I am providing this review not only as an experienced and long-time practitioner of martial arts, but as a parent as well…
My wife and I enrolled our pre-Kindergarten son in this academy-like setting in part because a close family member was attending, and in part because we were immediately struck by the professionalism and family-like atmosphere which Fariborz and the staff cultivate.
The staff was extremely attentive and welcoming during my son’s trial class, even assigning a black belt student to work with him even though he already had a years worth of martial arts training under his belt. This apparently is standard practice, at least for the children classes, with a highly experienced lead instructor always assisted by several more junior instructors, ensuring a very good teacher-to-student ratio. While the school is demanding in terms of its expectations for students, it is not abusive or irresponsible, unlike some other programs that my wife and/or I have witnessed.
The teachers especially stress the character-building aspects of the martial arts and the self-confidence, poise, discipline, focus, knowledge, humility and other important traits which a martial artist should take “off the training mat.”
The children’s classes are organized by age and rank, which helps prevent wildly divergent skills and ages being thrown together, which can be frustrating and even dangerous for all involved. Furthermore, students are encouraged to achieve their personal best, and at least at the younger ages, are not competing directly with each other. The facilities are clean and modern, and the venue is quite spacious. The training itself is largely Hapkido based, although it is blended with aspects of several other styles in fairly progressive and from what I have seen, non-dogmatic style.
While I cannot as of yet speak directly to the quality of the adult programs (my current training regimen is Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu and Krav Maga), I would expect based on what I have seen that they are rigorous and well-run. The economics of running a successful martial arts business can be challenging and many instructors are either tempted or forced to take shortcuts, but none of that is in evidence at Team Karate Center.
While the name to some might seem a bit generic, do not be fooled by this, for the leadership and students are passionate and committed, and I would not hesitate to recommend those interested in beginning, augmenting or continuing their training to take a trial class and see for themselves.