A Glimpse Into Training Camp

Four weeks ago, I woke up in a dorm room at the University of North Carolina.  The excitement began to set in as the sleepiness wore off.  I was 2,342 miles from home and my toddler, about to embark on four days of living the martial artist’s dream.  I was at training camp; my schedule was cleared, with nothing but Cuong Nhu on the docket for the holiday weekend.

I’ve been to training camp eight times before.  I’ve flown across the country, taken red-eye-multi-layover flights, and one time even a greyhound bus.  And every time it has been totally worth it.  Worth the time, energy, and expense needed to get there.  Once at camp, it’s like time stops.  Everything in the “real world” fades away and doesn’t matter.  It is four days of training hard, learning new things, working out with your counterparts from near and far, developing new friendships, and celebrating the people who make up Cuong Nhu.

This year was the first time I’ve gone since becoming a mom.  My daughter is almost two, and while I missed her a great deal, I was also thrilled to immerse myself in the training camp experience once again.  I joined some three hundred and fifty people, including Sensei Didi and Sensei Paul from Redwood Dojo, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  I re-connected with the Cuong Nhu family that is spread across the country.

From discussing the theory of quantum physics with the head of Unity Martial Arts in Arkansas, to exploring the subtleties of soft-style with instructors from World Headquarters, to debating where to find the supplies needed to make a rope dart with brown belts from Rohai Dojo, the camp experience is always a unique one.  This year was especially significant because it included Sensei Didi’s promotion to Shichidan (7th degree master).  You may have noticed her new belt when we returned from IATC (International Annual Training Camp).

Though there is no way to really capture the training camp experience, you can catch of glimpse of it through some photos here.

Training camp sounds great!  Can I go to IATC next year?

Yes! All Cuong Nhu students are welcome.  There are classes for all ranks, for kids and adults.  Redwood Dojo students and instructors make the trip out regularly.  It is always on Memorial Day weekend, so you can start planning now!

If you want a taste of training camp but aren’t ready to fly across the country, we bring the camp to you!  Each year we have West Cost Training Camp here in the Bay Area.  Mark your calendars now – it will be September 28-29, 2018.  With so many great instructors and students visiting from all over the country, be sure you don’t miss out!

P.S. A big thank you to those who stayed behind and taught classes while we were away at camp!

Advertisements

Holiday Schedule

We are coming up on the end of 2017 – our 26th year!  For the end of December and beginning of January the Redwood Heights Recreation Center will be closed.  Our last class of the year will be Saturday, December 23.  Classes will resume at Redwood Dojo on Thursday, January 4 for current students.  New students will begin on Monday, January 8 or Tuesday, January 9.

But don’t worry, you will still have the opportunity to practice over the holidays!

It is a Redwood Dojo tradition for students to visit Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate (Rohai Dojo) over the holidays, to meet new friends and practice Cuong Nhu at our “sister school.”  All students are invited and encouraged to attend make-up classes Wednesday, December 27 through Friday, December 29.  Kid/Peewee classes are from 5 to 6 PM and Teen/Adult classes are from 6 to 7 PM.  See the schedule below for details.

2017 holiday sched2

Rohai Dojo is located at 1819 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, 1.5 blocks north of University Avenue, between Hearst and Delaware.  Whether you go to Berkeley or not, don’t forget to practice!

We look forward to closing out a great year at the dojo, and then…

We’ll launch into 2018 with a 26th Anniversary Celebration!

January 21: Be sure to mark this exciting event on your calendars!  The Redwood Dojo celebration will include a demonstration by students and a potluck party.  We want all students to participate in the demonstration.  Family and friends are invited to watch, and then join the party fun.  Keep an eye out for more details to follow.

Fall 2017 happenings…

As summer draws to a close all too soon, and kids get ready to return to school, we at Redwood Dojo are looking forward to returning to our full schedule, starting on Monday, August 21st.

If you’ve been away for the summer, we look forward to having you back! Stop by and let us know you’ll be in class, so we can save your space and make our lesson plans. If you’re a former member of “peewees” now ready for “big kids’ class” (age 6-7), plan to attend on Mondays at 5 pm and Thursdays at 4. All new and returning students – check the class schedule here, and let us know if you have any questions about which class to attend.

Sensei Lara is in the house! If you trained in the dojo this summer, you had a chance to take class with Sensei Lara Tribe-Jones, and she’s now going to be a regular instructor at Redwood Dojo. Sensei Lara grew up in the dojo (so to speak)! That is, she began training here when she was a young student at Redwood Heights Elementary, earned her black belt with us, then went away to college after graduating from Oakland Tech.

Demo at Sarah's Science "Ninja Science Week"
Sensei Lara prepares a group of Redwood and Rohai Dojo students for a Cuong Nhu demonstration at Sarah’s Science camp in Roberts Regional Park.

Luckily for Redwood Dojo, she returned to Oakland after college and continued her martial arts training while earning a masters degree and teaching middle school math in OUSD. Now we can all benefit from her considerable talents as an instructor. Just one more good reason to come take class.

West Coast Training Camp is on our calendar; be sure to put it on yours! Every fall, the Bay Area Cuong Nhu community hosts a martial arts training weekend for all ages and levels, featuring Grandmaster Quynh Ngo, Cuong Nhu’s head-of-style, and many of the top instructors in our organization. This year it’s scheduled for October 6th & 7th. Classes are held on Friday evening and all day Saturday (including a catered lunch), at nearby Alameda High School. Children age 6 & up are welcome (we make a point of bringing in instructors who love to teach kids), and of course, there will be a wide range of special classes for adults and teens. Details can be found at Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate’s website, or on the Facebook event page. Don’t miss it!

Welcome, and welcome back! Fall schedule under way.

As promised in the previous post, our full class schedule resumed last Monday, August 22, and Sensei Didi is back in the dojo full time, hoping to see everyone back in class again. All sections are open to new students at this time. Let’s get started!

And West Coast Training Camp is coming up, too! This very special martial arts seminar for all ages and levels takes place every year near the end of September, and we encourage everyone – including kids age 6 & up – to take part. We bring high-ranking Cuong Nhu instructors from across the U.S., including head-of-style Grandmaster Quynh Ngo, to the Bay Area, so all of you will have the chance to meet them and take class. (This is much easier for most of you than attending Cuong Nhu’s annual training camp in North Carolina.)

For more information please CLICK HERE to read about it – and register! – on Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate‘s website. Or visit the Facebook WCTC Event Page.

2016 Summer Schedule – Important Info

Summer is coming, and many of you will miss some training due to vacation travel and other special activities. Just the same, be sure to come to class when you’re in town, and keep up your practice while on vacation so you won’t fall behind in your skills. Please remember to let your instructor know when you will be away.

We’re trying something new with the Summer Schedule this year. Instead of tying it to the calendar months of July and August, we’re matching it more closely to the Oakland Unified School District calendar, so the regular year-round schedule will be back in operation when kids return to school in late August. So (read carefully here!), here is the 2016 Redwood Dojo Summer Schedule:

Our regular schedule runs through Saturday, June 18 (a full week after school lets out). Spring students will then finish the month of June on summer schedule.

Summer schedule begins the week of June 20, as follows:

  •  No classes on Mondays.
  • Peewee Karate meets TUESDAYS 4 to 5 p.m.
  • All kids, all ranks, meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5 to 6 p.m.
  • Teens and Adults meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday Class, all ages (6 through adult), meets as usual, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. OUTDOORS.
  • Advanced adult workout 7:30 to 8:30 at instructor’s discretion

Summer Schedule ends and full schedule returns Monday, August 22.

Something else new this year: Sensei Didi will be taking the Summer Session off from teaching (for the first time in 25 years), in order to work on some writing projects. Don’t panic! Three excellent instructors have taken responsibility for the classes; they will make sure you get a great workout, learn new things, progress toward your next rank, and have fun. Sensei Didi will check in from time to time, and will return on August 22nd.

Meanwhile, you may still direct questions to Sensei Didi by email: redwoodojo[at]earthlink.net.

In addition, Sensei Didi will still be co-instructing the Martial Arts Summer Camps at Rohai Dojo in Berkeley. For more information about these week-long, all-day camps, download the flyer summer camp 2016, or call Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate, 510-526-4880.

It’s going to be a great summer. See you at the dojo!

Spring Tournament: New Event for Parents!

Rohai Dojo’s Spring Tournament (which this year takes place the day before Spring, on Saturday, March 19) has always had a special division for Family Team Kata (parents and kids performing kata together). In the past, though, it has only been open to parents who train in karate. This year, for the first time, we welcome ANY parent who wants to compete alongside their child or children to enter a special division. Come in for a few classes to learn a basic kata from your child’s instructor – or work with your child to create a kata, and come in to get some expert coaching in the lead-up to the event. Families at Rohai Dojo are invited to attend the Wednesday 6 p.m. Family Class to practice together, if they cannot attend together at other times.

At Redwood Dojo, Sensei Didi will be coaching family kata during the Saturday Morning class on March 12, and/or at other times arranged by interested families. Saturday morning class meets outdoors, so dress warmly and wear waterproof shoes! As of today, the weather forecast predicts that it will not rain before noon on Saturday, so all should be well. However, if we do get rained out, family team kata groups should attend anyway, and we’ll find somewhere we can sneak inside and practice quietly.

Try it, parents! This is going to be fun.

If you have not yet registered for the tournament, or did not receive a flyer or hear announcements during class, please visit the Rohai Dojo website for complete information. https://rohaidojo.com/2016/02/22/twentieth-annual-kata-tournament/

You may also click HERE to register online. Note that more than one family member can be signed up with a single transaction; to do this, click the “sign up a friend” button after entering the information for the first registrant.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Sensei Didi at redwoodojo[at]earthlink.net.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Saturday Class at Redwood Dojo on March 19, as we will all be at the Tournament. See you there!

December 2015 Class Schedule

Happy Holidays to all, as 2015 winds down, and we prepare to begin our 24th year at Redwood Heights!

As has become our tradition, we will hold classes on a reduced schedule right before Christmas, and between the 25th and the New Year, we will travel to our sister school in Berkeley to work out with our fellow Cuong Nhu members.

Here are the specifics of the Redwood Dojo Holiday Schedule:

Monday, December 21: All classes meet as usual.
Tuesday, December 22: All kids, all ranks, all ages 8 & up, meet at 5 p.m. (no class at 4 p.m.); Teens and Adults meet together from 6 to 7:30 (no 7 to 8:30 class).
No classes at Redwood Dojo from December 23 through January 3 – visit Rohai Dojo between the big holidays!
Classes resume Monday, January 4.

Redwood students are welcome and encouraged to visit Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate (Rohai Dojo) to take class on Monday, Jan. 28th through Wednesday the 30th, as appropriate. Their schedule is shown below; please read carefully to see which classes you may attend. NOTE: “Tigers” are Peewees age 4-5.

Holiday Schedule 2015-tweaked.pub

FREE Class for Parents at WCTC 2015

We’re excited to offer something new at West Coast Training Camp this year, namely, a special session open to all parents, free of charge.

Bullying and Self Defense: Toward a Better Understanding will be offered by Sensei Didi Goodman during the first session on Saturday morning, October 3. Drop your kids off and stay for the session, to take part in this presentation and interactive discussion on the timely topic of bullying, what martial arts has to offer on the subject, and what we all need to do toward making our kids (and ourselves) “bully-proof.”

If your kids are not attending WCTC, YOU are still welcome to attend this session – and feel free to bring a friend.

The session will run roughly from 9:10 to 10:30 a.m. on October 3rd, at Alameda High School Gymnasium, 2000 Central Avenue, Alameda, CA.

We’ve created an RSVP website, so we can get an idea how many people might attend. While you are welcome to attend without registering, it would be a great help to us if you would let us know you are coming by visiting this link and signing up:

http://member-site.net/?EV–bcPPM

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you there!

P.S. If you or your child is not yet registered for WCTC, it’s not too late – but don’t delay, because Friday the 25th is the deadline for avoiding the late registration fee. Please visit this link for full details:

West Coast Training Camp 2015 Registration is on!

Or go directly to the registration page:

http://rohaidojo.com/news-events/wctc2015/

Don’t Miss West Coast Training Camp!

WCTC is coming up soon! This year it takes place on Friday evening, October 2nd, and all day Saturday the 3rd, at Alameda High School, just 15 minutes away. As always, we’re bringing in some of the top instructors in Cuong Nhu, including head-of-style Grandmaster Quynh Ngo, to teach students of all ages and ranks. This is your chance to get a taste of international Cuong Nhu, without having to travel to North Carolina for the annual international training camp. Don’t miss it!

It’s a great event for kids, and a great training opportunity for adults of all ranks, including beginners. WCTC2014For full details, please follow this link to Rohai Dojo’s website. If you’d like to go directly to registration, click on this registration link. At the bottom of the registration page, after you send in your information by clicking “submit,” you’ll find a link that will allow you to pay online by credit card if you wish.

Can you help by hosting an out-of-town guest? Every year, people travel from as far away as Florida, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Georgia to take part in our event. Most stay at the official WCTC hotel in Alameda, but some prefer to stay with a local family, to make new friends (and save a little money on travel costs). If you can host an out-of-town guest and help them get to Alameda for the events Friday and Saturday, please let us know by emailing Sensei Didi at redwoodojo[at]earthlink.net.

Thanks, and see you at the event!

Here are some of the folks who came last year. Make sure YOU are in this year's picture!
Here are some of the folks who came last year. Make sure YOU are in this year’s picture!

P.S. Did we mention that WCTC is the only national training event with an official Cookie Break? Register today!

Important Dates for Fall Session 2015

With school starting on August 24th (if not sooner), our summer schedule running through the 31st, and Labor Day falling a week into September – there’s bound to be some confusion, for both new and returning students, about when to come to class over the next couple weeks. Here are some reminders:

Our regular schedule (posted here) resumes on Tuesday, September 1st. That means during the last week of August, all kids, all ages (6 & up) are still meeting together on Tuesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. Our regular 4 p.m. classes won’t meet, and there will be no classes on Monday, August 31st.

Fall Session officially begins for age 8 & up beginner/intermediate students on Tuesday, September 1st, at 4 p.m.

For age 6 & 7, Fall Session begins on Thursday, September 3rd, at 4 p.m.

The first Fall Session Pre-Karate (aka “Peewee”) class for ages 4.5 to 5 will meet on Monday, September 14th (late because of the Labor Day holiday on the 7th).

Note to Pre-Karate Parents:  If your 4.5- to 5-year-old would like to try a free class before signing up, you are welcome to attend an introductory lesson on Tuesday, August 25th, at 4 p.m.  (Note that this will not be your regular class day; class will meet on Mondays starting in September.)

All other kids: If you’d like to try a free class before the Fall Session officially starts, Sensei Didi will offer an introductory class on Thursday, August 27, at 4 p.m.

Adults are always welcome during the Tuesday/Thursday 6 p.m. teen/adult mixed class. Adult training from 7 to 8:30 p.m. will resume in September.

Please feel free to contact Sensei Didi directly with any questions or concerns. Email didi[at]redwood-dojo.com.