Pittsburgh Karate School
There are hundreds of karate schools and martial arts organizations in the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas of Monroeville, Penn Hills, Murrysville, Penn Trafford, Greensburg, Irwin and North Huntingdon. When searching for a new dojo or dojang please remember that not all schools are created equally. When selecting a new school, always do the proper research. Ask questions like, “How long does it take to become a black belt.” If they give you a specific answer to that question, that is generally a red flag. There are many “pay for belt” systems that guarantee you a black belt in “X” amount of time. Most people who want to truly earn a belt and all the respect that comes along with legitimate rank should be careful of schools that promise advancement. Every student is different, therefore the training and process is different for each and every karateka. Your journey begins as a blank canvas and you are the artist; there is no set time. It may take 5 years , 10 years, 15 years to obtain that status, but don’t be fooled by any instructor who guarantees you that honor by a certain time. It just doesn’t work that way!
Also search for a school with experience. There are many quality instructors who have over 40 years of experience in the region. Be cautious of “Masters” who hold rank in 10 different styles, and boast of high degrees in all of them. The time and commitment to achieve such status is extremely rare, and you are entitled to inquire about the lineage and and qualifications they claim. Always visit a couple of schools before you make your decision, and ask for a trial lesson.
Here at Pittsburgh Sport Karate we recommend you ask them if they compete in “Open” tournaments. Open tournaments allow students of all styles (Karate, Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu) to compete on a common playing field. If you don’t test to skills against other styles, then you truly don’t know your capabilites. Their are pros and cons to all styles and schools, and the best way polish your technique is to challenge yourself against a variety of martial arts. If a school you are considering does not allow their students to enter open tournaments, ask them why?