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What is MojuKai?

MojuKai is a combination of two words: Moju and Kai. Moju translates into "Fierce Animal" and Kai means a group, family or society of people.

Renshi Darby chose this name to represent how he wants his students to approach their karate, like fierce animals...because animals, especially those in the wild, do their best to avoid conflict, attacking only when necessary. However, when an animal is forced to fight, they fight with everything they have and they fight to win...this is the essence of karate and self-defense - use it only when necessary, but when necessary be successful.

There are other topics discussed below that help define MojuKai, or you can use

the following links to take you to the associated pages.

Why we're different.

MojuKai is different from any other martial arts or combat school in both Enterprise and Troy because it is the

only TRADITIONAL karate-kobudo system in town. Traditional karate utilizes a specific system of techniques through which power is generated by using the body as a whole.  As students learn how to use their bodies as a coordinated unit, they are developing techniques for avoiding attacks, deflecting blows, blocking, creating angles, and building powerful strikes. Unlike most martial arts schools in the area, we are more concerned with the successes of our students instead of simply receiving their money. We do not want students to later need martial arts skills only to find out - too late - that what they have been told would work really does not.  Also, some schools may promote themselves as "traditional" while also claiming to be "Mixed Martial Arts" or a combination of both. This violates the concept of traditionalism and confuses people as to what is truly offered by the school.


Common Selling Points of Martial Arts

All martial arts schools advertise that they teach Respect, Manners, Discipline, Self-Control and a generally positive sense of character. However, very few of them actually make these central to their teaching. At MojuKai, particularly in the Kids classes, we make focus and internal, self-control our main point. Each class starts with a call to attention and students are required to remain still and focused. There are constant and consistent lessons on Focus, personal Responsibility, and being willing to accept accountability for oneself. These are important to us because they are lessons that permeate all aspects of life, not just karate.


McDojos and False Ranks


In the culture of martial arts a "McDojo" is a school that provides subpar instruction and weak training regimen. They do not require their students to work hard and truly learn the art. But, they convince their students that they are doing well. Many McDojos offer the opportunity to advance in rank every couple of months, sometimes monthly, and associate belt rank with skill...this is simply a fraud. No one can attain legitimate black belts skills in a year - not even two years. Giving belt ranks away to students who cannot demonstrate real abilities provides a false sense of achievement. When promoting competitions, these schools recommend 'closed' tournaments to their students, intentionally diverting them away from other styles so as not to expose the weakness of their training. Often they will claim that 'open' tournaments cheat as an excuse as to why their students do not win. In reality, they teach poor skills and their students' losses expose this.


MojuKai gakusei (students) must study and prepare a minimum of four months between each kyu rank (under black belt) until Brown Belt then there is a minimum six month training period between advancement. This provides the student sufficient time to not only learn the techniques required for each rank, but to build true proficiency. Review of the testing requirements in the 'Belt Ranks' allows one to follow the path through gradually ascending abilities. 

Our testing process involves multiple phases.

First, the student must demonstrate complete knowledge of their testing requirements. When this is done, they are allowed to write their names on the testing list, which is displayed in the dojo for all students to see. They then go before a testing board consisting of multiple Black Belts and Senior Students (2nd kyu and up) at which time they must perform a full curriculum according to the rank they are testing for. Proficiency at each skill must be shown, but the most important element of testing is individual effort. If the student performs well, they will be passed up to the next rank. Students can only "grade up" one belt level at a time. 


We strongly believe that karate should provide each student to the ability to defend themselves; this is what makes the testing process so important. If the student does not become adept at skills in one level, they will not be able to perform the required skills at the next level. It takes time to become capable; anyone who promises otherwise is simply taking your money and wasting your time. Be willing to earn your rank.


Be wary of schools that advertise themselves as "Mixed Martial Arts". Most schools who do this are ill prepared for teaching a single system, much less several different styles simultaneously. And, as stated elsewhere, it is unlikely that any single instructor has developed the proficiency to effectively instruct in more than one system. Unless the school that you are considering as an MMA option has several instructors that teach different methods, consider them with caution.


No Religious Undertones


One of the few deviations from tradition in MojuKai is the removal of any semblance of Shintoism. Most Okinawan / Japanese systems require for their students to begin class by "paying respects" to instructors (both living and deceased) by performing seiza rei (kneeling bow), a ritualized demonstration of fealty. This is not done in MojuKai. While we recognize the traditional line of Japanese masters of karate, a line descending from Master Funakoshi, Dr. Chitose, and Kaicho Yamamoto (see the 'History' page), we do not bow to show them honor because most of our students are Christian and are opposed to doing so. Instead, we honor those who have come before us by giving them credit for their accomplishments. We show respect for them in the manner which we practice the art that they have passed down. This means demonstrating good citizenship, being respectful to the process, striving to achieve excellence, and exhibiting humility - as well as having Bushido (Warrior's Way).



Bunkai (pronounced "boon-kigh") means "dissection" and refers to breaking down techniques so that the student learns how, why and when they should be applied, not only what they look like. It is one thing for an individual to be able to DO a thing, but completely another for them to be able to thoroughly EXPLAIN it. Any instructor who teaches exclusively by demonstrating and then expecting replication is minimally effective. Many instructors who invest in the effort to bunkai techniques believe that it is necessary only for advanced techniques. This shows impatience for "simple" tactics. This means that they have forgotten what it was like to be a young karate-ka (karate practitioner). It also means that they have forgotten the most important techniques of karate - good basics. Renshi Darby begins bunkai with the most basic elements of karate (how to make a fist, how to turn the shoulders, how to use the hips, and even how to breathe) because these are the most fundamental elements to the process of developing real karate abilities. And, as emphasized, it is not possible to learn advanced techniques unless the essential basics are thoroughly developed. If you consider a martial arts instructor who does not explain techniques thoroughly, be suspicious of their depth of understanding. 

3 Pillars of Karate
Belt Ranks & Titles
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