Our mission at Edge Martial Arts is to create a positive environment for our students to become the best versions of themselves through the study of traditional karate-dō. We believe in the value of martial arts training — not just as a method of self-defense or as a sport, but as a way of life. We look forward to training and growing alongside you or your child.

Below, you’ll find some helpful hints and best practices when it comes to karate training. We hope you find this resource helpful, and please don’t hesitate to ask your instructor any questions you might have!

Your uniform (called a gi in Japanese), your belt, and a bottle of water. Students are also allowed to wear our black Edge Martial Arts training shirt under their gi jacket. On particularly hot days, instructors may allow students to train in just the EMA t-shirt (but students should always bring their full gi to every class).

Green belt students (and above) must also bring their sparring gear to every rank-specific and sparring-specific classes, and purple belt students (and above) must bring their required weapons to rank-specific and weapons-specific classes.

This might be the hardest part of being a new karate student, and everyone struggles with this at first. You can check out the diagram below, the “How To Tie A Karate Belt” video tutorial on the videos page, or ask your instructor. We expect all students to learn how to tie their own belts, and ask that parents and caregivers help encourage young children to learn!

The karate gi can get pretty sweaty, and should be washed regularly! We encourage washing in coldwater, and air drying. Hot water and drying machines will shrink the gi, fade the color, and damage the EMA logo on the back of the gi jacket. Parents and caregivers, please make sure young students are coming to class in a clean and unwrinkled gi.

So that classes run smoothly, and so that the karate dojo can remain a place of serious (and not-so-serious) training, we do have some etiquette that we expect all students and visitors to follow. We thank you for helping make the dojo a cleaner, safer, and kinder place for everyone!

We also ask that all parents and caregivers supervise their children when in the reception area, and suggest that loud conversations, phone calls, and noisy toys are best left outside.

All students begin at white belt (or 7th kyu). A white belt is a beginner in karate, and the color white represents the blank canvas that every student enters the dojo as. Kyu is a term for the number of steps (belt ranks) away from black belt: over years of training, students progress through several colored belts, before arriving at the rank of black belt, which is known in Japanese as a dan rank.

White Belt 7th Kyu
Blue Belt 6th Kyu
Yellow Belt 5th Kyu
Green Belt 4th Kyu
Purple Belt 3rd Kyu
Brown Belt 2nd Kyu
Advanced Brown Belt 1st Kyu
Black Belt Shodan-ho
1st Degree Black Belt Shodan
2nd Degree Black Belt Nidan
3rd Degree Black Belt Sandan
4th Degree Black Belt Yondan
5th Degree Black Belt Godan

Black belt ranks continue all the way up to 10th Degree Black Belt (Judan), but it’s incredibly rare to find masters of that skill level outside Okinawa or Japan.

At each color belt level, students will receive colored stripes on their belts indicating their progress and knowledge of the required curriculum. White belt students in our kids’ program (as well as students in our Tiny Tigers pre-school program) will also receive Personal Development stripes for foundational skills such as Focus, Control, and Teamwork!

As much as you want! We strongly encourage all our students to train in at least two classes per week — even our white belts! For our kids and pre-schoolers, we offer three age-appropriate white belt classes per week (on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday). For teen students, we offer our teen class on Tuesday afternoons, and for adult students (ages 16+), there is an adult class on Wednesday nights. We encourage all our teen and adult students to supplement those classes with one of our all-ages belt classes — there’s always something to learn from our youngest students, and their energy and enthusiasm is contagious!

And remember, at home practice and study is a crucial part of growth in the martial arts. We strongly encourage parents and caregivers to help younger students set a routine for daily practice (even five minutes each day!) and encourage adult students to seize those precious opportunities to practice as they arise around commitments to work, family, and friends.

Fantastic! You can always email us at info@edge-ma.com, call us at (914) 488-4003, direct message us on Facebook or Instagram, or ask any of the Edge Martial Arts staff in person. We’re always here to help, and we look forward to seeing you in the dojo!