Welcome to Sung Ming Shu! The most important thing to remember when you first start training at the dojo is that we were all new beginners once! Don’t worry if you aren’t sure where to stand, or what to say, or how to bow – no one else knew that stuff the first time they came through the door, and no one expects you to either. Your instructors will show you everything you need to know, and you shouldn’t hesitate to ask them or any higher rank student a question. We are excited that you’re here. The dojo couldn’t survive without new students, so you may not realize it, but you’re the most important person in the place!
You will get a uniform the first time you come to class, and one of the teachers will show you the proper way to put it on. You’ll start with a white belt, and from day one, you’ll be learning the techniques required to achieve your first green stripe which is the first step on the way to earning a green belt.
The dojo is a relatively formal place. We like it that way, because it sets this place apart from the other places where we spend our days, and it makes it feel special. Black belts are referred to as “Sensei” which is Japanese for “teacher”. Brown belts are referred to as “Sempai” which means “senior student” or “one who has gone before”. We do a lot of bowing during class. We bow in at the start of class. We bow out at the end of class, and we bow to each other whenever we work with a partner. All this bowing is just a sign of the respect we have for each other, the school, and the style. You’ll get used to it quickly.
We always strive to work out hard, learn something new every day, make new friends, and have fun!
On the right is an illustration of the proper placement of the patches on the uniform.
When you are placing the patches before sewing or preparing to write or illustrate the name, be sure to wear the uniform so that the name or patch won't end up in your underarm.
It's also a good idea to have your initials on your pants (by the tag) in case they get left in the dojo.
Click here for the Uniform Handout >>
Kids Rank - Animal Patches
Animal patches are arranged like the photo seen here. Each animal should be facing "up," and positioned on the students left shoulder.