Frequently Asked Questions
Our base and black belt curriculum is Tae Kwon Do but we expose our students to a variety of additional martial arts.
For kids or adults who do not have the time or are not interested in training on a weekly basis on the mat, we offer a number of “off the mat” learning opportunities. Going to College Self-Defense Class for young women, Inspired Leadership program for youth seventh to twelve grades, and our Mindful Meditation classes for adults are just a few examples. Be sure to join our email list to get announcements of our latest classes and community events.
This is a valid and frequent concern and a complex topic. In reality, kids learn how to be aggressive from each other, more than they do from a martial arts class. A holistic martial arts program, like Hiruko’s, does not teach kids to be aggressive. Rather, it teaches children the importance of learning how to follow safety rules, how to use the power of their voices to defuse conflict. It teaches the importance of collaboration and cooperation. It teaches youth how to ask for help when they need it. Hiruko has strict rules for participants about applying lessons learned with friends. Hiruko teaches its participants how to avoid, cope with and manage bullying and aggressive behavior. This said, Hiruko teaches self-awareness, self-advocacy and self-confidence. Although we do not promote, encourage, or applaud aggressive behavior, we teach youth the importance of thinking and making choices. Sometimes, aggression is necessary for self-defense. The goal is to teach youth how to make a distinction between a real threat and a perceived one and how to make the choices that are empowering in the moment but also long-term.
Hiruko’s learning environment is truly unique. We do not focus on competition, and we do not compare and contrast our students’ performance. Because our methodology includes healing arts and contemplative practice, many students with special needs (anywhere on the spectrum, sensory integration or delays, learning differences) thrive in our classes. Non-verbal participants benefit from private classes. Hiruko is an inclusive school. HMA™ classes are especially helpful for children with ADHD/ADD, anxiety, depression, sensory or motor differences.
To foster a sense of safety and security, routine and rituals are essential in our classes. We aim to praise the participants in an authentic, specific and sincere way. We are a mistake making school. We encourage mistake making and teach students how to let go and move on. We do not believe in punishment and consequences. We set a high bar. We expect students to be the change they wish to see in the classroom and in the world. All our students rise to the occasion.
Attendance two times per week is highly encouraged. Tuition covers attendance twice a week.
The best way to “try out” our program is to do the Introductory Course. This course give you the opportunity to try one private, and two group classes. Once the Intro Course is completed, our shortest program is six months long.
When kids are young, their parent, babysitter or teacher is responsible for their safety. The kids’ job is to follow safety rules. It is unfair and unrealistic to expect a child to defend her/himself. Our self-defense teaching has three pillars: 1) self-awareness, 2) self-advocacy, 3)self-confidence (especially physical). We teach these three pillars at all age levels and increase the level of difficulty over time. It is not realistic to assume a child can defend him/herself after a few months of classes. It is realistic to expect a child to follow safety rules, to ask for help, and to start to make safe choices.
Yes. We offer both “on the mat” and “off the mat” classes for adults. The Healing Martial Arts class for adults is our most popular.
At Hiruko, we believe that students are whole, complete, perfect, and resourceful. We do not compare and contrast students. Each student has a unique set of circumstances, challenges, and opportunities for growth. We assess the students’ performance in every class. Students are invited to progress in their training level when they 1) demonstrate ownership of principles/techniques learned and 2) demonstrate readiness to add more complexity without feeling stress or pressure. Beginners usually progress every three/four months. Intermediate/advanced levels progress at a slower pace. The only “test” we administer in our school is the black belt test. The Hiruko black belt test is memorable, one of a kind, and a great source of pride and joy for our students. All other belt graduations are called “Quests”. Quests are designed to showcase a student’s knowledge, to encourage thinking on their feet, and to be fun celebrations of hard work.
At Hiruko we deeply believe that families who kick together stick together. After all, Hiruko was created by a family of martial artists. This said, Hiruko has developed curriculum that is age specific. Adults and children do not learn well together long term. Adults have a wide range of interests, goals, and learning styles that are often quite different than their kids’. For those families who wish to share a common interest and a passion, we offer parent/child classes for the students who are enrolled in our HMA program once every few months. These classes are designed to encourage connection and family fun.
Our youngest students are three years old. There is no upper age limit in our classes. All are welcome and there’s something for everyone here.