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Frequently Asked Questions



The following is a list of the most common questions we get asked. Please feel free to look over this list for the answers to your questions. If you do not find the answer listed please contact us.

  • How long will it take me to get a black belt?
    • ISMA’s philosophy is that if your focus is only on a belt color it will take forever to achieve. If your focus is on the knowledge and technical proficiency of skills within the martial arts, the progression of belt ranks will come in due time in respect to your level of proficiency, attitude, knowledge, and dedication to training. Martial Arts is a life long journey and black belt is just the beginning, not the end. Every belt up to black belt builds your martial arts foundation. Anyone can buy a fancy colored belt... true knowledge must be studied and learned.

  • How long before I get invited to test?
    • That depends on an individual’s attitude, practice, knowledge, and dedication to training. With most everything, one who puts in more effort to study will develop skills quicker than those who don’t. ISMA students are invited to test when the head instructor believes they have the potential to pass the test. It is up to the individual to earn their new rank. As on any test, if you don’t have the right answers, you can’t receive credit. Remember… Practice doesn’t always make Perfect, it makes Permanent. Students should focus on quality practice to develop quality skills. Our ranks are not given based on tenure (number of classes participated in), but must be respectfully earned through achievement of skills and performance.

  • What if I have an injury or disability that won’t allow me to meet all the rank requirements?
    • ISMA believes everyone has obstacles in their training path, some are small and easy to overcome and some are larger and harder to move than others or permanent. Rank requirements must be met at the proficiency level required to earn that rank. If you can’t meet a rank requirement, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn or train at ISMA… it simply means you won’t be able to progress in rank color. Higher level skills may be taught to individuals at the head instructor’s discretion. Knowledge and skills that you are able to execute stay with you every where, a colored rank is only worn during class time.

  • What if I already train with someone else, but I’m looking to cross train?
    • Students at ISMA are not permitted to cross train in any other martial art, boxing, or even aerobic kickboxing. While these all have advantages and disadvantages, ISMA is designed for a student to continuously progress meaning each technique builds upon the next while training body, mind, and muscles to move fluently within the style. Trying to learn multiple martial arts styles or from multiple schools concurrently is counter productive to training and never allows the student to become fluent. It is for this reason that it is our policy that students remain constant with one school. Aerobic kickboxing classes are great for advanced aerobics enthusiast who wishes for a hard cardio workout, but we feel they destroy a serious martial artists timing, technique, and speed.

  • Is a uniform required? What if I own one already?
    • Yes. Uniforms are pertinent to the history of martial arts, the camaraderie of students, and a sense of “belonging” in the school. It has been observed that students who wear a uniform are more focused and have an increased sense of pride and self esteem. In addition, students wearing uniforms tend to associate their attire with the proper conduct in and outside the class and take their training more seriously.

      Students transferring from another school or who already have a uniform, must make sure that uniform conforms to ISMA standards. Please review our Uniform information and ask if you have further questions.

  • If I already have a green belt from another school, do I still get to wear it at ISMA?
    • The belt you earned is yours forever, as long as you don’t show dishonor to the instructor who presented it to you, and the knowledge you learned to achieve that belt is yours for as long as you wish to hold it in your thoughts. However, due to the rank structure of ISMA being different, you will be asked to “empty your cup” and start as a white belt to learn new skills and knowledge. Depending on your previous training you might be able to learn new skills faster or have habits not productive to your training at ISMA that will take some time to remove from muscle memory.


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