What Parents and Students are saying about MassDojo
Senpai, Louis Lung (Karate) Assistant Lead Instructor
When I was a kid, I always wanted to learn a martial art. Later when I was in college I took a martial arts class offered by a local dojo for a semester. The class disintegrated when instructor failed to show up in the spring. Fast forward almost 20 years to some gray hairs and a bad back. In the spring of 2003 my bad back was diagnosed as myofascial pain which would require exercise and stretching. I asked my therapists about karate and she thought it was a great way to strengthen my core. Thus began my training that began rather poorly some two decades earlier.
Karate training has been great. Not only is my back feeling much better than before, but on the whole, I'm in much better physical shape. I can feel the difference on the volleyball court or when out for a run. Be it kihon, kata or kumite, training never feels boring or repetitive; it is always challenging and educational. With each class, I gain a better appreciation and understanding for the various drills we go through and greater respect for what it takes to be really great at the art.
Classes with Sensei are both light and intense at the same time. The environment is easy going and not imposing while the drills can be extremely tough and demanding. This is not for the faint of heart, nor for the lazy. You do need to work, you will sweat, you will ache, and in return you will be that much better all around. In the end you are only limited by your desire to be better.
Since I've started training over two year now and I can say with certainty that the training has made me quicker, stronger, more flexible, and improved my overall stamina. All that and it's fun too!
Senpai, Michael Mullen (Karate) Assistant Lead Instructor
Karate at the Borough's Y with Sensei is a challenging and awarding program for me and my 2 children, Ryan (11) and Wilhelmina (9). The workouts are tough and learning the techniques of both Kumite and Kata are an ongoing challenge for all three of us, but there is a great sense of pride and satisfaction in the progress we've made. My son, Ryan knows he is in pretty good shape, through the drills and practices he does in the dojo. His sense of self protection with the techniques of Karate gives him an inner calm and self control that wasn't there before. This doesn't mean he doesn't still tease his 2 younger sisters, he just gets bored of it sooner. My daughter Wilhelmina is more challenged with the discipline needed to practice this art of self defense. She has improved greatly in her ability to remain focused on the task at hand while still enjoying the classes. As for me. I have neither the flexibility of my daughter nor the focus of my son. I keep showing up for class to keep in shape both mentally and physically as I pass through my forties. For us the Karate program has become a rewarding event we do together as a family.
I wanted to thank you for calling our Michael and Evan during last night's belt test. It made Michael feel pretty special and proud of his achievements. He talked about it the whole way home, and was practicing his Kata this morning before school. You do a great job with the kids. It has to be tough managing the different personalities and ages, but you manage to keep everyone motivated and engaged... That's great." -- Massdojo Parent
Following the Massachusetts Karate Championoships:
"I just wanted to reach out and say what a great event I thought it was. It has been a long time since I went to a traditional tournament and it was great to see the judging taken so seriously. It helps validate the hard work that many of the competitors put in before and during the event. I was also struck by the support that all of the people gave to the kids by clapping for everyone and not just their child. The behavior of all the parents during the Kumite was awesome and an improvement on when I was a kid.
"I just wanted to say thank you for helping and supporting Arun achieve one of her non academic personal goals, it means alot to her. Both Ronnie and I feel very lucky to have you as her Sensei, she admires and respects you tremendously."
Let me allow myself to show my greatest thank to you!Thank you for being so patient with us, not greatest students of yours.Thank you for being so caring person and make sure that nobody is left behind. Thank you for being so dedicated to what you are doing. This is really a big motivation to want to come to your class, even though life sometimes does built its obstacles ;-)And BTW, Khazhismel looks forward to coming to the class more then ever, and this is after he almost quit! So, thank you again! And Lou for his Thursday."
"I look forward to future events and going back to the traditional schools I work with to let them know my own positive experience." -- from the parent of a junior competitor
"I just wanted to thank-you for putting on a well run tournament that was in the true spirit of traditional martial arts. It was pleasure to compete and network on Sunday. " -- from an adult competitor
"Thanks for sending me the photo of Austin on your back while you are doing push-ups. You are truly a good sport, and a great teacher! By the way, Austin left class this week, and unsolicited said to me, "Mom, this was the best Karate class." When I asked why, he replied, "Because I'm getting more confident."As a parent it doesn't get much better than hearing this kind of statement. Thanks for all you do for all the children!"
I just have to say how happy I am that we joined your karate program. My husband and I feel very strong about respect and discipline in our home. It is nice to have those same values continue into their sports activities. I read your email about having 2 classes per week in the Fall. It will be tough with Jakob's other activities (Flag Football, Soccer, Catechism, and Indoor Soccer), but we will find a way to make it work. Keep up the good work!
Congratulations winning the National Karate Championship! It is a great bonus to have a champion teach our kids. I think your class is successful because of your mix of humor and serious karate. The word spreads. Steven really enjoys your class and we often crack up laughing about different things you have said in class. Keep up the good work.
"We wanted to thank you for the time you have taken with him. The style in which you run your class has been a wonderful experience for Brian. He's had a rough year in school with bullying (just verbal teasing at the moment) and with making friends. He really feels accepted at karate and that has made a huge difference for him. Even if he never "masters the art" just being there is great for his self esteem. The other students have been so supportive of him. He was so excited the first day he was allowed to spar and the kids cheered him on. That just made his year!" "P.S. He has truly enjoyed your class; I think he finds you to be a very motivating (and funny!) teacher."
Lisa Mair (Karate) student
My initial interest in karate was for self defense. But after a couple months, I began to understand that karate is so much more than just combat techniques. Not only am I having a great time, learning a lot, and getting in much better shape, but I continue to be amazed at how much this training inspires me in other areas of my life. I attribute this to the quality of instruction; Sensei is without exaggeration a gifted teacher, and his instructors always impress me with their knowledge and talent.
Senpai, Christine Johnson (Aiki-Jitsu) Assistant Lead Instructor
I started Aiki-Jitsu with Sensei, 4 years ago. When my daughter and I walked into that first class we were so intimidated. All these young people were wearing the white uniforms with colored belts. We were in way over our heads. But I’ve always taught my daughter about commitment. We paid for 10 weeks. We were staying for 10 weeks.
Well, since then, except for when my daughter took time off to have a baby, we have never missed a session!
Sensei is why we keep coming back. He sees what you perceive to be your limits and pushes you beyond them. He challenges you and encourages you. We work out with a diverse group of people so we have opportunity to try our techniques on individuals of various heights and weights.
After four years, I am preparing for my test for my black belt. I have come so far from being intimidated by all those colored belts. I'm not afraid. I know I would defend myself if I ever needed to.