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:–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:


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]


Food Banks in Trouble; We Can Help!

For over a week, I’ve been peering into that bin in the Redwood Heights lobby and finding it empty. It’s a collection bin from the Alameda County Food Bank, and it appeared one day – right around the time there was some media coverage of how the drought is affecting food pantries and the poor who depend on them.

I’ve been meaning to bring some canned goods – but like you, I’m very busy, and I forget. And I tell myself there are bins in the nearby Safeway that are easier to notice and fill. Still, it bothers me to see our bin empty – as though our community isn’t doing as much as we could.

So – here’s my idea: Let’s work together on this.

I’m calling on you, the Redwood Dojo community, to make it our project to fill that bin up. If every student and/or parent brings one or two non-perishable items over the next few days, we can start filling it up – and maybe inspire others to do the same by our example. If you need some ideas, click here for the food bank shopping list.

Thanks, everyone! Let’s get it done.

Didi Goodman

Fall Testing Day – Thursday, November 15

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!

Free Adult Workout is Now Monthly

It’s official: We’ve designated the first Tuesday of the month as Free Workout for Adults at Redwood Dojo. Visitors and newcomers are welcome during the first hour of the 7 to 8:30 p.m. adult class, and may observe the last half hour. This is the best time for prospective students to try out the class, or for parents whose children are enrolled in martial arts to get a taste of the “grownup” version of what the kids are learning (see also our earlier post about the adult class). Spread the word and bring a friend!

Our next Free Workout is coming up soon, on Tuesday, July 5th. Pre-register here, or drop us an email to info[at] if you have any questions. Plan to arrive a few minutes early to fill out a registration/release form. Wear loose, comfortable workout clothes, and plan to work out in bare feet.

Our First Tuesday workouts are now featured on, so if you’re a member over there or like the format, join up!

Note: Dates are subject to cancellation or change. For example, the September free workout will be on the first Thursday.