A Letter from Sensei Jordan A New Era Begins this June

Hello Team,

Like its students, Fighting Chance Seattle continues to grow into its true nature and better realize its potential. After January’s expansion of our physical space, we’re positioned to refocus our programs to reflect the evolution of our curriculum. The calendar and notes below this letter will fill you in on the details. Please email me with any with questions.

Exploring the relationships between karate (self-cultivation), kickboxing (sport), and self-defense (security) has always been a focus of my approach; effective June 4, 2016 that intersectionality will be fully-realized in the weekly schedule. Each class will have a primary focus, but the format will be free enough to play and explore the connections within the material. Each student will be free to choose the classes they need to realize their goals. This paradigm shift in how we approach our training is the first step to aligning ourselves to our bigger mission: using martial arts as a method for personal and community empowerment, transformation, and connection.

We’re launching with a beta test of three months of prepared lesson plans. I’m crafting this material from new research, lessons learned from fighting, feedback from the last four years of classes, and from elements of my own journey as a karateka, kickboxer, punk, artist, writer, and well-meaning human. Each week will have a theme, grounding every class in context. Storytelling and mythology have infused our programs from the beginning, and now these elements will be fully-explored in our physical practice. Whether your focus is getting strong, having fun, or feeling safe there is an arrangement of classes that will meet your needs.

Apart from the format, we tried to change the schedule itself as little as possible. We were able to keep the class times consistent for all students in Foundation and Integration. I’ll teach Monday through Wednesday and Tayler will still teach both Thursday classes.

By 2017 we look forward to implementing a custom-designed skills-tracking website, rebranding the dojo in a fantasy/mythology motif, growing and supporting our community with valuable life skills, and more or less becoming Hogwarts for warriors.

I love this dojo. I love being your teacher. I’m so filled with excitement for this next stage of our journey together that I can barely focus on my vacation.

Thank you,
Sensei Jordan

PS This radical realignment would not be possible without the guidance, support, and feedback of the wonderful people in our community. I appreciate how engaged you all are with this dojo and we will gradually create more opportunities for you to participate. This project also benefited enormously from Jason’s hard work and behind-the-scenes guidance, he hasn’t been in the dojo, but I could not have envisioned or executed this project without him.

PPS I know it’s long, but please read-through the calendar and the notes below before sending in your questions. There is a massive amount of information covered below.

December 2017

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  • Teacher Training
  • Kickboxing (All Levels)
  • Kickboxing (Intermediate)
  • Kickboxing (Beginner)
  • Kickboxing (Intermediate)
  • Kickboxing (Beginner)
  • Teacher Training
  • Kickboxing (All Levels)
  • Kickboxing (Intermediate)
  • Kickboxing (Beginner)
  • Kickboxing (Intermediate)
  • Kickboxing (Beginner)
  • Teacher Training
  • Kickboxing (All Levels)
  • Kickboxing (Intermediate)
  • Kickboxing (Beginner)
  • Kickboxing (Intermediate)
  • Kickboxing (Beginner)
  • Holiday Closure - Christmas - No Classes
  • Teacher Training
  • Kickboxing (All Levels)
  • Holiday Closure - Christmas - No Classes
  • Kickboxing (Beginner)
  • Kickboxing (Intermediate)
  • Kickboxing (Beginner)
Student Benefits
  • More flexibility! All students can now attend classes Monday thru Thursday in both time slots!

  • Choose the classes that help you to reach your goals! Focus on kickboxing, karate, or self-defense.

  • Students at different levels will have more opportunities to interact with one another.

  • Focused, goal-oriented training for all programs.

  • Systematic framework for all students to advance into different levels of training.

  • More all-levels classes taught by Sensei Jordan.

  • More focus and direction for higher level students.

  • Deeper focus on connecting our training to our daily lives.

Components of the New Schedule
  • All students are assigned to Levels 1 – 5 based on their accrued skills, ability to meet the requirements of the class, and commitment to training safely. Each level will carry a specific set of documented training programs. Each student will receive the material they need to get to the next level.

  • To advance to a new level students need to attend the appropriate training seminars to ensure they can participate safely and effectively at the new level. For instance, to go from Level 1 to Level 2, a student would need to complete the Pad Holder certificate seminar and the Uke (self-defense training partner) seminar.

  • All classes will be taught within three distinct class formats. We hope this streamlining of class time will help to cut down on confusion and wasted time.

  • Each class will focus on material for two levels of student. You may attend any class up to your level number, but you will work to the level of your training partners (for example: A Level 2 paired with a Level 1 will work on Level 1 material, a Level 4 attending a Level 1-2 class will practice their basics by working on Level 2 material).

  • Strength-training will be integrated appropriately into all classes, but our primary focus will always be learning martial arts. The formats may need some adjustment, but plan on getting your sweat on in every class.

  • New students can start any day of the week, at any time of the month. Soon a two-week trial will be available for purchase on the website and we’ll move from a 6 month to a 3 month initial contract that rolls over to a monthly renewal with a 30 day notice to cancel without penalty.

  • Level certification seminars will be free during the beta testing period.

Changes Affecting Everyone
  • Saturday’s all-levels Ryoku class will end May 28. In it’s place will be a rotating schedule of seminars (including level certifications, one-off workshops, and classes by outside instructors).

Changes Affecting Foundation
  • All current Foundation students are Level 1 (some of you are very close to Level 2; if you’ve been enrolled for at least four months please plan on attending the Pad Holder Certification 1 seminar on June 4).

  • Your Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 pm Kickboxing: Foundation class stays the same, but now you can attend two extra classes: Okinawan Karate at 6:15 pm on Monday and Principles of Self-Defense: Striking + Escape at 6:15 pm on Wednesday.

Changes Affecting Integration
  • All Integration students are Level 2. We recommend that everyone who is able to should attend the Pad Holder Certification 1 seminar on June 4 to bolster their pad holding skills in preparation for the intermediate certification that follows in July. Even if you’ve done the seminar before we recommend this refresher as it will feature all-new material.

  • The Tuesday and Thursday Kickboxing: Integration classes at 6:15 pm will stay the same, however you’ll now have students from the former Application level to train alongside.

Changes Affecting Application
  • All but three current Application students are Level 3 (Rachal Beckham is Level 4, Tayler and Jason are Level 5).

  • This group will change the most. The Monday and Wednesday Application classes end on June 1. Level 3 and 4 students will learn to apply their training via drills in the Monday and Wednesday sparring classes and the 1st Saturday of the month sparring class.

  • Monday’s Japanese Karate and Wednesday’s Principles of Self-Defense + Grappling classes at 7:30 will focus on intermediate-to-advanced material. Attend the Level 1, 2 and 3 kickboxing classes to continue learning the physical skills and muscle-memory to execute tactics smoothly.

  • The nature of serious martial arts training is that fewer students will reach Levels 4 and 5. At these advanced stages students need to take responsibility for their own improvement. Level 4 and 5 students will receive direct guidance from Sensei as well as be eligible for small-group lessons to continue to improve. It will be up to each student to use Sensei’s advice to guide them when training in Level 1 – 3 classes.

Changes Affecting Modern Bushido
  • The “Budo Punk Karate Club” is taking the place of the program we’ve called Modern Bushido. BPKC membership is required to attend Level 3+ karate and self-defense classes, to test for a belt, to enroll in teacher training, and to spar.

  • BPKC members will not pay an additional fee, instead they are expected to contribute time and effort into the dojo community. Members still need to request permission to join, must be in good standing and show dedication to training and a commitment to realizing our values.

  • All students are eligible for the next test if they train consistently. Saturday, August 13 is the proposed date for the next test.

  • BPKC material is now taught throughout the week. We recognize that most students will not attend four nights per week. We expect that students will choose classes based on their availability and training needs. The weekly lesson plans will be posted monthly so students get an idea of what classes may benefit them.

  • We’re still a little ways out from producing a BPKC handbook, but we will have some outlines and charts explaining the system and requirements by June.

Next Steps

We need your help to get the dojo ready for this format change, if you have the availability, please volunteer to help us on May 28 and 29 to reorganize and clean up the space.

By Jordan