Oliver Karate Academy
Colorado Springs, CO
Home Dojo of Ketsugo Goju-Ryu Karate


1. How much does it cost?

* We don't publish prices, but contact us to go over our costs.

* There are no "processing" fees and no long term contracts.

2. Can I just stop by?

We would prefer that you call, text, or e-mail to set up an appointment.


3. Do you take 5-year olds?

Not at this time. Karate training requires focus and motor skills that most small children have yet to develop. The ability for a child to conduct himself in practice is critical (placing another child in a hold, or sparring another child or adult should not cause confusion, fear, or anger.)


4. Does your school promote tournaments?

No we do not. We don't hold tournaments and going to tournaments is not part of the curriculum.


5. What's the difference between Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, MMA, etc?

There are many types of martial arts and they should all be rooted in self-defense. For this, they can all be respectable. There are some differences of course: some styles are more wrestling based, some are more legs based, some more hands based, etc. Even among the same style of martial arts, the curriculum will be a little different depending on where you go.

But besides the individual student and what they put into it, the school itself and what's being taught on the floor is more important than what style it is. A strong style, an impressive lineage, or great history means very little if what's being taught on the floor isn't what you want. The internet is full of information about the differences of styles, some of it helpful, some not! But remember, no matter what you read, if you try a school out and like what's being taught, you will likely enjoy it.


6. What does "traditional" mean when talking about Martial Arts?

Traditional means different things to different people.

At our school -

* Etiquette. We observe an etiquette which teaches discipline and self-control, something we value highly. We take the training seriously.

* We work out in a Gi and bare feet on a wood floor; no ball caps, shorts, mats, or music.

* We don't have separate programs that take you to black belt.

* We don't require students to market the dojo or attend tournaments.

* Some Japanese martial arts terms are used and bowing is commonplace.

* Rank is earned and respected, but humility and manners always take precedence.

* We believe karate is something that stays with you in everything you do; it's not just a workout.


7. What's the difference between your school and other schools?

We won't speak for other schools - everyone has their reasons for doing what they do and there are many fine martial arts schools in the Colorado Springs area. But there are some obvious differences:


* The Olympics. Even though karate is no longer an Olympic event, we do not conform to World Karate Federation (WKF) Sparring Rules nor do we intend to do so. No offense to the fine karate athletes of the 2020/2021 Tokyo Olympics, but we don't teach "hop, tap, and run" sparring and we don't train with non self-defense kata.

* Some schools are geared towards children. The Ketsugo Goju-Ryu curriculum is designed for teens and adults. Some children can do it, but we're not a day care!

* Some schools prefer to train on mats; we use a wood floor, but don't worry, we teach you how to fall properly.

* Tournaments. I understand some people want more than just belt rank and the satisfaction of training to stay motivated, but we don't do them as a general rule. This could change in the future, but most tournaments use WKF rules, and that's not something we train.     

* Some schools offer extremely low sign up costs only to lock you into a year-long contract. 

* As seriously as we want you to train, we also want you to enjoy the martial arts, learn about it, the history, our history, etc. We don't shy away from questions you may have and we are an equal opportunity school.

* Ketsugo Goju-Ryu is a close contact martial art. We strongly encourage clean, short hair on men and controlled hair on women, short fingernails for both. For the students' own safety we do not allow the wearing of piercings or jewelry while training.    


8. I have a 10-year old niece who is a 3rd degree black belt. Is that common?

Not in our school, but again, we won't speak for other schools or speak to the abilities a 10-year old may realistically possess. Our school is not a belt factory and it takes years of dedication, hard work and maturity to earn a black belt. A student under the age of 18 may attain a junior black belt in Ketsugo Goju Ryu, but a true black belt is not earned until the age of 18 in our school. Exceptions can be made for 17, but it's rare.

9. Is your style realistic and/or do you teach ground fighting?

Realistic when it comes to self-defense means you can apply it in a real fight. You can certainly do this if you're comfortable enough with yourself and can calm yourself down enough to apply what you're taught. This is the most import goal at our school. When you understand and can trust your body to react properly to the situation, you start to grasp the nature of self-defense. With constant training it becomes muscle memory. With all that in mind, we teach specific self-defense in addition to dissecting the moves in kata, and of course free-style sparring, which helps to calm yourself while engaging with another student. So yes, our style is realistic.

We do not teach wrestling, but Goju-Ryu Karate, by design specializes in close range fighting, and grappling moves are certainly part of that. We have a multitude of two-person exercises that teach distance, balance, countering, all while staying close to the opponent. Many of these exercises contain locks, holds, sweeps, and take downs. Plus the self-defense moves we teach are escapes from chokes, grabs, locks and holds.