top of page

Frequently asked questions

This page is for you, the student and the parents, the families and the friends.  These are questions that have been asked in the past and you are probably thinking about them too. As always we are here to answer questions, feel free to contact us via Facebook, email, or text and phone:

Sensei Blue 920-327-0063

Sensei Betsy 920-737-5417

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

We are a school with a growth mindset

  • Learning is more important that winning

  • Success comes from building each other up

  • community and a good social support is necessary for accelerated growth

Question: What is Wu Ying Tao?

Answer: It's a blended style giving the martial arts student a sample of over 10 different styles providing a basic understanding of what you can expect. Anyone that has achieved a black belt will not be surprised - they have seen it all. The foundation is karate and the fluidity and adaptation comes from kung-fu, this gives the student options of both power and speed of adaptability depending on how they choose to act.


Question: What does our bow into/out of class mean?

Answer: The bow consists of 2 physical parts: the judo chop which represents part of a book or the scholar and the fist which represents power or strength. Bringing them together to harness the spirit to begin your study or training.


Question: Why don’t we bow to go on/off the mat?

Answer: Some schools spend a lot of time bowing and at ours we want to focus on the training.


Question: Why don’t we wear shoes on the mat?

Answer: Respect Cleanliness - faces go on the mat too!


Question: Why do we kia?

Answer: The exhalation of air helps tighten the abdominal muscles to reduce the chance of getting the wind knocked out of you For intimidation purposes Most importantly to learn to use your voice in conjunction with your mind and body. At first we just want you to say kia, eventually you can use your voice. 

Question:Do the ghia (uniform) colors matter? Is it a school choice or dependent on the style or rank?

Answer: Most schools have a student uniform (their choice of color) ours is blue. Sensei Cort in California has his school colors as red and black (his mats are colored this way too, just like ours are blue). Some schools allow different uniforms as your progress or perform on teams or in demos. Our ghias change color for our LIT (leaders in training) members to show who is almost an assistant instructor (black pants) or assistants (black pants with blue stripe) or instructors (black ghia with blue stripe on sleeve and pants). Tae Kwon Do is usually a white uniform until a higher rank, or an assistant. It usually depends on the school and the style

Question: Can anyone train in Martial arts??

Answer: Yes.  We recommend you consult your doctor before starting any new exercise activity.  Some styles are better suited for different bodies, strength and conditioning goals.

Question: Do I need to be in great shape?

Answer: No.  Everybody starts somewhere, and this not only helps you become more physically fit, you’ll also see the added benefits of stimulating your brain while you train.  Modification is key until you achieve a fitness level you are comfortable with.   Along with the self-defense aspects: Stamina, flexibility, and critical thinking during chaos.

Question: Will martial arts help me lose weight?

Answer: Exercising a minimum 3 days a week is a great regimen to add to a healthy lifestyle of eating well and getting enough sleep.  Even if you do not lose weight you will be in better shape, physically and mentally.



Question: How long does it take?

Answer: Short term goals give short term answers while long term goals change your life. It takes typically 4 years minimum to achieve a Black Belt at Total Self Defense


Question: What will I learn?

Answer: Depending on the style, balance, coordination, setting and achieving goals, sense of self confidence, heightened awareness, social contact, positive attitude, great sense of achievement, discipline, respect, integrity.  You will also learn so much more about yourself than you could ever imagine.


Question: What do the belts and stripes mean?

Answer: Belts represent advancement in your particular art, each style will have a different path and involve testing, passing the test is rewarded with a belt or a stripe depending on the age level.


Question: How do I advance?

Answer: Advance by promoting. Come to class and learn and give 100%.  You may not be physically able to do each and every skill, but you will be required to learn them so you can at the very least teach them.  Sharing and the desire to be better are very important aspects of training.  


Question: What happens at Black Belt?

Answer: Each belt is different.  Most have found self-discovery through challenging and dedicating themselves.  This is a generic answer; but as you train your goal of black belt will mean different things to you.  How you act will be different.  How you see the world will be different.


Question: What does a Black belt mean?

Answer: You are ready to learn.  You have achieved a status level that very few have acquired, you are more powerful on the inside and more powerful on the outside.  You never give up.  You are a self motivator.


Question: Which style is best

Answer: The reason TSD has 3 systems is I know what is best for me, that doesn’t mean I know what is best for you, just like college you may or may not know what career you want, you get to choose at Total Self Defense.


Question: How do I know what style is right for me?

Answer: Just like shoes, try them.  Total Self Defense has three styles to choose from.  You may like one, you may like all three.  It’s up to you.  The membership at Total Self Defense allows you to train an unlimited amount (within your age group).  


Question: Can I become more flexible? Have more stamina by training in martial arts?

Answer: You can do anything you set your mind to.


Question: Are there differences between men and women training in martial arts?

Answer: Physically - yes, emotionally - yes, spiritually - who knows, women and men have different bodies but we are all warriors, which means we ask the most of ourselves.


Question: Will weight training help my martial arts?

Answer: Yes, additional training will help you.  Nutritional, Yoga, Cardio, and weight training can improve different aspects of your life.  Cross training with all sports can be beneficial


Question: How much time do I need to devote to training martial arts per day, per week?

Answer: For a beginner we recommend 2 to 3 days a week 1 hour class, as an intermediate and advance a minimum 3 days a week, as a black belt forever.


Question: What can I practice on my own?

Answer: You can practice in front of a mirror.  Some styles you will need a partner to train.  In a weapon style you will want to be safe when you practice, a striking style you can practice skills, but the biggest benefit is training with a partner to improve.


Question: What is all that yelling? What are you saying? Why?

Answer: To be breathing out, when we breathe out we talk, when we hear ourselves we gain confidence,  in the dojo we KIA as a sign of  respect (showing we are giving 100%), on the street you would be saying what is appropriate for that environment, in the dojo KIA is appropriate for everyone.   


Question: Isn’t martial Arts dangerous?

Answer: Every activity has its dangers.  Martial arts can be safer when self-control is utilized. You are learning to protect your life and your family.


Question: What is sparring?

Answer: Scoring to a vital target head, body, groin, knee or foot with control, using punches, kicks, knees or elbows against an adversary who is trying to accomplish the same goal in a chaotic environment.

Sparring is using your weapons, punches kicks sometimes knees and elbows, blocks against an opponent doing the same while trying to capitalize on their weaknesses while at the same time utilizing our strengths


Question: What happens at a tournament?

A tournament is a way to see where you fit competitively.  Tournaments are hosted by all styles of martial arts and depending on the style there are different rules and expectations.  Be sure to read the rules of any tournament before signing up.


Question: When can I go to a tournament?

  1. Any student can go to a tournament.
    1. You are encouraged to go to a tournament after White Belt as this gives you the basis for Wu Ying Tao.

    2. Contact your Instructor/Sensei before registering for a tournament, your safety is our goal.  This isn’t to ask for permissions, this is to review the rules of that specific tournament to make sure you can stay safe.

bottom of page