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2154 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
Near Northwest Berkeley
Welcome to WestWind Schools Founded September 15th, 1969 in Berkeley, California and expanding to our Alameda location in 1975, we are the oldest and largest Karate dojo in our cities. WestWind Schools offers three different types of instruction ; Martial Arts, Boxing, and a State-Registered Private School teaching grades 1-12. Our website is designed as an additional resource for those exceptional students who wish to delve deeper into WestWind's history, philosophy, and teachings. Enjoy, and I'll see you soon at the dojo! WestWind Schools teaches a style of Kenpo Karate our founder named Bok-Fu ( Literally, White Tiger ) which combines the quick, lethal animal styles of Chinese Kung Fu with the vigorous, straight-line powerful strikes and stances of Japanese Karate. Our style was forged during a time when devastatingly effective personal defense was the overriding principle, and you can see our combative roots in every strike, technique and kata we teach. For the student interested in handling themselves in any emergency, WestWind Schools is simply the most complete self-defense course available. The earning of different colored belts is a relatively new phenomenon in the long history of martial arts. The trend started in Japanese dojo, as traditional Kung-Fu Schools have no belt ranking system whatsoever. We are told that in the early part of the 20th Century, Judo dojo in Japan had all students practice in the exact same uniform: Short white cotton canvas pants with a heavily quilted cotton jacket all wrapped up in a padded white belt. Now, the pants and jacket would be washed and kept clean, but the belt was never washed. There was no formality involved in this decision not to wash the belt, it truly just never occurred to anyone that a belt was something that needed to be cleaned. Think about it: when was the last time you thought to take your dress belt to the cleaners, or throw it in the washing machine? In most cultures, accessories like belts are simply not articles that are considered laundry! And thus, after many years, the cotton belt would start to show honest signs of wear and tear: sweat would turn it yellow, the oils and dust from being grabbed and thrown would turn it brown, and after many, many years, the belt would appear black with the raw buildup of dust and sweat! This, we are told, is the legend of how the White Belt used to become Black. Now of course, this was not a very scientific method for determining how long a student had been training, so a color system was devised in order to formally reflect the student's progress through their training. The colors vary from school to school, based upon no set criteria or standardized formula. Some systems have very few belts, typically White, Yellow, Green, Brown and Black, reflecting the original colors a belt would turn with daily wear. Others schools have, without exaggeration, as many colors as you'd find in the rainbow. With my own eyes I've seen schools award pink belts ( an attempt to promote women's self-defense ), belts that are half & half ( half white/half yellow, etc. ) and I even saw a school back in the 1980s giving out camouflage belts! In WestWind Schools, the Belt Colors are as follows:
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