Who teaches classes?
All classes are taught by qualified and certified instructors. Most of the classes will be taught by Advanced Instructor Lakan Aaron. Guro Dave primarily teaches the advanced course, handles testing and student assessments and fills in for Aaron when he is unavailable to teach the regularly scheduled classes. There are several more advanced students who are certified to teach classes, and they will do so on rare occasions when a Black Belt instructor cannot make it to class. Periodically, guest instructors will pitch in to help students along.
What does Lakan mean? What does Guro mean?
These are used as terms of respect, equivalent of calling someone 'Sir' or 'Mr'. They are Tagalog words, Lakan translates 'man' but is typically used in the Filipino Martial Arts to designate someone who has earned a Black Belt. The word Guro translates 'teacher', but is typically a title awarded to someone that has been teaching the Filipino Martial Arts for a long period of time.
What if I forget to use the titles?
It's not the end of the world. We won't assume that you don't respect us if you forget to use the titles. I don't call everyone Sir, nor do I refer to everyone as 'Mr. xxx or Mrs. xxx". We run an organized, respectful class but it is not extremely formal. Just relax and have a good time. If you call us Aaron or Dave, we'll respond like normal people because that's the names we were given! Treat everyone with respect, both instructors and fellow students, and you'll be fine.
What should I wear to class?
Comfortable loose fitting clothes, including sportswear, sweat clothes, shorts, t-shirts, sneakers, tennis shoes. The facility prefers you bring "inside only" footwear or take class barefoot or in socks. Please avoid wearing any clothing that may be deemed "inappropriate", such as too revealing or containing inappropriate language. We expect you to use good judgement. This is a time set aside to focus on training and preparing in self-defense with like-minded individuals.
Do I need to buy equipment?
Yes. A pair of rattan sticks is the only required gear you will need to purchase and they can range in price from $15 to $25 per pair. You will want your own pair of sticks that you can bring home for your personal practice sessions. We will assist you in purchasing them, or you can order them from the internet on your own. We highly recommend you consult us before doing so, as there are some differences in size and type that may affect your training experience and the longevity of your equipment. We can supply a pair of sticks for your first class or two, but sticks are considered a consumable and as they are used they gradually break down over time until you need to purchase another pair. The longer you continue attending classes the more you will realize that you want your own equipment such as training knives, carrying bags, school t-shirts, uniforms, gloves, pads and any other training gear that you will want to have for practice outside of class.
What is an Arnisador?
Any student who successfully passes examination of any level in Arnis De Malaya earns the title of 'Arnisador', which simply means one who practices Arnis. Theoretically, anyone who steps into a school to train is considered an arnisador, but in Arnis De Malaya we recognize the commitment by the student who decides to submit to an examination and we award 'Arnisador' as a formal title when they pass.
When can I test?
Students who attend with consistency are usually ready for Yellow belt examination within 2 to 3 months. There are too many variables to exactly determine when an individual will be ready. It takes approximately 6 months for Orange belt. It takes about 1 year to reach Red belt and graduate from Foundation. More information on Testing and Ranks can be found on the 'Curriculum' page.
Am I required to test?
Nope. Completely optional. However, there are benefits of examination to both the student and the instructor. Testing adds an element of stress and a student gets to see how much material they can execute under pressure. Instructors get a good idea of what a student needs to work on to improve long term skills.
How much does a test cost?
Tests are a flat $25 each, due on the day of testing. It covers the belt, arm band, certificate and the labor an instructor puts into preparing and executing the examination. Black belt has more stringent requirements and much more preparation by the instructor including a written examination. Black Belt test fees will be discussed with candidates in advance but typically cost around $200 and include the time for prep work, certificates, belts, and organizational membership registration.