Rose City Digest - Shotokan

The reality of moving South has broken a lot of expectations I didn't realize I had.  I've been here since March and it's only now that I'm getting out of the house to search for a new school.  The Rose City has so many schools to chose from that I had to develop a criteria list to help me winnow it down.  Before I created the checklist I visited what I presume is the nicest Martial Arts school I have ever seen.  

Like any burgeoning metropolis, the Rose City has sprawled enough that it has consumed the neighboring small towns and they have become enclaves and districts.  The school I went to took 40 minutes so by the time I arrived class had already started their warm-ups.   My class was an unaffiliated Tang Soo Do school running from a previous club model.  At $55 a month it was a relative bargain at four hours a week.  

The place I visited was located in the most affluent suburban area in the region and it showed.  They had their own standalone building which appeared to be brand new (later found out, only four or five years old) with floor size of about 3 competition fighting areas.  $165 dollars would get me 2 hours a week, but the Teacher was willing to work on that for me.  I would say that the worth was built into the instruction.  I'm used to waaaayyy different pacing.  For an hour worth of exercise there was no down time and he managed the class professionally for all sorts of skill levels.  Their version of Moo Duk Kwan was Soo Bahk Do.  Very similar to what I know.  

After visiting I realized that it exceeded my budget by two times, but the real killer was the time commitment.  Being new to driving in traffic like this made the 40 minutes to get there seem like a drive across the state.  So pulling roughly 3 hours out of my day wasn't going to fly.  I almost wept when I came to terms with that.  

More likely than not, my commitment to my new old house and the responsibilities it required precluded me from searching for a place to take a beating for a lot of months.  As of late we are down on our savings from all the projects and therefore can't move forward, so our time has opened up.  

Fast forward to endless web searches and I selected a school down the street to try out for a month.  Shotokan Karate.  Nothing like what I'm used to, but it's in Japanese (which we did our class in instead of traditional Korean).   

Here's my criteria:
  1. geographic closeness
  2. style
  3. cost
  4. general quality
  5. student makeup  
Here's the rating:
  1. Geo - 10 minutes
  2. Style - Shotokan - hard style with similar roots (maybe?)
  3. Cost - standard, but feels high after years of more for less
  4. GC - Very good instructor who is straight to the point.  Taught a full nelson escape I'd never seen before.
  5. Students - Sigh.  Back to a very small class with every spectrum of the skill that matched ages.  Age 7 to 55?  Only 6 students.  I was hoping for a place that had like 20 folks regularly, but I don't think I can get that without a TKD McDojo.  
I start Monday and I'll report my progress for the month.  After than who knows.


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