The Martial Arts Academy of Marin

Frequently Asked Questions

The best way to know which martial art is for you is to experience it first hand. This is why The Martial Arts Academy offers one week of free classes. This way you can evaluate how our method of Karate suits you, and make a choice without any pressure or obligations.

Practice making better decisions is always a wiser strategy over a sematic argument based on theoretical situations. Assuming a so-called "non-violent" is superior, can give a false sense of security, leading you to underestimate danger. Placing the desire of moral superiority ahead of function can literally mean the difference between life and death. This is the trap of an academic argument. Rather, you should focus on a functional style that works for you under pressure, and ensure it has a wide variety of techniques to deal with any situation.

We recognize this issue, and take the extra steps to ensure a friendly atmosphere at The Martial Arts Academy. We have a progressive training program that is unique, giving you tools that you need in a step-by-step fashion that focuses on quality and understanding. This solves this common problem, while building confidence and challenges you to advance in an enjoyable way.

Yes, we do have a standard multi rank Colored Belt, and Black Belt Integration program. We have several metrics we use to evaluate an incoming person's knowledge at their particular level: Kihon (Basic Fundamentals), Kata (Karate Forms), Bunkai (Combat Application derived from Kata), Jiyu Kumite (Freestyle Full contact Fighting) and Philosophy. Please CONTACT US for further details.

This is a common misconception held by many people. All styles of Karate and Kung Fu are not the same, and each can exhibit more hard/linear methods depending on the particular school. At The Martial Arts Academy, the Shorinji-Ryu Karate we teach is a soft style, with relaxed explosive aspects in all offensive and defensive techniques, which move in all directions. A true martial art does not limit your techniques into a small set of parameters, rather it is philosophically flexible and adaptable to all conditions.

Both methodologies have inherent advantages. What style fits you best depends on your build, mind and intrinsic strategy. Instead of debating, try both and select which one naturally suits you. Once you establish a foundation of your chosen method as your primary style, you can then move to cross train in it's opposite. Karate and Jujitsu make for a fantastic combination. Whichever method you choose, remember to keep an open mind and respect all forms, as different martial arts can make for a fascinating study that will a last lifetime.

Shorinji-Ryu Karate is the style taught at The Martial Arts Academy. Shorinji-Ryu is in fact, the parent of the modern day derivative known as Shotokan Karate. Shotokan has spead globally since the 1950s, and it has taken on some characteristics of it's own, largely depending on the individual school. Shorinji-Ryu Karate, meaning "Shaolin Way Empty Hand" taught at The Martial Arts Academy is closer to the original form out of Okinawa. It is characterized by rapid, powerful movements dependent on relaxation and Ki (Breath), rather than tension and strength that is prevalent in many current day Karate schools in the USA.

There are almost too many to list! We teach an Authentic Lineage at The Martial Arts Academy that is a complete system. What this means for you: 1) You will learn a highly effective fighting method that is rigorous and fun. Intense workouts will strengthen you, reduce stress, along with increased cardiovascular health and weight loss. Since our method focuses on suppleness instead of muscular tension, many experience a deep sense of relaxation, awareness, faster reflexes, and a stronger immune system. 2) Our system is rounded out out by a Philosophical and Spiritual Practice that brings inner peace. Karate as a way of life gives one a sense of purpose beyond one's career and more. 3) At The Martial Arts Academy of Marin, we have verifiable lineages that have been refined over centuries, of Master to Disciple instruction. An often overlooked factor factor, Linage Systems are a very important element to consider, much like looking for a reputable college like Harvard for example.

Yes, we do full contact fighting every week. This way your skills remain sharp and functional. It is the best way to proof the practical side of Kata and combat drills. The level of how hard people fight depends on each of their abilities and age group. The intensity can range from very light, to full power.


Punches & Strikes

Straight Lunge Punch: Oi-Tsuki
Straight Reverse Punch: Gyaku-Tsuki
Hook Punch: Kagi-Tsuki
Uppercut Punch: Ura-Tsuki
Vertical Fist Straight Punch: Tate-Tsuki
Spear Hand Straight Thrust: Nukite
Elbow Strike: Empi-Uchi

Forearm Blocks

Downward Block: Gedan-Barai
Inside Middle Block: Chudan Uchi-Uke
Outside Middle Block: Chudan Soto-Uke
Upper Block: Jodan-Age-Uke
Midline Knife Hand Block: Chudan-Shuto-Uke
X-Block: Juji-Uke
Double Inside Middle Block: Morote-Uke


Front Snap Kick: Mae-Geri
Roundhouse Kick: Mawashi-Geri
Side Kick: Yoko-Geri
Back Kick: Ushiro-Geri
Knee Strike: Hiza-Geri


Horse Stance: Kiba-Dachi
Front Stance: Zenkutsu-Dachi
Back Stance: Kokutsu-Dachi
Cat Stance: Nekoashi-Dachi
Fighting Stance: Kame

Numbers 1-10

1: Ichi
2: Ni
3: San
4: Shi (Yon)
5: Go
6: Roku
7: Shichi
8: Hachi
9: Kyuu
10: Juu

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