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!


Train for Berkeley’s Spring Tournament

February 25, 2014

Rohai Dojo’s annual Kata Tournament is coming up soon – on Saturday, March 15th. In case you didn’t receive a flyer and registration form in class last week, it’s now possible to download them from Rohai’s website at this link:

They’re also offering an online registration and payment option this year. That should make it easier to get registered before the late fee kicks in on March 5th! Visit their website and follow the links to use this option.

We’ve been practicing “tournament style” in some classes, and hopefully students of all ages and ranks will be inspired to train to a new level. That, after all, is the point: trying to be the best we can be!

Let Sensei Didi know if you have any questions about the tournament, registration and payment… or anything else concerning your or your child’s training.

Important Reminders for 9-26-13

September 26, 2013

The West Coast Training Camp instructors are arriving today! They’re coming in a day early to give dan-rank tests at Rohai Dojo (Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate) in Berkeley.

All kids classes, as well as Teen/Adult class, WILL meet today. However, Adult Class is cancelled today, as all instructors (and everyone else who’s able) will be in Berkeley to support Sensei Sara Falls, who is taking her shodan test.

There will be no Saturday class at Redwood Dojo this Saturday, since we’ll all be at West Coast Training Camp! Please see our previous post for more details. You may also visit the Rohai Dojo website for information, including a schedule of classes.

More Information on Shodan Testing

For those of you unfamiliar with (or new to) Cuong Nhu, ‘shodan’ means ‘first degree black belt.’ In our style, unlike many others, ‘black belt’ and ‘shodan’ are not the same thing. A Cuong Nhu student who passes a comprehensive test for black belt is not yet a ‘first degree black belt.’ To earn the title ‘shodan’ and the first red stripe on the belt, the student must continue to train and teach for 6 months to a year, at which time they must demonstrate proficiency in soft style. This includes performing the kata “Nhu 1” with applications, as well as demonstrating skill at soft style techniques learned previously.

If you’re not able to attend Sensei Sara’s test this evening, send good thoughts her way!

Fall Testing Day – Thursday, November 15

November 14, 2012

Fall Testing Day is upon us; test lists for the children’s classes have been posted, and the instructors are looking forward to seeing how much progress everyone has made in recent months.

Parents: If you missed seeing the test lists due to the Veteran’s Day holiday, please message Sensei Didi (email redwoodojo[at] for a copy of the list – or simply to ask which test your child is scheduled for. In cases where a student has not yet met the attendance or skills requirements for their next rank, the student is assigned to the Fitness and Skills Challenge.

What is the “Fitness and Skills Challenge”? For students not yet qualified to test for their next belt rank, we have devised a fun and diabolical Challenge exam that tests fitness, agility, and the essential martial arts skill areas of stances, striking, kicking, and blocking. Even the very newest students are going to have fun on this exam. Students will earn scores in each area, and set goals to raise their performance on future tests. This is not a competition – except in the traditional martial arts sense of “competition with oneself.” Constant self-improvement is one of our most important values.

This is the first time we have given this exam, and we can’t wait to see how everyone does!

Test day reminders:

Arrive on time, if not early!

Be in uniform – a compete, clean uniform and belt. (No uniform = no test for rank!)

Take care of fees (if any are due) prior to class.

Parents & family members: Please keep the viewing area quiet at all times!

The Redwood Dojo instructors and assistants look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

Autumn Events, Recent and Future

October 27, 2011

West Coast Training Camp 2011 was the biggest yet, and if sweat and blisters are any indication, it was a success. Instructors and students came from as far away as Jacksonville, Florida and Morristown, Tennessee, as well as Seattle, Washington and our southern neighbor, San Diego. Special thanks to Sensei Darius Jones, who flew out a day early from Clemson, South Carolina, and made a surprise visit to the Redwood Dojo kids’ classes.
If you attended WCTC, please share some of what you learned with your classmates who weren’t able to attend, and encourage them to attend next year: same time, same place.

Tests and belts aren’t important… As much as we remind people that rank is not important – the important thing is to train hard and persevere – it’s still gratifying to see one’s progress recognized with a belt promotion. And it’s gratifying to an instructor to see large groups of students mastering the material and progressing through the ranks together. With all the recent testing, it’s clear Redwood Dojo is going strong. Of special note: we now have eight adults and teens at two black stripe level, training together for black belt. This is no small achievement; it takes many years of hard work to achieve that rank in Cuong Nhu. There’s more hard work ahead – but it’s made easier by the teamwork and camaraderie of the group, and the support of every member of the dojo.

The November Open Workout for adults coming up. November 1st is the first Tuesday; start off the month with a great workout. Come and bring a friend (age 18 and up) to train with us from 7 to 8 p.m. Wear loose, comfortable workout clothes (we train in bare feet). No experience is necessary, but if you have some previous training, that’s fine, too. You can pre-register here for the Open Workout, and please let us know if you have any questions.

December Spar Wars. Rohai Dojo’s annual sparring tournament, Spar Wars, will be here soon – Saturday, December 10th. It’s an excellent opportunity for green belts and above to test their free-sparring skills in friendly competition. In addition, purple belts and above, all ages, are eligible to take part in padded sword sparring. Mark your calendar, and stay tuned for more details and registration info.

Free Workout for Adults, Tuesday August 2 at 7 pm

July 31, 2011

Our monthly Free Workout is coming up. Friends, neighbors, parents – join us Tuesday evening from 7 to 8 for an introductory training session that will get your heart pumping and give you a taste of what we practice here at Redwood Dojo. You can pre-register here (but if you’re reading this at the last minute, just come on by). Wear loose, comfortable workout clothing, and try to arrive a few minutes early.

Also coming up: Our August “summer holiday schedule.” Current students: don’t forget about our temporary changes of schedule for the month of August. The changes only affect kids classes for age 6 & up, and the instructors who assist with those classes. See the previous post, or the note at the bottom of the schedule page, for complete details.

Important Schedule Information for August 2011

July 22, 2011

In keeping with our long-standing annual tradition, we’ll be combining all the kids’ classes into a single section for the month of August, due to traditionally low attendance as people take their last vacations of the summer. For those who remain in town, it’s a great chance for the younger and newer students to train with the more advanced kids, and an opportunity for those senior-rank children to fulfill their position as role models, and help out the younger students.

This notice was just posted over on the Schedule page:

FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST ONLY: All kids’ classes (age 6 & up) are combined into a single section, TUESDAY AND THURSDAY, 5 TO 6 P.M. That means NO Monday 5pm class; NO Tuesday/Thursday 4pm classes; ONLY Tuesday/Thursday 5pm for kids of all ages and ranks. The regular schedule resumes Thursday, September 1st.
Pre-Karate for ages 4.5 – 5 continues to meet on Monday at 4 p.m.
There will be no classes on Labor Day, September 5, 2011.