Our Beginner Student Handout
Welcome to Charles Water Karate & Fitness and our Black Belt Success
System. Kwan Jang Nim Charles C. Water is the creator and founder
of the Black Belt Success System style. Our style is called Moo (martial
or military) Tao (The way) Tseung (Victory). Translated we call it
The Black Belt Success System.
What is The Black Belt Success System?
When students become successful in one area of their lives they are
a personal decision away from this success impacting other areas of
their lives as well. Our Black Belt Success System gives our students
the courage to make that decision.
What are the keys of the Black Belt Success System?
3. On Going Education and Practice
When students are consistent in their training and make up missed
classes; when students give an excellent effort in all classes; when
students practice their curriculum at home they will become successful
at Charles Water Karate & Fitness.
What is the name of the art that we teach?
The name of our art is Tang Soo Do. It has its roots in Chinese, Japanese
as well as Korean systems. Since it was developed in the 1940’s
by Grandmaster Hwang Kee, it is Korean in nature.
What is Karatatot®?
Karatatot® is our Nationally Recognized “Stranger Awareness”
program for four to six year olds. Karatatot® has received national
recognition in Black Belt Magazine and has been recognized for over
23 years throughout Long Island as the premier martial arts learning
environment for this age group. The goal of Karatatot® is to increase
listening skills, stranger awareness, hand -- eye, foot -- eye coordination,
and age appropriate self-defense skills.
What are Practice Schedules?
They are a venue in which students can record their success’
at home. We come to the studio to learn; we practice what we learn
at home. Practice schedules are located at the top of the landing,
can be downloaded at www.charleswaterkarate.com under “download
library.” Just click on pdf. You can also electronically send
practice schedules to the studio. Additionally students in the regular
program must turn in practice schedules on a monthly basis in order
to be eligible for form tips.
How do I fill out practice schedules?
Please only check and practice the material you have been taught.
There are ten boxes for ten practice sessions. Even if a student does
ten forms during one practice session they still check off one box
only. All ten boxes do not have to be filled out to turn your schedule
in. Just check off a box for every day that you practice at home.
Students are encouraged to practice a minimum of twice per week, ten
minutes per day on non-karate days. When students practice by a schedule
they will certainly achieve greater results then practicing when “they
have the time.” There is room on the bottom of the Practice
Schedule to write days and times practiced. There is also room to
fill out your goal kicks for the month and actually number of kicks
attempted at home.
When are Practice Schedules due?
Due dates are the 15th of the month. If you wait until the last day
might not receive it on time for proper credit. Students testing receive
points for turning in practice schedules. If you turn them in every
month you will be eligible for Silver Stars. If you miss a month your
name will still be listed and you will be eligible for form tips but
not Silver Stars. If you fail to turn them in two months in a row
your name will be erased.
What is the Star program?
Silver Stars rewards students for perfect attendance (twice per week
for a month, once per week for Karatatots®) and filling out practice
schedules properly. Each practice box does not have to be filled out
in order to qualify. Each category that has a * next to it must be
filled out. There is a template located above the perspective testing
board at the top of the landing. Yellow Stars are given for effort
beyond a student's comfort zone. Red Stars are given for extraordinary
kicks. Purple Stars are given for members of our 1000 kick club. Student's
that qualify for Silver Stars plus do 1000 or more kicks at home are
awarded this prestigious star. Green Stars are given for Academic
Achievement and Leadership. Black Stars are awarded to students whose
parents follow our Black Belt Parenting system.
What is leadership support or a random act of kindness?
Contribution. This is an art that seems to be getting lost these days.
When we contribute to the betterment of people’s lives we attract
success. Suggestions are: helping a friend, helping a neighbor raking
leaves, doing a chore around the house without being told, volunteering
your time without getting paid, just to name a few. Please feel free
to add to the list.
What is the Black Belt Club?
It is a club within the school. Students in BBClub can train three
times per week, attend a special Black Belt Club class once per week,
wear a black uniform, accelerate testing’s and receive a discount
on test fees and retail items.
What is Leadership Club?
The Leadership Club is a group of volunteer students that are not
teachers. They are the ones wearing the red tops. They are developing
Leadership qualities by contributing their valuable time to assist
classes. There is no age limitation for Leadership. Starting in June
2005 students must be a member of Leadership Club in order to assist
classes. Leadership members have the same benefits of Black Belt Club
and more. Go to the Leadership Club link on this web site for further
Why should I have consistent class attendance?
Do your best to schedule your classes. Our internal body rhythms work
better when we train the same times the same days during the week.
We welcome make-ups. Students do not need to call if they are unable
to attend a class that they are registered for.
What are attendance Cards?
All beginning students will receive a white attendance card with their
name on it. At the beginning of the week all attendance cards are
located on the lower level by the shelves along the painted wall.
If you are coming to a second class your card will be located along
the mirror wall. Please pull your card and hand it to the Leadership
member that collects them before class starts. Please hand in two
cards if you are taking two classes in a row.
How are classes structured?
All classes start on the Lower Level. The Lower Level is un-supervised
between classes. We encourage students to be at least five minutes
early for class. The Discipline that we teach in the classroom becomes
a learned message when all members demonstrate our philosophy in action
by being on time. Students are encouraged to stretch and practice
their curriculum before class starts. Any inappropriate behavior is
not keeping within our philosophy of Respect. Classes are 50 minutes
in length. They are broken up into three 15-minute time frames with
the last 5 minutes a cool down. The first 15 minutes occurs on the
Lower Level. This is the warm up session. The remainder of the class
will take place upstairs and involve the material in whatever week
we are in our Lesson Plan Cycle.
Why do we emphasize non-contact?
I have been involved with full contact karate studios. This is not
one of them. We emphasize non-contact. Even in full contact schools
students are fighting their buddy’s. They will never strike
their buddy as hard as what would result in a real situation. As a
result the student in a contact school develops a false sense of security
that they can “take a punch.” Then when confronted with
a real situation outside the studio they might allow themselves to
be hit, get hurt and wonder with all that they learned they were not
able to protect themselves. Plus full contact is sloppy.
The above is not the result we are looking for here. What I love about
non-contact is that students are challenged to demonstrate discipline,
focus, timing, distance control, power as well as respect for their
partner. The proper distance is approximately six inches from their
partners target areas. When our students are demonstrating proper
distance and power in our karate classroom then all they need to do
in a real situation is adjust the six inches to zero inches.
While there are no guarantees in life, confident students are less
likely to find themselves in that real fighting situation.
What is our lesson plan cycle?
Our lesson plan is broken up into a four week cycle. Each week, along
with all our regular work outs, has a specific focus.
Week #1 starts the week following all monthly scheduled
gup tests. During Week #1 we cover new combos and self-defense. The
kick of the week is side snap.
Week #2 is new form week. The kick of Week #2 is Round house.
When students are first learning a form we rarely teach it one on
one. We adopted the “cooperative” learning approach years
ago when we started living in the 21st century. We needed to develop
teaching methodologies that connect more with the learning curve for
children as well as adults. Since we adopted the Leadership and Student
Excellence Roles, the retention for new forms has skyrocketed!
Week #3 is Decision Based One Step.
Additionally week #3 is “Tip Week” and Pre – Test
week in all the belted classes. (Pre – Test is explained further
when you click on “testing” on this web site.) Students
have an opportunity to receive a Black Tip on the end of their belts
if they do their form correctly. Form tip days are announced in advance.
Students must turn in their practice schedules in order to qualify
for form tips. The kick of Week #3 is Front Snap.
Week #4 is line kick/partner kick and free motion week. Additionally
we will practice point sparring. Line kicking allows the student to
always move forward. Many times students will free spar in the same
position. This exercise breaks them out of their comfort zone.
Free motion is designed to get our student to “drive”
an imaginary opponent from one cone to the next. This exercise asks
that the louder students are (breath and yelling) the more power they
have. This is a great exercise to develop power and take reticent
students and break them out of their personal comfort zone.
Point Sparring is a great way to let student know if the techniques
they are throwing would be strong enough to work in a real situation.
Students receive points from a judge if their technique is strong
and in the correct target area. The target area of an opponent is
from the belt to the high area (north and south) and from the side
stitching of their uniforms to their mid line. (Imaginary line that
runs from the nose to the knot of the belt.) Kick of week #4 is Back
What is Decision Based Sparring?
There are four points of DBS:
1. Feet are always moving.
2. Never look for the opening.
3. Either in an offensive or a defensive mode at all times.
4. Move faster than your partner.
We want to replicate in the studio what a real fighting situation
will be all about. Without the broken bones and bruises though. No
matter how we teach fighting skills though, real fighting is frightening!
In the past, when many individuals were confronted, they ended up
“freezing” much like a deer does at night when looking
into the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. Now, when confronted,
even if the “freeze” factor kicks in our students are
so used to moving their feet that while they are making up their minds
as to their response they are still moving. A moving target is less
likely to get hit. Furthermore, DBS gets students to think less and
“trust their experience” more. Lastly, confident students
are normally left alone by the aggressive individuals in life. Aggressive
individuals want to pick on people that are weak. The word “weak”
does not apply to students at our studio.
What is our policy concerning equipment & sparring?
All students must wear sanctioned Charles Water Karate & Fitness
sparring gear. This gear is called safety equipment, which includes
headgear, hand gear, and footgear. Equipment can be purchased from
the front desk by appointment only. Boxing hand gear or hard plastic
headgear is not allowed. Students take personal responsibility for
their equipment. Please write your name or identification marks on
all gear. Further points to be noted are:
1) Mouthpieces for all and groin cups for males are recommended as
2) We emphasis non-contact. Please honor this philosophy.
3) Avoid kicking or punching higher than shoulder height at all times.
4) Focus your techniques 6 inches away from your partner.
5) Remember that your partner wants to achieve as well as you do.
Respect is vitally important.
How many form tips do I need to get my eagle patch?
10th gup to 2nd Gup
2 Black tips = 1 yellow
5 Yellow tips = 1 chevron
1st gup and all Black Belts
6 Black tips = 1 yellow
5 Yellow tips = 1 chevron
Ten chevrons = one eagle patch
What should I do if I come late to class?
When a student arrives late and enters the studio after the class
has begun, the student follows this protocol: Quietly get your attendance
card and stand at the end of the floor. First, bow in the direction
of the flags. Then remain at an attention position by the floor until
a Leadership Member takes your card and escorts you to your proper
spot in the class. Students are not allowed to enter while the class
is exercising for safety reasons. Remember it is better to be 10 minutes
early than one minute late.
What is our philosophy with regards to teaching children?
We encourage the beginning student to make as many mistakes as possible;
as long as they are learning from their mistakes. Remember a beginning
student is not as good as a Black Belt. They will be. We want beginning
students to be the best beginning students they can. The more mistakes
beginner students make in the classroom the less prone they are to
making those mistakes in a real fighting situation. We have also realized
that when students learn confidence through mental and physical strength
the bullies in life tend to leave them alone. We never correct children
more than three times in a class period. If this happens the child
begins to doubt themselves and their abilities. Mistakes are corrected
over a period of time; many times by the student themselves. Our goal
is to have all children thinking like a Black Belt whether they have
trained for one week or ten years.
What is our philosophy with regards to teaching teens?
Teenagers are no longer children yet they are not yet adults. Our
approach with them is to work them hard yet continue to remind them
of the positive benefits they are learning through our Black Belt
Success System. They realize that with the increased Awareness, Confidence,
Respect, and Discipline & Focus they are gaining here that school
challenges or personal challenges become less formidable then they
thought previously. Teenagers have the opportunity to become the person
their parents envision them to be.
What is our philosophy with regards to teaching adults?
Adults want results yesterday. They have less free time to do things
for themselves and less free time to practice. Through the easily
learned structure of our Black Belt Success System they find that
each class taken at Charles Water Karate & Fitness becomes a mini
vacation. After all, adults with children are always doing for their
children. How about doing something positive and fun for themselves?
What should I do if I need to be excused from class?
(To go to the rest room or due to illness) the student will raise
his hand to gain recognition from the instructor. After getting permission
from the instructor, the student will bow and act accordingly. When
he is able to rejoin the class, the student must stand at attention
on the outskirts of the room until recognized by the instructor. Once
recognized by the instructor, the student will bow and rejoin the
class. This promotes discipline as well as safety.
What are forms?
Forms are a pattern of movements that traditionally were the way an
art was passed down from generation to generation. While the movements
traditionally were supposed to be a student doing battle against an
imaginary enemy, in today’s world the movements teach students,
hand eye / foot eye coordination, discipline of mind / body, concentration
and muscle memory. It further teaches students how to become comfortable
using both sides of their bodies. Students of all ages are either
right handed or left handed. Form challenges students to break out
of this comfort zone. Students always will favor their strong side.
Form teaches students to be competent with both. Master Water has
created a new series of basic forms called "Moo Tao Tseung”
for all gup members. He has also introduced The Bridge for Kodanja
(senior Black Belts). Additionally there are three straight line Moo
Tao Tseung forms. These are called The Magician, The Wizard and The
Sorcerer. The multiple line forms are called the Warrior, The Falcon,
The Dragon and The Master (Pilgrim).
Where is the Lost & Found located?
This is located in the student Library on the Lower Level. We empty
the Lost & Found once per month and donate clothing to local charities.
We are not responsible for valuables left in the men’s or women’s
What is The Library?
This space is a quiet area located on the Lower Level. While there
is a TV we encourage students or family members watching TV to respect
the students using the Library for studying. Children and families
are encouraged to take personal responsibility by cleaning up after
What is The Drop Box?
This is located on the front desk. You can use the drop box for testing
papers, Practice Schedules, or any notes you wish to leave for staff
members. Envelopes are available for your convenience.
We encourage family members or the public to watch classes. All individuals
coming into our facility are expected to demonstrate proper forms
of behavior. Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children
that are not training. This facility reserves the right to ask anyone
to leave our premises that are not demonstrating proper forms of behavior.
We ask that all people watching classes to stop talking when the instructor
is lecturing the class. Cell phones are not permitted unless an emergency
develops. When family members watch class they get an opportunity
to see how their child, parent or spouse is growing through their
martial art education at Charles Water Karate & Fitness. Often
a child will go home with a parent and that parent will ask the child,
“how was karate today?” The child might answer, “OK.”
This general answer is certainly not specific. When a parent watches
a class they become familiar with the terminology that instructors
use. Another scenario concerning a ride home might go like this, “How
was your round house kick today?” This does not allow room for
the child to give anything but a specific answer to the question.
When the studio is closed for vacation, members will be informed many
weeks ahead of time. Make ups are always welcomed. If we are closing
due to inclement weather we will note that on our telephone answering