Policy and Location Questions

Where is the dojo located?

We are at 1446 NW 53rd street in Ballard. We share a building with Outrageously Fit, a personal training studio. We are on the right side of the building, the purple door.

Is there on-site parking?

Yes, but it’s limited. We share a small parking lot with Outrageously Fit. Street parking is free on NW 53rd and 14th, you may want to plan on arriving five minutes early to find a spot. We’re also on the Rapid Ride D and 44 bus lines.

Do you have changing areas?

Yes, we have two restrooms available for you to change before and after class. Most students who live nearby just arrive in their gear to save time.

What should I wear for class? What should I bring?

Wear comfortable, flexible workout gear. We ask students not to wear shoes on the training floor, so please be prepared to go barefoot or wear socks that won’t slip.

Please bring a water bottle, we’ll provide loaner gloves for your orientation session.

Is there a signup fee?

We charge a sign-up fee for our Kickboxing Ryoku and Teen Kickboxing programs. It includes your orientation and covers our administrative overhead to get you on board. All new students also receive a pair of deluxe boxing gloves as a signing bonus.

How do I end my membership? Is there a penalty if I quit?

In your first four months of dojo membership, your instructors will give you the extra attention you need to build a strong foundation for learning the martial arts. Because of this extra effort, we ask you to commit to membership for the entire four months. If you stop attending class or leave the dojo for any reason during this time, you must still pay full tuition for all four months. No refunds will be offered.

After four months, your commitment to your training is month-to-month. As long as you let us know you’re leaving thirty days before your next billing date, there’s no penalty. If you leave without giving a full thirty days notice, we will charge you one month of tuition as a cancellation fee.

Do you have pro-rated membership rates or a membership “freeze” during times when I’ll be gone on vacation?

As a small business, we rely on a steady stream of income from dedicated customers to keep our doors open. We are unable to pro-rate memberships or freeze accounts. If you need to cancel your membership please remember to give your thirty day notice, you may be required to pay a reinstatement fee if you choose to return.

If my membership is cancelled due to a violation of the dojo Code of Conduct or Community Values, will I be eligible to receive a refund?

Our Code of Conduct and Community Values are in place to ensure a safe, respectful training experience for all students. If consistent violation of our policies results in your membership being cancelled, we will not offer a refund for the remainder of that month. This is not a step we enjoy taking, however it is our priority to maintain a safe, happy community and we will enforce our policies as necessary.

Self-Defense for Women: Policies & Questions

Where are you located? Is there on-site parking?

We’re at 1446 NW 53rd Street in Ballard, in a shared space with Outrageously Fit. We’re on the right side of the building (purple door).

Yes, there is parking but it’s limited. We share a small parking lot with Outrageously Fit. Street parking is free on NW 53rd and 14th, you may want to plan on arriving 5 minutes early to find a spot. We’re also on the D and 44 bus lines.

What should I wear for this workshop?

Wear comfortable, flexible workout gear. We ask students not to wear shoes on the training floor, so please be prepared to go barefoot or wear socks that won’t slip.

Please bring a water bottle.

I’d like to take this workshop but I am afraid that some situations may trigger past experiences. Can I choose to sit-out certain portions of the class?

Yes. This workshop is 100% opt-in. If at any time you don’t feel comfortable you can choose to watch instead of participate, or excuse yourself. If you have specific concerns, please let us know before the workshop and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Yes. We are sensitive to the gender dynamics associated with self-defense. Every workshop is co-taught with female instructors or teaching assistants. All instructors and teaching assistants (including males) will ask you clearly for consent before practicing any simulated attacks.

Is there a minimum fitness requirement to participate?

This is not a workout class. You might break a light sweat during some portions of the class, but the focus is on learning to move your body, not burning calories.

Do you accommodate students with limited physical abilities?

Yes. The instructor, Jordan Giarratano, has a wealth of experience teaching and modifying the body mechanics of martial arts, depending on your needs, we can probably accommodate you. At the least physical level you have the option of just watching the class and participating in discussion. Please contact us with details about your needs.

Is there a minimum age-requirement to participate in this class? Can I bring my daughter with me?

The minimum age to participate in this workshop is fifteen. All minors must be accompanied by at least one parent. All minors must have their parent or legal guardian sign a liability waiver before the date of the workshop.

I purchased admission for the Self-Defense workshop but cannot attend due to a conflict in my schedule, can I get a refund?

Due to the limited size of the class and the nature of running a small-business we only offer refunds with a notice ten full days before the event (for example, if the workshop was on the 15th, the last day to request a refund would be the 5th). We ask that you please secure the date before you purchase your ticket.

Can my son, husband, boyfriend, male friend join me?

In order to create a safe space for learning, this class is open to female students only. We restrict attendance (even for observation) to female attendees only.

Will you teach me how to use pepper spray, a taser, etc?

No. We do not offer instruction in any form of external self-defense or weapons. This is a foundation level self-defense class focused on training your mind and body.

Are you available to teach at our business?

Yes. We offer a variation of this workshop to be taught-on site at business in Seattle and beyond. Please contact us for further details.

Do you offer private self-defense lessons?

We offer small-group private self-defense lessons. Due to the depth of material offered we must set a minimum fee for all private lessons. Please contact us with your specific needs.

Do you offer advanced or follow-up self-defense workshops?

Yes. We’re in the process of developing a second level workshop as well as a refresher course. If you’re interested, please contact us.

Do you offer a self-defense workshop for men or teen boys?

Not at the moment, however we’d like to develop one. If you’re interested in a Self-Defense for Men workshop, please contact us for further details.

Kickboxing Ryoku: Before You Join

Do I need martial arts experience to join this class?

No experience necessary. We love beginners! Our programs are designed to meet you where you are and help you to achieve your goals.

I am primarly looking for a cardio workout, is this good for me?

Probably not. You will sweat, you will get stronger, but this is not a cardio-kickboxing class. We teach authentic kickboxing techniques with a focus on learning to move from your center with coordination, balance, and power. The postural exercises and kickboxing drills we perform in the class will provide a cardio and resistance workout, but that is not the focus.

Will I get hit in the face? Do I have to spar?

Not at all! Kickboxing Ryoku is designed to be a minimal-contact training experience. The only hitting you’ll do is to the bags and pads. Beginners at the Foundation level may work together and punch each other’s gloves, but there is no live contact. Students who decide to move on to the Integration level classes (intermediate) hold pads for one another, but there is still no sparring.

Students who show the appropriate interest, dedication, and temperament may be invited to join our Modern Bushido program which does offer sparring.

I have past or current injuries, should I try this out?

Kickboxing is a high-impact sport, even if you’re just working on the bag or with pads, so your ability to participate will depend on your injury. Please contact us to tell us a little bit about your background, and one of our instructors will be in touch to help you decide if this class is right for you. Even if it doesn’t work out, we may be able to recommend a different style of martial arts to pursue.

Is this a friendly environment for female students?

Yes. While our kickboxing classes are open to both men and women, 80% of our students are female. We follow a code of conduct and maintain a strict adherence to community values to create a safe space for everyone to train.

What styles of martial arts do you teach?

The Kickboxing Ryoku program incorporates techniques from Muay Thai, Dutch-style kickboxing, classical Okinawan karate, boxing, and mixed-martial arts (MMA).

Will I learn self-defense as part of this class?

The physical skills and mental preparation you learn in Kickboxing Ryoku form a strong foundation for self-defense, but we recommend attending our Self-Defense for Women workshop or pursuing our Modern Bushido program to better educate yourself in self-defense concepts.

Is there a way to try out the class before signing up?

Absolutely! As part of your orientation, you’ll learn all of the basic movements and participate in a full class circuit with other new students, all lead by one of our assistant instructors.

I can only come once a week, is that a problem?

Yes. Kickboxing Ryoku classes are designed for the benefit of committed, ongoing students; classes are progressive, with each one building on the material before. As a result, we can only accommodate students who commit to consistent attendance of two days per week.

Can I choose the days/times I want to come?

You’ll get the most out of your classes if you attend on a consistent schedule, and continually train with the same group. We require all students to train attend classes at the time you agree to when you sign up. If you need to change that time later, we’ll be happy to accommodate if we have space available. If you miss a class you’re welcome to attend one of our weekly Open Dojo sessions.

Can my child and I take the Kickbboxing Ryoku class together?

The Kickboxing Ryoku program is for adults only. We offer a Teen Kickboxing program designed specifically to help teens develop discipline and a sense of responsibility through martial arts practice. These classes meet teens’ needs in a way that adult classes simply don’t have the space or structure for; we welcome your teen to train with us, but must insist that teens only join the teen program and adults join our Kickboxing Ryoku program.

Kickboxing Ryoku: Member Questions

Can I permanently switch to a the other Foundation class?

Yes. You are able to change your attendance time on a space-available basis; as long as there is room in another class, and you give us sufficient notice, we are happy to accommodate the change. Please contact us to inquire.

If I have to miss a class, should I let you know?

Yes, please! Knowing how many students will be in class helps our instructors prepare for the night’s training. If you’re going to miss a class, please let us know.

If I miss a class, can I make it up?

Sort of. You can attend our weekly Open Dojo sessions to review material. At the Foundation level you can also review your lesson via videos on our internal website. In some instances, students may also be able to attend a different class time on a limited, space-available basis; if the need arises, Please contact us

Can I get private lessons?

Due to time constraints, Sensei Jordan only offers private lessons to students through our volunteer program. Dedicated students earn private lessons by volunteering in the dojo or at dojo events. Spend a few class cycles training and getting to know our dojo, and let us know if you’re interested in giving back to the community.

Can my partner/friend come for a week?

Sorry, but having guests in class disrupts the flow of the class experience for other students and creates additional stress for the instructor. Fighting Chance classes are designed for the benefit of committed, ongoing students; classes are progressive, with each week in a cycle building on the weeks before. As a result, we can only accommodate students who commit to a longer term of training.

If you know someone interested in becoming a student, please encourage them to sign up for an orientation class.

Can my (friend, mom/dad, spouse, etc) come watch?

Anyone is welcome to come watch training, as long as they remain in the waiting area and don’t interfere with the flow of class on the floor. In the instance of a child coming to watch, they must be well-behaved and not disrupt the class experience.

What’s a “cycle” and how long does one last?

A cycle is a span of time where we work on developing skills and techniques by focusing on one strike or set of strikes (say “round kicks” or “knees and elbows”). Each Foundation cycle lasts about four weeks and starts at the beginning of the month.

Some students hold pads in class. How can I do that?

Responsibility and trust come with experience, dedication, and training. Students who have trained with us for a while, and learned the core of what we teach in the Foundation class, can take a pad holding seminar. Once you’re comfortable holding pads for fellow students in the Integration class, you can start to volunteer to help beginner classes.

Can I spar (fight) in this class?

Kickboxing Ryoku is a class for building core skills and fight-ready technique, but is not itself a sparring class. If you’re interested in sparring, train with us for a while and then ask about joining our Modern Bushido program.

Teen Kickboxing: Parent Resource

How long have you worked with teens?

Our teen program launched in December 2012, however Sensei Jordan first started teaching martial arts to children and younger teens in 1996 when he was himself a teenager. Our program is designed specifically for teens and carries on karate’s proud legacy of peer-mentorship and leadership training for young adults.

Why are teen classes split up into two different age groups?

We found that our students split naturally into the 12 – 14 and 15 – 17 year old age groups in terms of maturity, body size (and strength), and social skills. These divisions allow us to give each group exactly the training, support, and feedback they need to realize their potential.

How flexible are the age requirements for these classes?

We may make considerations for a student within one month of their next birthday, but for the most part these age requirements are not flexible. They are in place for us to offer the best possible classes for all students. If a child is too young to attend the 12 – 14 year old class, they are not yet ready for this program.

My teen is very mature, can’t they just join the class for older teens or adults?

No. Mature teens will have the opportunity to become leaders and role models for the other kids in the class for their age group. When teens in the older class reach blue belt they do have opportunities to train with the adults, but everyone must begin in the appropriate class.

Are the Teen Kickboxing classes open to both boys and girls?

Yes, these classes are co-ed, although the majority of our students are female. Students are paired with training partners usually by size, strength, or experience level, not gender. It is our belief that enforcing traditional gender roles can be harmful, so we treat each student as an individual and help them to realize their true potential.

Do I need to be present during class?

No, you do not need to be present, though you are always welcome to stop in from time to time to check in. Our program is designed to help the students develop a sense of self outside of their traditional school and family identity, so please don’t feel obligated to attend.

WIll my child learn self-defense?

Yes, our curriculum incorporates material from all three of our programs, including our Self-Defense workshop. Teens learn practical self-defense techniques and strategy alongside their karate and kickboxing training.

Will my child have to spar (fight)?

Live practice is an essential component of learning martial arts. However, safety is our top priority, only advanced students (blue belt and higher) will learn to spar in a controlled environment under strict supervision.

Why do I need to sign a liability waiver, is this dangerous?

We work hard to create a safe, supervised training environment, but kickboxing can be a high-impact sport even when just working on pads and bags. We ask all parents to sign a liability waiver to fully-understand the nature of their child’s training and to make an informed decision. Sensei Jordan is happy to answer any questions you may have about training or safety.

My teen is going away for summer / winter break. Is that a problem?

To accommodate the school schedule, a teen’s commitment to class is on a per-semester basis. Teens will commit for Fall Semester (September – December) and/or Spring Semester (January – May). We ask that you and your teen commit to an entire semester, and we do not offer pro-rated tuition for teens who need to take time off mid-term. However, your student may sign up at any time during the semester. In that case, your contract will run from the join-date to the end of the semester. Our low-commitment Summer Camp program, offered during June – August, allows us to accommodate those teens who are only leaving for part of the summer.

Why do you require a semester-long commitment?

Dedication and responsibility are important skills for teens to learn, and our classes involve collaborative learning and teamwork. Just like when your teen joins an extracurricular activity at school, from football to debate team, there are others who are counting on him or her to support their own experience for the duration of the season. In addition, one semester is about the length of time a teen would need to put in to increase in skill level and advance to a new rank (stripe or belt) in martial arts. Sticking with it for a whole semester will help your teen get the sense of accomplishment that comes from earning that rank.

Will my teen have to test to get a belt?

Yes. Tests provide a focused environment for teens to show their knowledge; they can demonstrate everything that they have learned, under the perceived pressure of review from their instructor. The progressive testing process is an important rite of passage to mark growth and development within the martial arts. As the student reaches higher ranks they will be confident in their skills and position of mentorship to less-experienced students.

Does my teen need to bring anything to class?

Teens should wear suitable workout gear to every class, and bring their boxing gloves, belt, and a water bottle with them every day. Students must also remember to take their gear with them when they leave.

Can my teen arrive right after school or stay at the dojo after class and until I get off of work?

No. Instructors cannot take any responsibility for teens during non-class times. Students may arrive up to 15 minutes before the start of their class time. After class, there will be other classes going on, and other people coming in and out of our space. Students are required to leave within ten minutes or so after class.

Joining Modern Bushido

What is Modern Bushido?

Modern Bushido is an invitation-only addition to Kickboxing Ryoku training, for students who are interested in a deeper understanding of the background and movements of karate. If you’re interested, ask Sensei Jordan if you can join; he will decide whether or not you’re ready.

I have a martial arts background from before Fighting Chance. Can I just jump straight into the Bushido program?

Modern Bushido, and the kata, bunkai, and kumite that come along with it, are a way to more deeply explore our technique and fundamentals. We need to make sure we share the same foundation before we can start that exploration. All students must be enrolled in Kickboxing Ryoku and attend those classes, Sensei Jordan will work with you to place you at the right level of training and you can progress from there.

Do I have to join Modern Bushido?

No. Not everyone is interested in all aspects of what we do; some don’t want the slower pace of kata, some don’t want to spar. That’s perfectly ok! No one at Fighting Chance has to join Modern Bushido; if you’d prefer to focus on bringing your A-Game in Kickboxing Ryoku, that’s all we could ever ask for.

Will I spar (fight) in this class?

Live practice is an essential component of learning. Our belt-ranked students are expected to challenge themselves through sparring starting at green belt. Sparring is open only to students who show maturity, focus, physical self-control, and even temperament. Safety-gear is required and sparring may only take place under supervision from Sensei Jordan.

What gear do I need?

All Modern Bushido students will have to wear a white gi (training uniform) during their Kata & Bunkai class.

Students ranked green belt and above will need boxing gloves, hand wraps, a mouthpiece, headgear, and shin guards for their Kumite class. We have a few pairs of shin guards and sets of headgear we can loan out until you get your own.