Don’t Miss Tie-Dye Tuesday

August 17, 2015

Tomorrow (Tuesday August 18) is Sensei Cris’s last day at Redwood Dojo before leaving for college! He’s requested a Tie-Dye Tuesday for his last day (this is becoming a bit of a tradition!), so all black belts who own a tie-dyed uniform should wear it.*

In addition, all kids who wear a tie-dyed t-shirt may work out in their gi pants, belt, and t-shirt tomorrow. (That’s going to feel good if it’s this heat wave is still on!) And kids: Don’t tell Sensei Cris, but … remember all those push-ups and crazy exercises he’s made you do in class for the past year? You might just get a chance to return the favor…

Don’t miss class, and please pass the word to your fellow students and parents, since some of them aren’t yet subscribed to the blog.


*Why, you may ask, do any of the black belts own a tie-dyed uniform? Well, in Cuong Nhu, when a student attains black belt, they may wear a black or colored uniform – any color they choose. Another tradition in Cuong Nhu is…a sense of humor. Therefore, a few instructors began wearing tie-dye on special occasions, and we on the West Coast took up that practice with enthusiasm. So don’t be surprised if you walk in and find the instructors in tie-dyes, once or twice a year on special days.

T-Shirt Fundraiser: Pre-Order Now!

August 8, 2015

Gotta-Kata-t-shirt-gray copyWe’re excited to announce a cool new t-shirt is in production, to serve as a fundraiser for the Redwood Dojo Training Camp Scholarship Fund. All profits will go toward helping students attend seminars, West Coast Training Camp, and IATC (national training camp).

Here’s our design! The Gotta Kata! concept is by Redwood member Greg Seff, and several people contributed to the artwork.

Right now we’re taking pre-orders, to get an idea how many shirts to print. You can help us out by telling us how many t-shirts you’ll order, and which sizes and colors you want. Please write it in the comments section of the blog, OR send your pre-order by email to tshirt[at]

The price will be in the range of $15 to $20, depending on final order size. Choose blue or ash grey, and tell us whether you need youth or adult sizes (s, m, l, xl).

Gotta-Kata-t-shirt-blueAnd please let us know asap, because we can’t wait to get these shirts printed!

Thanks, and enjoy the rest of your summer.



Summer Schedule in effect for July and August

July 1, 2015

Summer is here; students are coming and going to camps, vacations, and such; and here at Redwood Dojo we’re operating on our reduced Summer Schedule for the months of July and August. Most of you should have received either an email or a notice handed out during class – and thank you for your replies! Everyone who responded is either able to attend on the Summer Schedule, or will be away most of the time it’s in effect. For those who did not receive notice till now, please do let Sensei Didi know if you have problems with the schedule, and also let us know your vacation dates, so we’ll know when and when not to expect you at the dojo.

Here’s the Summer Schedule. During July and August:

Peewee Karate is meeting on TUESDAYS at 4 p.m. (no class on Mondays)

All kids age 6 & up, all ranks, meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. (no Monday classes)

Teens and Adults meet together, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

There is Adult Open Workout time after 7:30, for independent practice and advanced test preparation.

Our regular schedule will resume in September.

We’ve got helpers lined up for that 5 p.m. class, in case it’s bigger than expected, and it’s going to be fun. The younger students will have a chance to train with the “big kids;” the older/more advanced students will have a chance to be examples and role models; and everyone will get to learn something new while they’re working hard.

As for Sensei Didi, she won’t necessarily be sleeping in on those Mondays off, because she co-teaches the all-day Karate Summer Camps down at Rohai Dojo in Berkeley. The first camp already took place in June, complete with special weapons training, matwork, and an art project involving broken boards. Advanced Teen Camp is coming up (open to older kids and teens, blue belt and up), and two more all-ranks camps are scheduled. There may be a few more spaces left, so if you’re interested in registering for a Summer Camp, contact Sensei Didi for details, or call Rohai Dojo directly at 526-4880.

Also note: there is currently NO waiting list for Peewee Karate. Please stop by or call 482-7827 to get signed up for class.

Happy Summer!

Special Event!

May 31, 2015

Master Nguyễn văn Nhân, head of Cuong Nhu in Vietnam, will be teaching in Berkeley and Oakland on Monday and Tuesday, June 1-2. MasterNhanThis is a very special visit, creating a bridge of friendship between the Cuong Nhu schools founded by O Sensei Ngo Dong in the U.S., and the Vietnamese “descendants” of his original schools in Vietnam. Master Nhân attended the Cuong Nhu 50th anniversary training camp in Raleigh, North Carolina, over Memorial Day weekend, and since then has been visiting Cuong Nhu schools in Florida, including the National Headquarters. He is now honoring us with a visit, and I hope everyone will be able to attend and take class.

The schedule will be as follows (adults in particular are encouraged to attend on both days):

Monday, June 1st, at Rohai Dojo in Berkeley (aka Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate)

4 to 5 p.m. Kids purple belt & above
5 to 6 p.m. beginning kids
6 to 8 p.m. class for adults and teens (all ranks), and kids green belt & above
Dinner after class (details tba)
Location: 1819 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, 1.5 blocks north of University Avenue
Call 526-4880 for directions

Tuesday, June 2nd, at Redwood Dojo in Oakland

4 to 5 p.m. beginning kids
5 to 6 p.m. kids purple belt & above
6 to 7 p.m. teen class (adults welcome)
7 to 8:30 p.m class for adults and teens (all ranks), and kids green belt & above
Dinner after class (details tba)
Location: Redwood Heights Community Center, 3883 Aliso Avenue, Oakland, just off Highway 13 at Redwood Road.
Call 482-7827 for directions

Note to Redwood Teens: You are strongly encouraged to stay for the adult class.

Note to kids age 6 & 7 who do not normally attend on Tuesday: If you would like to take class from Master Nhân, you may ask Sensei Didi’s permission to take part. You may also attend class just to watch. VietnamStudents-narrow

Schedule Alert: This Week at Redwood Dojo

May 17, 2015

Cuong Nhu’s annual International Training Camp is coming up on Memorial Day weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, and as always, Sensei Didi and several other instructors and dojo members will be attending. While they’re away, others will be covering classes (don’t miss it; it’s sure to be a great week of workouts).

In addition, on Thursday the 21st, the 6 p.m. Teen Class and the 7 p.m. Adult Class will be combined into a single class running from 6 to 7:30. Teens who normally attend from 6 to 7 should plan to stay the extra half hour if possible. (If you absolutely can’t do it, please let the instructor know before bowing in that you’ll need to leave at 7.) Adults – if your work schedule doesn’t permit you to get to the dojo by 6 p.m., we understand. Plan to come anyway and bow in late.

Saturday morning class will meet as usual on the 23rd, with a substitute instructor.

There will be no classes on Memorial Day (Monday, May 25). Everything will be back to normal on Tuesday the 26th — normal, that is, except that the Training Camp attendees will be back in class filled with enthusiasm and new ideas! See you then.

[P.S. In our previous post, we linked to a photo album – but some folks were unable to view it. Please try again by clicking here.]

Spring Tournament Turnout

March 16, 2015

The Rohai Dojo Spring Tournament was a big success last Saturday. Twenty-six members of Redwood Dojo made the short trip down to Berkeley to participate. We’re proud of everyone who took part. It takes a winner to step up and put yourself on the line in front of a panel of judges!

The largest contingent was in the yellow belt – purple stripe rank level, but we had competitors everywhere from white belt to black belt, and two teams (Salazars and Bonkowskis) in our favorite division: Family Team Kata.

Sensei Didi took some photos, which are posted hereIMG_7750. Mind you, they are not of professional quality and the album is unedited! Even so, some of them are good, and if you see one you like and would like the original, higher-resolution file emailed to you, contact Sensei Didi.  If you attended the tournament and took photos (we saw some pretty fancy cameras in action there!), please share. Send us a link, or ask how you can add them to the Redwood Dojo album.

Special thanks to Senseis Hector, Cris, and Sara, who competed in the black belt divisions and then sat down to help judge the kids’ and teen divisions.

Reminder: Kata Tournament, no Saturday Class

March 13, 2015

Don’t forget, we’ll be down at Rohai Dojo (Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate) for the Kata Tournament tomorrow morning, March 14, so there will be no regular Saturday class in the park. Come cheer on all the Redwood students who will be competing!

Competition begins at 10 a.m., with brown and black belt Adults/Teens going first, then all adult divisions, followed quickly by children’s divisions from 6-year-old beginners, on up through the ranks.

This is a friendly competition among our local Cuong Nhu family, and a great place for students of all levels to step up and see how they perform under pressure. I especially encourage shy students, and those who “don’t want to,” to participate and find out how it feels to step forward. If you didn’t make it this year, keep in mind the Rohai Dojo spring tournament happens every year around this time. In addition, Hoa Sen dojo, our sister school in Emeryville, hosts a kata competition in the fall, and Rohai hosts Spar Wars in November.

Rohai Dojo is located at 1819 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, just 1.5 blocks north of University Avenue, between Hearst and Delaware.