Conveniently located inside the River Bend Baptist Church building at 27600 FM 1093 (just west of FM 1463), the instructors and students at Fulshear Family Karate work together to make the journey of learning martial arts challenging, fun, and rewarding. Led by Master Wade Kirkpatrick, sixth degree Black Belt, FFK offers a fast-paced and fun training regimen which focuses on developing power, speed, technical skill, and endurance for the body while training the mind to focus one’s energy on Karate training (See us on YouTube here).
Fulshear Family Karate is a member of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). We practice a system based upon Shotokan Karate, a Japanese style of martial arts founded by Gichin Funakoshi. All areas of the martial arts are stressed: basics, sparring, kata, traditional Okinawan weapons, and self-defense. The heart of our system is our hand to hand combat training and our diligence in constantly making it the best available. Students must be able to defend themselves in dangerous situations, a fact that is stressed in every class. We emphasize unarmed strikes and kicking against single and multiple attackers, but we also have a class devoted to weapons. Many of our students also train for competition in local and state karate tournaments.
Although the curriculum is based upon Shotokan Karate, the system incorporates aspects of many different styles of martial arts, especially in self-defense. The system is not a strict traditional Japanese system. It continuously evolves to become more varied, diverse, and effective. The course of instruction is focused on the goal of developing the COMPLETE martial artist who is skilled in all aspects of Karate.
The Major areas of instruction are:
Basics – To learn the proper hand and foot techniques, proper positions, correct stances, and the application of breathing principles. This area also includes instruction in the proper etiquette of a martial arts class. This will allow you to visit and feel comfortable at any martial arts school. Increasing your range of motion is emphasized, especially with kicking techniques.
Self Defense – Beginning with nuisance and avoidance self-defense, then to defenses against various hand and foot attacks, various types of takedowns, sweeps and throws, soft and hard retaliations, control techniques, multiple attack defenses and finally defense against weapons. At each level the intensity of the attacks are increased so that the attacks would represent a real-life situation. A complete study of break falls and their application is taught prior to any takedown defense.
Katas/Forms – The application of basic techniques in a series of steps that imitate an actual fight. This is where the students perfect the techniques and the application of the techniques as well as condition the mind and body to focus their energy. The student will learn how to perform these moves not only in class, but will also be shown the proper way to perform them in a tournament environment. Participation in tournaments is not required in this system, but the student will be instructed in the correct etiquette for a tournament, and how to present a kata to judges.
Traditional Weapons – Learning the correct techniques in utilizing the following weapons for defense:
“Bo” – Six foot staff.
“Sai”- Short three-pronged sword.
“bokken” – Practice sword similar in weight and feel to a steel blade.
Basic techniques will be taught and then applied to a form or kata.
Sparring – Learning the skills to be able to execute techniques in a controlled sparring environment that simulates real life conflict as much as possible while keeping students reasonably safe through the use of equipment. Instruction is given in sparring that will allow the student to be successful in real situations where the student’s safety or life is at risk. Sparring has proven to be a safe way to allow martial artists to challenge each other with their skills while greatly reducing the risk of injury. Sparring gear and safety equipment are required for gold belts and above. Full-contact sparring is not allowed.
All of these areas are tested on all the belt/rank tests, except for sparring. Sparring applies to green belt tests and higher.
Each class begins with a warm-up period that includes stretching all the major muscle groups and limbering up all the major joints. Increasing flexibility and overall body strength are major points of focus. The warm-up usually takes 10-15 minutes, followed by the main instruction for the day, this usually takes approximately 50 minutes.
There are 10 belt/ranks to obtain before testing for the Black Belt in the Adult Course.
Gold – 1 to 2 months after joining the class
Orange – 2 months after Gold belt test
Green – 3 months after Orange belt test
Blue – 3 months after Green belt test
Purple – 3 months after Blue belt test
Red – 3 months after Purple belt test
Brown 1st – 3 months after Red belt test
Brown 2nd – 6 months after Brown 1st belt test
Brown 3rd – 6 months after Brown 2nd belt test
Black – 6 months after Brown 3rd belt test, usually achieved in 4 years of continuous study.
The Children’s classes have a striped belt test between each solid color belt test to better prepare them for the next rank.