Here are the honest non-franchise answers to your frequently asked questions:
What is the Phoenix Program?
The Phoenix Program is a free one on one training program that requires no payment of any kind for children and adults who are victims of bullying, physical or sexual abuse. As well as children under the age of eighteen who come from low income households.
How do I qualify for the Phoenix Program?
If you or your child:
– are currently under the protection of a restraining order
– are currently a victim of bullying, physical, or sexual abuse
– are a child under the age of eighteen currently in a low income housing situation
Why is Red Phoenix mobile and outdoors?
The answer to this is an easy one. Outdoors is the environment that you will most likely be attacked in. Therefore, this is our area of study and it makes sense to train there. Training outdoors relieves the performance anxiety and the egotistical boundaries that we all have. It also puts you in touch with the most important part of self defense: being aware of your surroundings. Training outdoors teaches us to recognize danger before it comes close and avoid it altogether. Almost all self defense situations can be avoided in this simple way.
Will I be asked to participate in yearly sales, banquets, and trips?
No. There are no ceremonies, no tournaments, no trophies, no weight categories, no sales, no banquets, no school vacations, and no bureaucracy. These things have nothing to do with being part of a martial arts school. Red Phoenix does not believe in martial arts clubhouses. While we do get to know our students as individual people, at Red Phoenix there is only teacher, student, and the training.
May I come and watch a private lesson?
Yes, you may. Anytime. Any place. Any student. No need to call, just show up.
Are students forced to pay for tests?
No, a test is not an accurate way of knowing if a student is ready to move forward in the martial arts. A test is a performance show for the vanity of a master. At Red Phoenix, every lesson is a potential “test”.
How long does it take to earn a black belt?
The answer depends on who you ask. In a cookie-cutter franchise, it can take about five to six years depending on the student. Sometimes you can buy one. Sometimes you can fake one. Sometimes you can find a teacher, beg or bribe them with gifts to teach you and, eventually, that teacher will give you one. The belt system is a psychological trophy that has been bastardized by 90% of schools worldwide. It was once a byproduct of hard work but has since become a false level of skill and dedication. Any lifestyle martial artists will tell you that belts don’t matter. To be honest and clear, if you think a belt level represents skill then you have been misled. A black belt means: “congratulations, you know the basics.”
Do you have a belt system?
When we first started the school, there were several ranks. Over time, we realized that having many ranks was pointless and it seriously limited a student’s thinking. It’s very common conditioning to think a person’s skill level can’t surpass their rank. However, we feel a byproduct of hard work is a positive thing in most cases. Therefore, our school has three levels: Beginning, intermediate, and advanced. That being said, we leave it up to each individual student. Wearing a rank is optional and there are no tests. Theoretically every lesson could be a test just as every day of life is a test. We take this approach because it is realistic.
Am I too old to train?
You are never too old to train as long as you can move under your own free power. It may take you longer, you may have to work harder, but you can get it done. At your own pace and at your own push, we can get there together. We train at the pace that works best for each student. We work around all physical limitations and abilities because that is true martial arts: taking the style and making it work for you.
Do you teach forms or kata?
In some cases, yes. In other cases, no. It solely depends on the student. Forms, Sets, and Kata are for cardio and trophies only. At Red Phoenix, we get our cardio by fighting. We learn the application of technique through concepts based in self-defense. The past is not always practical. At Red Phoenix, we respect the past but we do not obsess over it or ask its permission. We do not live in an age where forms are necessary for learning self defense. Martial arts is not twisting and turning while demonstrating flowery form for a prize.
What is the best age for children to start?
Anyone who tells you that children can start anytime just wants your money. Children, like all people, learn at a different curve and speed. Whether or not a child can effectively learn martial arts depends solely on each individual child. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your four-year-old can become a martial arts master and fight off adults. Children need a foundation of martial arts, not an illusion for the parents. These days, the real danger is child abduction. A child’s best chances at being safe involve: being educated, being prepared, and being aware of their surroundings. In other words, recognizing danger before it gets close and avoiding it all together.
Will I get hurt training?
You can get hurt walking your dog. Anything is possible. However, in the school’s entire history, no student has ever been injured at Red Phoenix. The chief instructor takes all safety precautions possible to prevent injuries to students. Advanced martial artists can stop the majority of attackers without injuring them if they choose. Student safety is a number one priority.
Are you certified?
Yes we are, but who cares? If you can beat a certified martial artist in a fight, does being certified matter? My certification would be meaningless if I were beaten by an uncertified individual. If one of my beginning students defeats a certified black belt, does being certified matter? The only certifications in the martial arts are what a person can do and what a person can’t do. Anyone who tells you differently likely just needs to hold on to a false ideological misconception for personal gratification, or they just want your money. To be honest, if a school feels the need to emphasize that they are certified then you should be wary. Schools that do this are often hiding their lack of real world experience behind the flexing of credentials.
What do you mean by customized curriculum?
At Red Phoenix, a curriculum is created based on each individual student’s strengths, weaknesses, concerns, and natural ability. Curriculums are made on a case-by-case basis. An example: the oldest person I ever taught was 71 years old. The student had metal knees and walked with a cane. The student had trouble with balance, was top heavy, and had a fear of falling while being attacked. Red Phoenix created no illusions for this student. Kicks were not added to this student’s curriculum because this student should not have been on one leg at any time while being attacked. No training in the world balances a person’s equilibrium. There would always be a high chance that this student would fall if attacked. Therefore, to relieve the student’s concern, we started with ground fighting to better prepare. After a year of ground work, the student was far more confident about the fear of defense after falling. I also taught this student to use their cane as a weapon and as a third root during an attack situation. This is something that was only ever done for this particular student. This is an example of customizing a curriculum.
Do you teach weapons?
Red Phoenix only teaches one defense tool: the 1000 lumens TK16 Fenix flashlight. It causes temporary blindness even in daylight and increases the power of your strikes by two hundred percent. It is highly practical, can be carried anywhere, and is 100% legal. We do not live in an age where carrying a sword, staff, or spear is acceptable. We live in modern times and should train as such.