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Great Dojo with a family feel and Sensei's that truly care about the Martial Arts learning experience.
This is the only dojo you should consider. You get to train and sweat next to your second family, and you will be instructed by some of the greatest role models you will ever meet. Training there provided me with an overwhelming amount of love and discipline. And Wado-Ryu is a vigorous martial art that is incredibly active, intriguing, and FUN. You would be crazy not to become a student here.
Enrolling our son here three years ago is one of the best decisions my husband & I have made. Our then seven year old boy was having difficulties behaviorally in school & we did not know what to do to help him. Sensei Rick has been in the community for over 35 years & his guidance along with the other Senseis', parents' & families' there has been invaluable. There is a sense of community, family, discipline, self confidence & pride. I'm not going to tell you that we enrolled our son & everything has been perfect ever since because, if you have kids, you know that is not realistic. However, we have been able to turn to the Senseis (similar I think to turning to a trusted coach on a sports team) when situations arise & the support & insight Sensei Rick has from over 35 years of training kids is wonderful.As far as sparring & katas go, there are dedicated classes during the week to each, in addition to monthly competition training & competition team (extra but worth it!) training. It is of note that as kids get older the katas are explained more & more as to how they translate to self defense & practical terms. If you do your research on Wado Ryu karate, the katas are extremely disciplined, as is sparring. The movements are concise & to the point. There is definitely an emphasis on technique, but I have only seen positive effects from that. The school has been increasing it's presence at competitions but we were not overly concerned with that as we did not enroll our son for showmanship, we enrolled him for discipline, self confidence & self defense.The rates are reasonable to us when we factor in that they are flat monthly rates with no test/belt fees, no rate increases for utilizing more class time, etc. There is an additional annual fee that is explained up front. I don't feel that it is any more expensive than any other extra curricular activities or sports. This is an investment in our child's future, self confidence, self discipline, & safety.
My son has been in attendance at MMAC for more than 5 years now, and changes have certainly taken place within the organization. This dojo is deliberate in creating a balance between kata, kumite (sparring), and basics. It is also set as a traditional Japanese dojo teaching Wado Ryu Karate. This is not a cut-throat plaza mall dojo, like the Cobra Kai in "Karate Kid", that teaches students to harm each other and fight as a primary resource to resolving a physical confrontation. If you are looking for a fight club, look elsewhere.That being said, my son specializes in fighting here and does very well. He has participated in over 30 tournaments in AZ, CA, UT, CO, and NV. He has won several of these, and usually medals at every event. He is part of a competition team that takes extra time to train in fighting and competing. I am confident in his abilities.The dojo is restructuring, and growing, and all for the better. It has the best workshops, training clinics, guest speakers, and REAL tournament training by far. I couldn't be more proud to recommend it to anyone looking for polished and professional, traditional Japanese technique and practical self-defense instruction.
I'm writing this review as a alternate perspective of MMAC, because one star, in my opinion, is grossly underrating the value of the dojo. Sensei Rick is dedicated to the art of martial arts, as well as the sport. He focuses on the basics, knowing that a strong foundation in karate is what leads to strong fighting. In this dojo, there are many philosophies, but the essential one is to always "Kick. Punch. Sweat." The dojo is made up of hardworking individuals, and the path to a blackbelt is not for everyone.If you were to talk to Sensei, you would see he is dedicated to the community; each year the dojo participates in toy drives and hosts a Karate Kamp; which is an opportunity for kids to participate in karate during the summer.I believe the best way to get a sense of the dojo is to visit it yourself; it is kept neat and clean, and even features a study center so that students can also focus on their academics between training. I highly recommend Mountainside Martial Arts
This dojo is one of the best I have ever seen. All of the black belts are very modest and put the students first. Your first impression of the place is a large viewing area that is always clean (cleaned every week) and looking nice. The training room is very clean fit with mirrors on one wall and nice lighting. One unique part is a room with couches, a TV broadcasting from a camera in the training room, and tables. This is for parents and students who wish to do homework and/or work before class starts or whenever in a quite environment. I have also seen people tutoring in this room. Once you are ready for black belt one of your priorities is to clean the dojo as reviewer below me said. This is to show character and that your take pride in the dojo. I did it and enjoyed doing it. This place is awesome. I would recommend it.
Love this dojo. They are amazing. My son has been training there 6 years. I can't say enough good things about this facility and the staff and the level of training.