FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why should I choose Pacific Rim over another martial arts school?

We think there are many reasons for choosing Pacific Rim if you goal is to get fit and grow as a person through the study of a traditional martial arts.  Pacific Rim is internationally recognized as one of the most complete training environments in the world.  Founded in 1979, we are the oldest martial arts academy in the Portland Metro Area and each of our instructors is highly trained and volunteer their time to help you learn the art and improve your life.  Pacific Rim is a rare dojo where you can train and earn internationally recognized black belt certification from Japan and Korean in Hapkido, TaeKwonDo, Aikido, Judo, Jujutsu, and Iaido.

 

Our dojo is state-of-the-art with 6,600 square feet, 2,300 square feet of mats supported by a sprung floor and 500 square feet dedicated to strength and conditioning.  We have 2,500 square feet of office space complete with full multi-media equipment for seminars and workshops, and two guest apartments and kitchen facilities for hosting visiting instructors.  Given all these unique benefits, our dues are very reasonable, our location is easy to get to, and we have ample, free parking in our private lot.  Contact us today at mmartyn@prmaa.com to visit a class!

Which martial art should I study?

Each art we teach at Pacific Rim is great for building self-reliance and self-confidence and has the added benefit of getting you in shape at the same time. Our structured programs and engaging classes accommodate all ages and skill levels.  If you want to get fit and learn practical-self defense, then our Hapkido program is for you.  If you prefer to learn throwing and grappling while you get in shape, then Judo is for you.  If you have always wanted to learn how to use a Japanese sword, then Iaido is for you.  Or, if you really want a rich experience, sign up for unlimited classes and join us for all three arts.  You choose!

Will I learn to defend myself?

Yes.  If you take our Hapkido or Judo classes you will learn techniques that will help you defend yourself and are used by law enforcement and military organizations in Japan, Korea and the US. However, real self-defense takes time to learn – you need awareness and tactics, and you have to get in reasonable shape. Our programs at Pacific Rim will help you learn self-defense in a safe environment, while you also grow as an individual and a martial artist.

How do I get started?

Getting started is easy.  Once you choose a program that is right for you, you simply sign up for classes online and fill out a waiver.  If you want to try a class before choosing which art(s) are right for you, that is fine also.  Dues are paid month to month and you are not locked into long-term contracts. You can even buy your uniform online and we will size you right at the dojo.  For more information on how to get started, contact us today at mmartyn@prmaa.com.

Do I have to get in shape before I start?

No. Part of our process is figuring out your fitness level and making sure we help you learn while gradually improving your fitness.

How much does it cost?

Your intro lessons are FREE! For memberships, our dues are very reasonable when you consider the extraordinary credentials of our teaching staff, the opportunities you will have to train with guest instructors from all over the world, and the quality of our facilities.  You can view our current fee schedule on our membership page.

Will I get locked into a long contract?

No. If you want to get started after your intro lesson, we’ll ask you to sign up for an online membership. When you sign up, you are committed for the first 60 days and then your membership is month to month.  You can cancel at any time after that.  That 60-day period gives you time to really experience what training in a traditional martial art is like and to connect why our the great people we have here at the dojo.  It also gives us a chance to assess your skills and let you know if our program is going to provide what you’re looking for.

What equipment will I need?

That depends on your program.  If you plan to study Judo, all you will need is a uniform.  If you plan on studying Hapkido, you will need a mouthpiece and sparring gloves in addition to your uniform.  If Iaido is in your future, you will need a uniform, a special belt (obi), a wooden sword (bokken), and a training sword (iaito).

Is there a chance I will get hurt while practicing martial arts?

There is a SMALL chance of injury in all martial arts. The most common are small bruises from a hard grab or the kinds of aches and pains you’d get from any good workout. At Pacific Rim, we structure our curriculum and our teaching to emphasize safety in all we do.  Each class is structured, warming up first, and starting with less strenuous techniques before going on to the more challenging ones. We emphasize cooperative practice, and have one of the best training floors in the world.  With 2,300 square feet of Japanese tatami (mats) supported by more than 2,800 gymnastics springs, Pacific Rim provides the best possible training environment to help you learn martial arts and be safe.

How long does it take to get a black belt?

The answer is…it depends.  The minimum required time to get to black belt is 4 years, but most people take 5 – 6 years. Think of earning your black belt like getting your undergraduate degree in college.  Depending upon the course load you take and the field(s) of study you choose, the length of study to earn your degree will vary.  That being said, it takes consistency, practice, and a commitment to understanding the principles of the martial art you chose to learn.  While there are many schools that will promise a black belt in a set amount of time…they are more than likely selling you a belt but not necessarily the quality training you need to be good at the art. It does take time. But on the way, you’ll become more fit and more confident, you’ll make good friends, and you’ll learn a host of skills that will help you succeed in life.

How long have the instructors practiced martial arts?

Our head instructor, Michael Martyn started training in 1981 and has studied with some of the worlds best martial artists in the US, Europe, Japan and Korea.  He continues to travel to Japan twice a year for advanced training.  Our other instructors have more than 115 years of combined training and teaching on the mat.  Each instructor has rank that has been issued and certified in Japan and/or Korea.  In addition, Pacific Rim is the International Training Center for USA Judo and our students regularly have the opportunity to train with world and olympic champions at our dojo as well as overseas during our annual Japan Study Tours.

What does "traditional" martial arts mean?

It can mean many things. A few of the major aspects of a traditional dojo include: a verifiable lineage in a recognized historical style; a respectful atmosphere; and observance of basic formalities. One reason many people seek out traditional martial arts is that they are more likely to teach decorum and mutual respect. In addition, traditional modern martial arts focus on the development of the person and view the techniques of the art as the medium for growth.  As such, while you will learn valuable self-defense skills in a traditional program, the focus will equally be on how we are helping you grow as an individual in the areas of respect, confidence, discipline, honor, and mutual welfare.

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