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


The Switch to Sessions: Save Time and $$, Sharpen Focus on Training

Starting in September 2012, new students will register by session instead of month-to-month, and the office will be accepting payments by session. This should save both time and money for continuing students, since a single payment will cover you for 3 or more months at a time, and you won’t have to worry about monthly late fees.

In addition, sessions will have pre-scheduled review and test dates, giving continuing students who are working toward belt ranks a clearer focus on their goals. New students, by making a 3-month commitment, will be able to learn the basics and feel some real progress by the end of their first session.

Fall registration is now open! 2012-2013 Sessions will be as follows:

Fall: September – November (3 months)
December Special Session (1 month, or include with Fall registration for a discount)
Winter: January – March (3 months)
Spring: April – June (3 months)
Summer: July – August (2 months)

Please check with the office for fees and policies that apply to your age-group class. Here are a few FAQs:

Can a student join after a session begins? Yes, with the instructor’s approval, and provided there is room in the class.

Can a new student try for just a month instead of a session? Martial arts is an activity with powerful benefits for kids and adults alike, but it takes commitment and effort to begin to see those benefits. New students should make a minimum three-month commitment in order to experience the real value of training.

I’m a long-term, continuing student, and I don’t like change ;-). Do I really have to register and pay by session now? Yes. However, if you have a good record of on-time payment, AND you have a convincing reason for wanting to continue paying month-to-month, contact Sensei Didi: didi[at]

Will there be a family discount? We offer what’s probably the best value and lowest student fee in the area – less than $50/month for most students, as low as $25 for the youngest. Even so, we know money is tight for a lot of folks these days, so families will be able to break Session payments into monthly payments if needed to spread out the cost.

Summer Session 2012: Changes to the Schedule for July and August

We’re implementing Summer Session 2012 for the months of July and August. During this session, all kids age 6 & 7, regardless of rank, will attend on Tuesday and Thursday at 4 p.m. All kids age 8 & up, regardless of rank, will attend Tuesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. Each age-group class will include students from beginner through advanced, training together. Students age 11 & up who have been attending kids class may attend teen class during this session if they wish (Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m.).

New students are welcome during Summer Session! It’s also a great time for “long lost students” who have taken a break, to return to class. With all ranks working together at an age-appropriate pace, students who’ve been away for a while will be able to rejoin and re-learn their rank-level material as they go, without being put on the spot. Sign up today; we look forward to seeing you!

Adult and teen classes continue to meet as usual, as does the Peewee Class (Mondays 4-5 p.m.). Teen Class meets Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m., and adults are welcome to train with the teens as well. Adult Class meets Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 8:30.

Saturday Class (9:30-10:30 in the park) continues to welcome all students age 6 through adult.

Check back in August to see if we’re putting our usual August schedule into effect. If attendance in kids’ classes is low due to summer vacations, we may combine all kids 6 & up into the Tues/Thurs 5 p.m. section, as we have done in the past.

Important Upcoming Events, January and February 2012

Monday January 16th: Martin Luther King holiday. Please see the previous post.

Friday & Saturday, January 27-28: We have a special guest instructor coming to town – Soshi Jason Backlund, head of Kobushin Kai Jujutsu. There will be classes for all ages, on Friday at our “sister school,” Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate (Rohai Dojo), and on Saturday at the Emeryville Dojo (Hoa Sen). All students age 6 & up are strongly encouraged to attend. Kids’ classes will focus on matwork basics. Adult classes will include knife defense, takedowns and submissions. Teens are welcome in adult class.

Friday, January 27, at Rohai Dojo
1819 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley 526-4880
4:30 to 6 p.m. Kids (all ranks, age 6 & up)
6 to 8 p.m. Adults – Knife defense
8:30 p.m. dinner at a local restaurant

Saturday, January 28, at Hoa Sen Dojo
4770 San Pablo Avenue, Emeryville
9:30-10:30 a.m. Kids (all ranks, age 6 & up)
10:30 –12:30 pm Adults/teens
(Lunch break)
1:30 – 3:00 pm Adults/teens
3:15 – 5:00 pm Adults/teens
Potluck (location tba)

Monday, February 20, President’s Day: The Center will be closed; no classes will meet. Students age 6 & up should attend a make-up class on February 21 at 4 p.m. (or on a Saturday morning).

*Sunday, February 26 is Redwood Dojo’s 20th Anniversary Demo and Celebration.* We will be having a potluck party and demonstration here at Redwood Heights, starting at 1 p.m. Plan to attend! The kids (as well as adults & teens) will have a chance to show their skills for friends and family, and the brown and black belts are preparing some special demonstrations in advance of upcoming black belt tests. We hope to have some special guests as well. Don’t miss this once-in-twenty-years event!

Parents– Did you notice the mistake on the note sent home on January 12? The dates for the seminar with Soshi Jason Backlund were wrong– it mistakenly said January 20-21. Luckily, you also got a yellow flyer for the seminar with the correct dates. Maybe Sensei Didi was just testing to see whether you read the notices she sends home… Do you??

Another possible reason for the mistake was that there IS an event on the weekend of the 21st. The Beijing Wushu Team is performing at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. A group from Rohai Dojo, along with several Redwood folks, will be attending, and you, too, are invited to see these flashy, top-level performers. Information and tickets are availiable through the Pacific Wushu website.

Autumn Events, Recent and Future

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.

August has been great; here comes September.

Our reduced class schedule during August sure didn’t mean reduced activity! In addition to jam-packed combined kids’ classes, and the regular schedule for teens and adults, we managed to squeeze in:

> A 1-week, 9-to-5 Summer Camp at Rohai Dojo, with some Redwood brown belt teens acting as assistant instructors;

> Two demonstrations at Sarah Science Camp, one at Tilden Park in Berkeley and one at Roberts Park in Oakland, where we educated and entertained a few hundred kids with kata, weapons and board-breaking;

> Lots of hard training at all levels; but special mention goes to the teens and adults training for 2 black stripes, who’ve been working extra hard knowing that when they achieve 2 black, they will officially be Black Belt Candidates.

The August combined-class schedule runs through Tuesday, August 30th; all kids, all ranks will meet together for the last time (till next August) at 5 p.m. However, there will be a special class at 4 p.m. on the 30th:

New students who will be joining or trying out the kids’ classes in September may attend a Special Introduction and Orientation on Tuesday, August 30th, at 4 p.m. This will be for all ages except “peewee.” Parents and kids will have a chance to meet Sensei Didi, ask questions, and learn the basics a new student should know in order to hit the ground running in the regular kids’ classes. Pass the word!

Now it’s time to flip your calendar over to September and mark a few important dates:

Tuesday, September 13th, is our monthly Free Workout for Adults. Usually on the First Tuesday, this month it’s moved back because of the Labor Day holiday, when quite a few folks will be away.

Thursday, September 29th, Black Belt and Shodan testing at Rohai Dojo. Grandmaster Quynh Ngo, head of Cuong Nhu, and other instructors in town for the West Coast Training Camp will administer the tests. Redwood Teen and Adult class members should plan to attend this, instead of regular class. Let’s organize some carpools.

Friday, September 30 & Saturday, October 1: West Coast Training Camp! This annual event brings the finest instructors in our style to our own neighborhood, to give students of all ages and levels a training opportunity unmatched by anything except the national training camp that happens back East each May. Don’t miss it!

Important Schedule Information for August 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.

Info Available Here

Did you know you can download a printed copy of Bac Dau kata from this page? Bac Dau is the first kata learned in the kids’ classes at Redwood Dojo, and it’s a great way for new students (of all ages) to practice their basics.
Other downloads include the general information sheet about Redwood Dojo, which includes a class schedule; and a Frequently-Asked Questions sheet for kids and parents about belt/rank testing. From time to time, we make other documents available as needed – for example, flyers and registration forms for seminars, training camps and tournaments.
To locate these downloads, look in the right-hand column of this page, and scroll down till you see a blue box called “FREE INFO.” Then click on the name of the document you’d like to download.
Redwood Dojo students and parents: please subscribe to this blog so you can stay up to date on information and events. It’s easy; just click on the link under “Subscribe by email” – also in the right-hand column, just above the blue box.

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.

Free Workout for Adults Tomorrow!

Don’t forget: Tuesday, June 7, at 7 p.m. we’ll be offering a free workout for adults who want to kick-start the summer and get a taste of traditional martial arts.

Please arrive a few minutes early, and wear loose, comfortable workout clothing. The best workout is one that’s both fun and challenging (mentally and physically) – and that’s what we’re going to offer. See you there!

If you haven’t pre-registered for the workout, you can do so here. If you’re reading this on Tuesday afternoon – just come by and register on site. And you’re welcome to bring friends.

We’re located at 3883 Aliso Avenue in Oakland – just off highway 13 at Redwood Road, in the Redwood Heights Community Center.