Why Study Martial Arts?

Want to know how you can benefit from practicing martial arts?


Practicing martial arts gives you the ability to defend yourself or your loved ones from people who would do you harm.

Physical Fitness:  
This activity forces you to use your whole body, which typically results in a high level of fitness. This is because of the often challenging nature of the workouts. In other words, you get out of martial arts what you put into it.  

Few activities in today's world require rites of passage. Rank advancement in martial arts allows students to develop self-confidence by meeting the challenge of each training session and setting reachable goals. The reward of advancement comes through rank testing, as well as seeing one’s own individual progress.

The goal of the martial arts is to become a better person, developing the mind, body and spirit. Students can “seek perfection of character” by taking a holistic approach.

This activity can be practiced by individuals working together, but unlike team sports, there is no such thing as "the best team." Everyone works at their own pace, and no one is rejected because they are not fast, strong or physically adept. 

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Why Karatedo for Kids?

Children who get involved in martial arts show similar benefits.

Fitness is a crucial element to all martial arts classes, especially where children are involved. Warmups with jumping jacks, pushups and stretches are common, and the movements of the martial art itself often challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system. Martial artists are known for being toned, flexible and physically fit, and your child will be no different.

Self Defense:
The ability to defend yourself against an assailant is an empowering feeling. Most martial arts use self defense as a cornerstone of the entire program. The precise methods will vary from discipline to discipline, but you can be certain that with regular practice, your child will learn to defend himself in a variety of different ways.  Martial arts also teach street-smart techniques to help kids avoid problems altogether.

Martial arts help instill mental focus in your child, giving her the ability to concentrate on a task and see it through to its conclusion. The discipline that is taught in the dojo in regard to uniforms, customs and techniques often translates into other areas of life, including school and household chores.

Martial arts are all about respect. Punching, kicking, throwing and locking are all secondary to the respect that is shown form the moment you walk into a dojo. Children learn to bow to the masters who came before them, and to their current instructors. They also learn to treat other students as they wish to be treated. Instructors press upon the respect issue regularly and instruct students to practice respect for self, parents, teachers and peers at every opportunity.

Self Confidence:
A child who is involved in martial arts is generally a child who is confident in herself. Working through a martial art and the belt ranking system gives a child measurable goals to follow that are realistic to attain. The sense of accomplishment a child feels by mastering a new technique or graduating to a new belt follows him everywhere he goes.

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No words can describe our deepest appreciation of the mentorship and positive influence of Shihan Ty Aponte on our son, Casey. Shihan Ty Aponte is a traditional Shotokan instructor with a modern-day approach.  With overflowing humility, he incorporates a strong and traditional foundation, mentally, physically, and academically, into each and every one of his students while also exposing them to a broader and more eclectic experience of the martial arts. His "out of the box" thinking distinguishes this dojo from others. For 16 years, since the age of six, Casey trained under Shihan Ty Aponte along with a diverse group of instructors including Sensei Mike Whiteside, Sensei Lynn Aponte, Sensei James Augur, Sensei Robert Johnson, and Sensei Leo Shortle.  This structured and nourishing environment influenced both his mind and body and helped him to achieve success academically and in the martial arts. He is a 3rd Dan Black Belt and a 2nd year medical student. In gratitude for all that his teachers have done, -- Ismail Chang


Hello, my name is Douglas Cruz and here’s my son Fabian Cruz.  He’s a nine year old.  The reason why we enrolled in martial arts is because it provides discipline and it provides mental strength.  Him being very shy, I thought it was going to be a good idea to have him express himself and be more disciplined and it’s been paying off very good.  We came over here and saw all the many belts, black belts, throughout the years, so this school has been here for years and years.  At first we brought our daughter -- she went through the whole belts and now she’s a black belt and now she’s in college now -- and then we started with my son, so he started fresh with this new school.


My son Max started training at the USKL dojo when he was seven years old.  I remember watching his beginning white-belt class and marveling at the maturity and poise of the very young junior-black-belt instructor who was helping Sensei Ty Aponte teach the little kids.  Max is now 17 years old.  He is a first-degree black belt himself and I can see in him that same maturity and poise.  Max also assists Sensei Ty in teaching new classes of beginning students.  During the intervening years, I have watched and learned how karate, as taught by Sensei Ty and the other USKL instructors, means so much more than just mastering the physical aspects of a martial art.  I have seen my son grow self-confident and self-reliant by leaps and bounds, and I know that much of the credit belongs to Sensei Ty and the excellent way he interacts with young children.  I especially admire the way USKL inculcates in its students such a strong sense of respect:  self-respect, respect for peers, respect for teachers, and respect for the traditions of karate.  I can truly say it has been a wonderful experience watching my son grow up as part of the USKL family. -- Phil Haft