FAQs


Choosing the right Martial Arts program for yourself, your child or your family is an important decision and we want to help you make the best decision and choose a program that is the right match for you. 

We often get asked the same questions from parents interested in starting their child in Martial Arts and adults looking for alternatives to the same old gym workout routines. This list of questions may answer some of your questions and please feel free to contact us for further information or details about our Martial Arts programs.

How old does my child have to be to start martial arts?

We have children in our Little Ninjas program that started when they were 2½ years old. Children develop at different speeds and some children are ready at 2½ while others are ready at 3 years of age or a little older.

What is the student to instructor ratio in your classes?

Our classes have great student to instructor ratios. The exact ratio varies from class to class, but the maximum number of students per instructor is 7 to 1 for children 2-6 years of age and 9 to 1 for ages 7-12. That’s the maximum, but most of our classes have an average of 5 students per instructor.

Can I take Martial Arts classes if I am not in good shape, not very athletic and have no experience?

Yes!  Karate is a great way to improve your health and overall physical fitness, no matter what your starting point is. Our personalized curriculum allows students to progress at their own pace, making our programs ideal for people of all ages and skill levels as well as those in less than ideal physical shape.

Can parents take classes with their children?

Absolutely! When AMAA was first founded 25 years ago, one of Shihan Wenneberg’s goals was to encourage family martial arts training by using his own family as an example of just how rewarding it can be.  AMAA offers a family-friendly martial arts environment that is perfect for children, adults and the entire family.

My child has never been good at traditional sports, why is this any different?

Every child has what it takes to be good at martial arts because in martial arts they are not trying to beat or compare themselves with anyone else. The character development aspects of martial arts is just as important if not more important than the physical aspects. We build Black Belts from the inside out and children can achieve anything they set their minds to when they are confident.

Can my child get hurt doing martial arts?

Children have a much greater chance of getting hurt playing football than martial arts. Many students train for years without ever receiving a single injury. Injuries can and do occur on rare occasions, but your child’s safety is always our #1 concern. We use thick padded floor matting, safety gear and follow a strict set of rule and regulations for students as well as instructors.

Will martial arts training make my child overly aggressive?

Not a chance. From day one, we teach our students to use common sense and how to avoid conflict with peaceful, non-aggressive solutions. Should your child be confronted with an aggressive situation that can’t be resolved peacefully, he or she will at least have the basic martial arts skills to defend themselves.

I know my children will have fun, but they have quit other activities before. What can parents do to help them stay in the program?

The key to a child’s success in any activity is consistency, progress and parent participation. In many cases we’ve found that children don’t quit martial arts training, parents do! As long as parents maintain their commitment of their child attending classes twice per week, children will learn and excel in their training. Kids that training consistently, continue to progress in the martial arts and should have no problem reaching the life changing goal of Black Belt.

Is martial arts training a good way to help children lose weight?

Martial Arts are a great form of exercise and a great way for kids to get in shape. Martial arts training, in combination with a healthy diet, can transform a child’s physical appearance and improve overall health. Kids that feel good about themselves are kids that develop strong confidence and self-esteem, which will carry over in all aspects of their lives in the future.

How often should students attend class?

As much as possible! Two days a week with a qualified instructor is often enough to ensure a good consistent education. It’s hard to gain a martial arts education or sustain proper development with anything less than two classes per week.

Should students practice between classes?

Absolutely! Daily practice is the best way to retain and perfect what you have learned in class. Daily practice will also help make your movements more fluid and feel more natural. As little as 10-15 minutes of practice per day will pay great dividends.

What are the benefits of Martial Art Training?

Martial Arts and Karate have a wide range of physical and mental benefits. Some of the most well-known are:

  • Great Physical Exercise
  • Increased Coordination
  • Improved Balance & Flexibility
  • Self-Defense
  • Improved Physical Health
  • Expedites Weight Loss
  • Develops Character
  • Builds Confidence
  • Decreases Stress
  • Improves Focus
  • Better Self Control
  • More Patient

Is one Martial Arts style or discipline better than another?

No one martial art is better than another. Karate, Aikido, Judo, Kendo and Taekwondo are all martial arts, but they are neither good nor bad on their own. They only exist when they are practiced and it is the artist that makes the art. It’s not about style.

Why do students and instructors bow?

Bowing in Japan is a sign of respect and a sanitary greeting. Bowing to a room when you enter shows respect for the room and greets those in it. Bowing as you enter a Dojo shows respect for martial arts and the dojo itself.

How do you tie the belt on a martial arts uniform?

Starting with the center of the belt at your mid-line, circle the belt behind you and around each side to the front again. The right side will go over the top of the left behind you and continue around to meet in the front. The belt should make 2 loops around you at this point. From here the right side goes over the left and wraps around the left side and the center together. Pull tight and adjust so that the belt is even. Then, the current left side goes over the right side only and pulls tight. You should be able to fit your left pinky into a small hole left in the belt knot.

How long does it take to become proficient in Karate and how long does it take to attain Black Belt?

The time it takes to become proficient varies upon the consistency of training and your own abilities.  Most students feel fairly comfortable with with the movements after  six months to a year. There are quite a few variables when it comes to reaching Black Belt, but it takes an average student somewhere between three to five years.

What does a Black Belt represent?

It is important for all of our students to set short-term, intermediate and long-term goals. At American Martial Arts Academy, every child’s long-term goal should be Black Belt. Black Belt is the symbol of excellence in martial arts and an important tool for instructors and parents to use to help students apply their Black Belt knowledge to school, other activities and life in general.

American Martial Arts Academy and their instructors work hand-in-hand with schoolteachers and parents to insure a well-balanced and focused development process for each child.

What does “Sensei” mean?

Sensei literally means “one who has gone before.”  It is also widely used to describe those who “teach or instruct.”

When do you accept new students?

Students are accepted throughout the year.  AMAA follows an open enrollment policy.

Can boys and girls take Martial Arts classes together?

Yes!  All of our classes are co-ed and we have a good mix of both girls and boys in our Martial Arts programs.

Can I try a class for free to see if I like it?

Absolutely. We encourage you to come visit our facilities, meet our instructors and watch one of our classes before taking your free class or signing-up. We have two Martial Arts Training facilities in Orange County. Our original flagship American Martial Arts Academy is located at 1027 N. Harbor Blvd. in Fullerton and our newest American Martial Arts Academy facility is also located in Fullerton at 1964 N. Placentia Avenue.  


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