Learning Karate

Six years ago my daughter began taking karate. We wanted her to be able to defend herself in the world. Within her first year, the dojo (karate school) was taken over by Lee Burgess, who then grew the school into what is, today, Burgess Modern Day Warriors 

My daughter was a very quiet and shy individual, who blossomed over the next 4 years, earning her black belt in September of 2015. Although still quiet, she continues to learn and grow in karate, as well as helping to teach with Sensei Lee now.


My husband and I have begun learning karate from Sensei Lee and my daughter as well. I enjoy the adult classes, but I will also participate in the kids’ classes too.

Sensei Lee is very thorough and well-rounded in what he teaches us (children and adults). We begin by learning the basics of Shurin Ru karate system. This style originated in Okinawa, Japan. We learn the basics of punches and kicks. We also learn the first of many katas.

Katas are open-handed, or weaponless, fighting techniques. They often look a little like a fluid form of a dance. However, each move can be used offensively or defensively in a fight.

The primary goal of the dojo is that it is a fighting school, particularly with self-defense techniques. So we also learn some Judo and Brazilian Ju Jitsu. We learn things like wrist locks, how to break fall, and a variety of throws. All are geared to help us to get away from or subdue an attacker.

Not only do we learn open-handed katas, but we also learn to use tradition weapons as well. Currently, we are learning to fight with a bo. The bo is similar to a staff. As we progress, we will learn to use kamas (hand sickles), a sword, and other weapons.

We also put all of those techniques to use in sparring. We practice each of the skills against an opponent. I do enjoy this, although I get frustrated from time to time because I do not know a skill well enough to use it,  that is due to not having enough experience, or being fast enough, yet. 

As a teacher, Sensei Lee works with each student from where they are. He will also work with them, differentiate, within each student’s abilities – physical or mental. He realizes every student learns differently and at a different pace – yet he pushes each of us to learn and do more than we think we might be able. As a teacher, I appreciate that.

As a parent, I watched my daughter learn and grow with her karate over the past 6 years. I have watched several other students learn and grow as well. Now as a karate student, I appreciate how hard they work and am glad they can help me to learn and grow as they have. 

Sensei Lee not only teaches the adult and kids classes but also is a student learning and furthering his abilities as well. He also learns Kendo, Brazilian Ju Jitsu, then teaches those skills to us. He has also learned Shuri Ru and coaches both amateurs and professional MMA fighters. Check out his website here for additional information about Sensei Lee and Burgess Modern Day Warriors.


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