Don’t Miss West Coast Training Camp!

September 21, 2015

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]

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

August 20, 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]


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.]