Teen and Adult Karate

What is Karate?

Karate is an extremely effective form of self-defense. This Japanese self-defense program teaches a valuable use of punches, kicks, blocks, sweeps, grappling and other important mental and physical techniques. It also includes knife and gun defense.


Karate training develops proper footwork, balance, speed, strength, flexibility and the overall development of athletic movement regardless of the participant's age.

The goal and philosophy of Karate is to disable the enemy as quickly as possible with the least amount of effort.

School Style

This is a traditional karate school that teaches the Japanese style of Wado-Ryu. The school is a member of the Japan Karate Federation (JKF) of Wado-Kai. This is an international organization and the ranks issued at Scottsdale Martial Arts Center are authorized by the Wado-Kai JKF headquarters located in Tokyo, Japan.


Karate training is one of the most effective forms of self-defense. In today's world it is important to know how to defend one's self and family. Equally important are the health and fitness benefits that one gains from Karate training. Finally, the mental benefits from the relief of stress and the acquirement of martial arts philosophy helps one to deal with the complex issues faced in today's society.

What Karate training consists of

Karate classes consist of drills and exercises that develop excellent self-defense techniques. These drills and exercises, which are cardio in nature, help improve the overall conditioning of the student. Areas of conditioning include strength, breathing, speed, balance, flexibility and other athletic skills. Karate training allows students at all levels of athletic ability to participate.

What a typical Karate class looks like

Classes are an hour in duration. Most students train twice a week, though additional training is available. The class week is broken down into two halves. The first half of the week concentrates on basics, forms and self-defense. The second half concentrates on sparring drills, partner exercises and free sparring. This format changes slightly around belt exams which occur every three months.

Classes start off with warm ups, preliminary stretching exercises and some strengthening drills. The class then moves into cardio training. Depending on the part of the week, this cardio training will be either basics and forms exercises or sparring drills and free sparring. During the cardio training there will be a hard stretch session. The class generally ends with self-defense situations, strategies and techniques.

Students train at their own level and experience. Advanced students and instructors work graciously and enthusiastically with lower level students.

Safety is a major concern and is strongly adhered to.

Teen Karate

Many teens begin studying martial arts for self-defense reasons or to improve conditioning by utilizing interesting methods. Parents start their teens for similar reasons. However, most find that their reason to continue martial art training evolves and expands from just the physical practice. Teen students discover karate is much more than merely kicks and punches. They realize that it helps them to develop confidence, focus, and skills that will help them navigate through life.

At the Scottsdale Martial Arts Center, we wish to give more to our students than self-defense and exercise. Teens need tools that will better prepare them for the ever changing world they live in. We teach these tools in a fun and active environment to keep each student engaged. Slowly and surely, students begin to implement the same teachings they learned in class into their everyday lives.

Adult Karate

Adults study Karate for many reasons; such as self-defense, health and fitness, or stress relief. Adults love learning self-defense techniques, getting in shape, reducing stress, while enjoying themselves during the process. Karate training is more entertaining and enjoyable than many other forms of exercise.

New Student Orientation and Development

New students start off in the beginning/intermediate class. This provides an easy, non-threatening, comfortable transition into martial arts training. They participate with the whole class in warm ups, preliminary stretching, and strength exercises. From there they will work with an advanced student or instructor to develop basic techniques and gain understanding of the training program. There will be times during this period that new students can participate in certain group training drills and exercises. As their skill develops, they will be able to participate in all class activities.

All students initially feel athletically awkward. But they quickly learn to enjoy the process and have a sense of humor as they progress from awkward movements to high-level athletic movements.

Misconceptions and Questions about Karate

"I want to learn self-defense and not Karate"

This is a common misconception we hear on a regular basis. Karate is self-defense. Some people misunderstand some of the training exercises as unimportant drills not related to self-defense. Such examples are basic training drills and the performance of forms known as kata. To the untrained eye they appear to be movements that cannot be used in real self-defense situations. They do not understand that these exercises develop proper mechanical movement and technique that improve the ability to defend one's self. All sports have drills that help the practitioner become better. Karate is no different.

"I'm too old"

This is another very common misconception. Actually, the older you get the more reason you need to study Karate. As we age, we lose flexibility, bone mass, strength, and it generally becomes more difficult to stay in shape. Karate addresses all of these issues. Yes, the training methods change for each age group. Some techniques are modified or even eliminated for safety reasons. But the training stops the aging process in many areas while reversing it in others. The ultimate goal is to train forever in ways that are safe, logical and enjoyable. Staying fit is a must.

"Is it safe?"

Absolutely. With the proper equipment and instruction, injuries are extremely rare. However, safety does not lower the lethal aspect of the art.

"How long does it take to be able to defend myself?"

The ability to defend yourself increases from the first class. The more classes you take and the longer you train the better your odds improve at successfully defending yourself. The fact is the more you train, the more confident and poised you will be in any situation, whether it is a stressful situation or a violent confrontation. This is one reason why students train on a continual basis.

"How long does it take to earn a black belt?"

As a traditional school we have both age and training length requirements. All ranks here are internationally recognized ranks. Therefore,  you will not see seven year old black belts walking around. There is a minimum of four years of Karate training required for teens and adults. Previous martial art training may be taken into account. Kids have additional age requirements for all ranks up to and including junior black belt. We suggest that students don't train for rank but train for training. Ranks will take care of themselves.

"Is Karate a religion?"

No! Karate is a Japanese cultural art. There is no deity involved. Being a traditional school, our class structure and format is Japanese. We bow in class to show respect like we shake hands in our culture. We kneel on the floor (except for those who have bad knees) like we sit on chairs in our culture. We learn the Japanese terminology just as the world uses English terminology for American baseball. It is the standard worldwide to practice the art or sport in the terminology and tradition of its origin.

"Will it make people aggressive?"

No, generally, aggressiveness is caused by stress, lack of discipline and insufficient anger management. Karate training addresses all of these areas. Training releases stress and the structure develops discipline and skills to manger anger. In addition, the general philosophies of the art positively influence aggressiveness for all practitioners.

Teaching Philosophy and Presentation of this Karate Program

By: Sensei Ray Hughes
Scottsdale Martial Arts Center Owner and Chief Karate Instructor

School Motto: "We Teach the Ancient Ways to the Modern World."

We are a traditional Karate school, which means we have a long martial art history with an old and proven training system. This school has an unbroken instructor line that dates back to the 17th century. The teachings of this art are based on discipline, high level technique, philosophy and hard work. In this aspect, we are unlike many schools that are based on entertainment and quick rewards. Our presentation is truly unique. Though we run an old and formal program, we also smile and enjoy ourselves. We don't beat our students with a shinai (bamboo sword) like what was done in the past. However, we do have age and time requirements like the old systems. It is logical that age and maturity should be required to award legitimate ranks in Karate. Unlike the past, we do not put our instructors on pedestals. We are friends with our students and hope to be mentors to the young. We are all students of the art. Respect is earned and not demanded. Martial art history and philosophy are discussed but never lectured. Martial art training is an honorable way of life.