Frequently Asked Questions - Adults
How do I get started?
Call the Academy at (770) 623-4997 and our staff will find a time that is convenient for you to come in for an initial consultation.
Your initial consultation will be personally handled by one of our more experienced instructors. We will meet with you to evaluate your or your child's needs, as well as explain all of the programs to you in full detail. In addition, we will answer any questions you have about the Academy, its staff, pricing and programs. This also provides you with an opportunity to see the facility, observe a class, partake in an introductory class, and meet some of the students and office staff.
It is necessary for all students to begin with our initial consultation. Please know there is no further obligation. During this meeting, you will discuss which program best suits your personal attributes, training goals, schedule and budget.
Which martial arts system or style should I study?
This is a highly individual choice. The answer depends on what you enjoy, what your training goals are, and which class(es) you will be able to take on a consistent basis. Our instructors are available to discuss your personal training goals and assist you in making this decision.
Am I too old to start training?
Absolutely not! The main goal to Martial Arts training is self improvement. Francis Fong Academy students range from age four to well into their sixties. You are never too old to train in the Martial Arts.
Do I need to be in good physical fitness before starting?
Absolutely not! Our program will help you to improve your physical fitness and health at your own pace. Once you get started with us, you will immediately notice an improvement in how you feel after just the first few weeks of classes!
Of course, it is always a good idea to visit your doctor for a check up before beginning any new fitness program.
I have no previous Martial Arts experience. How will I fit in?
If you have no experience, then you have no bad habits to break! At our Academy, most of the classes include all experience levels. This means that you should be in a class with other beginners, along with intermediate to advanced level students. Hence, some classes will separate out the beginners to focus on basic skill development, and other classes will mix you in to work more with experienced students. Additionally, our instructors, as well as our senior students, will always support and assist the beginning students. This personal attention assures the greatest achievement in your training.
Your academy seems different than most schools, who specialize in one martial art style. I'm used to “Karate” or “TaeKwonDo” schools. These styles are fairly new to me. So, you teach multiple styles?
That's a great assessment! There are actually hundreds of styles in Martial Arts. The Francis Fong Academy offers classes in several different arts. Students can take one individual art or several. However, it is our philosophy that cross-training in several arts helps each individual identify and absorb what will be useful to them, while progressing at his or her own rate. Therefore, students can try several classes and choose what feels comfortable to them and discover which they are passionate about taking.
Remember, Bruce Lee formed his incredibly famed art of 'JKD' (Jeet Kune Do) based on the fact that every person will learn at their own rate and in their own way - absorbing what is useful to them, while eliminating what is useless to their overall development and skill. At the Francis Fong Academy, we also strive to teach our students in a manner which yields the most realistic and street-savvy tactics, while developing mental focus and wisdom if ever confronted with such a situation. The most important ideal for us is to transform each individual person to live better quality lives.
Is the Francis Fong Academy associated with any Martial Arts organizations?
Yes, the Francis Fong Academy is associated with many of the premiere Martial Arts associations around the world! These most recognized affiliations include: the Inosanto Academy (www.inosanto.com) - headed by Guro Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee's protégé and famed martial artist), the Thai Boxing Association of the U.S.A., founded by Ajarn Chai Sirisute (www.thaiboxing.com), the Combat Submission Wrestling Association (www.erikpaulson.com) - founded by Sensei Erik Paulson and the Pedro Sauer Jiu-Jitsu Association (www.pedrosauer.com) - founded by Professor Pedro Sauer. Additionally, the Academy has its own organization for Wing Chun Kung Fu – “The Francis Fong Instructor Association.” under the legendary Sifu Francis Fong.
Are all of the instructors at the Francis Fong academy certified?
Yes, all instructors at the Academy have been certified under Sifu Francis Fong, Ajarn Chai Sirisute, Guro Dan Inosanto, Sensei Erik Paulson, and/or Professor Pedro Sauer.
Am I required to purchase and wear a uniform?
Yes, the proper uniform is required for each class. Along with learning the culture for each class taught at the Academy, class uniforms are chosen to aid in establishing a training environment that enhances the student experience.
Do you teach adults and children together?
Our adult and children's programs are taught in separate classes, which focus on the needs of each student group. For children, we offer special classes for kids ages 4 – 6 and 7 - 12 years old, and classes are held at different times from our adult programs.
The Academy offers separate children and adult classes because the approach of teaching adults and children is different. The pace of learning differs between adults and children. Reasons for training are different and each group has different motivations for learning. Therefore, strengths and weaknesses between adults and children also vary drastically.
How long will it take for me to become reasonably proficient?
This is a great question! Depending on personal abilities, the time that it takes to become skilled will vary from individual to individual. Consistent training is very important for the student to feel accomplishment and lessen any feelings of frustration. Usually, consistent students feel fairly confident in their skills after approximately six months.
Should I take group or private lessons?
Private lessons will substantially increase your progress faster than by taking group classes alone. It's just a known fact that the personalized attention of an instructor is a tremendous advantage. Group lessons are beneficial because you get to see how different people react to situations and techniques. You also get to meet new people, make friends, and excel at your own pace. Therefore, the best of both worlds is a program which includes both group and private lessons.
Can I study more than one style at the same time?
Yes. We actually find that students who cross-train improve their overall skills at a much faster pace.
In addition, for practical self-defense it is important to learn how to deal with different situations that exist and learn self-defense training against a weapon, on the ground, and in stand-up scenarios. Overall cross-training benefits the student to identify what would work best for him/her in encountering today's modern threats.
Am I required to go to tournaments?
No, the choice is yours. If you wish to take part in tournaments, we will be happy to assist you.
Will there be any type of sparring involved?
Some classes do involve sparring training and drills which allow you to practice techniques against a partner who is providing progressive resistance. Students learn to train with various ranges of energies and experience, as applicable to the everyday street-realistic environment. This is necessary to allow students to develop their natural timing/reactions and technique in real time against a resisting partner. This training is always supervised by our instructors and proper safety equipment is mandatory. Since the focus is on making your partner better, students both learn and have fun at the same time.
Can I get hurt doing Martial Arts? How common are injuries?
As with any undertaking one takes in life, yes, a person can get hurt during the course of their development in the studies of Martial Arts. However, limited data exists involving the number and rates of injuries related to Martial Arts. Consequently, studies show that most injuries are the mere result of poor technique, excessive force, and inexperience with the technique being employed.
Rest assured, at the Francis Fong Academy, we take all necessary precautions to keep you as safe as possible. Our classes are supervised by experienced certified instructors. We always recommend that students wear protective gear to protect against injury from inadvertent contact. While safety equipment reduces risk and injury, there is no better way to foster safety than good control and common sense.