black belt). The other various black and brown belts who are not addressed as Sempai are friendly and offer a lot of help and advice.
Gave it a 10. Haven't seen any ego-related douchebaggery. People are polite, helpful and humble. No TapouT / TUF toughguy stereotypes. The dojo has a "no trashtalking other schools / styles" policy.
Gave it a 7 because of the "all ranges" criteria. I would have rated it higher but I don't know if they compete at the national level. Based on what I've been told, trips to Montreal for seminars and competition happen semi-regularly.
N/A but I've been told that they occasionally dable in some throws / takedowns and locks/submissions.
(Note that I wrote "yes" to Fight Team and Kids Classes because I've seen 2 kids attend training with their mom, but they only stay for the first hour. I also wrote "yes" to the fight team because I was told that some members attend competitions in Montreal. I don't know if they have a fight team per se but I was given the impression that the black belts compete.)
One last thing worth mentioning is the price.
They don't like talking about pricing over email but they'll gladly do it in person and over the phone. (I guess I should mention that they're very accessible, while I'm at it. They answer emails quickly and are available by phone.) I won't post up the price because the Sensei prefers to do that sort of stuff in person but I can say that the price is less expensive than all the Muay Thai, MMA, BJJ and (Can-Ryu) Jiu-Jitsu/Kickboxing schools I've trained at and/or looked into. There are no contracts or "locked-in" types of arrangements. The standard monthly cost includes the cost of the uniform (a karate gi and belt) but you might have to buy 2 patches. They can be flexible on the price depending on the situation but, if that's the case, you might need to pay for your gi (40$).
So far, I'm very impressed, I'm signing up with them and I can't wait till my next lesson!
Last edited by Keej613; 11/10/2009 12:57pm at .
Posted On:11/19/2009 11:36pm
Style: Krav M,BJJ,Judo,Shinbodu
I'm glad to see a real Karate school that's still around.
Posted On:11/21/2009 2:40pm
Style: Jukoshin Ryu , BJJ
Nice Keej. Sorry to hear the Sanshou/MT didn't work out. Keep me posted
Posted On:1/21/2010 8:04pm
Wow, sounds great! I like how the sensei gives one on one attention to the students. Sounds like that school trains everybody very hard. I like that. Osu!
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