Philosophy:

Martial Arts: It's not just what we do, it's who we are!!!
We believe the martial arts serve as an excellent tool for character development. This can be achieved by training people to become strong in body and mind - confident, disciplined individuals capable of meeting the difficult challenges of today's society.
Our foundational philosophy can be expressed in the following goals, which we are determined to teach:

Reinforcement of Family Values

We support the traditional approaches to family development like discipline for children, respect for parents, academic achievements and loving parents. We also believe family involvement in our community is vitally important to the development of healthy homes.

Respect for Authority

In every facet of life there is some sort of authority structure. Home, school and job, are just a few examples of authority structures that are important to the survival of our society. We incorporate the disciplines of learning respect for authority by practicing respect in our classes. Every student addresses their instructors and fellow students in terms of respect. Infractions of this practice do not go uncorrected.

Responsibility for Ones own Actions

It is important for people, especially young people, to learn that each of us is responsible for our personal actions; blame cannot be transferred to another. Corresponding to this valuable lesson is the reality that consequences follow every action. In some cases there is reward and praise; and in other cases there is correction and penalty. Using a number of creative formats, like object lessons and role playing, we can help instill this important value into the lives of our students.
It is our desire to see our students enjoy the sport of karate through the relationships they build with other students, the excitement of tournaments, the satisfaction of staying physically fit, the value of setting and achieving goals, and the confidence that comes from knowing how to stay in control of the situations of everyday life.

Competition

Competitive karate is simply a game - a sport. It is not designed to simulate combat or realistic self-defense. We will train our students to experience the challenge of competition and the skills and etiquette needed to properly participate in tournaments. Some tournament competition is required for rank advancement. Every student has to compete in one "open" tournament in each of the three phases (beginner, intermediate, advanced) as color belts.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;...who at best knows in the end the triumph and achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly" - Theodore Roosevelt

Self-defense

The goal of our self-defense training is to learn how to get control of potentially life-threatening situations so that the ideal results will be that no one is harmed. However, our techniques are effective and designed to provide maximum protection when self-defense is necessary. Included in the physical training is mental training which equips the student to react with sound judgment. Being mentally able to assess a situation is vitally important in order to accomplish the entire goal of self-defense.

Values

It is our opinion that there is a lack of solid consistent values that equip people to make sound decisions and constructive contributions to our society. We believe that people should learn to care about each other. Our values enable us to invest ourselves in our fellowman. We are committed to the development of honesty, respect, kindness, responsibility, integrity, academic excellence, confidence, self-control and HUMILITY by using the disciplines of the martial arts. These kinds of values are crucial for the development of people who are willing to serve one another - for the highest goal.
We promise to give our very best to make our students' training in the martial arts one the most rewarding experiences of their lives.

Sincerely,
Mr. & Mrs. Stein
Owners & Head Instructors

We want to welcome you to our academy and congratulate you for making the first big step to starting your martial arts career. Remember: We all started as white belts at one point.
A black belt is simply a white belt that never quit.

Logo and academy name:

The meaning of the name.
Stone is the English translation for "Stein". Putting your name on something changes your perspective. It becomes a lot more personal and meaningful. We always considered the academy to be a house open to everybody to train but also a place in which we can be together as family.
The meaning behind our patch.
The rocks symbolizes a solid foundation and the Korean inscription means "family". The symbols on the outside are Japanese and mean "budo" or martial arts. The pine tree is a reference to our lineage which goes back to Gichin Funakoshi. His penname was "shoto" which means pine tree. Song Moo Kwan, the name of our style, means "ever youthful house of martial arts" which is also translated as "evergreen". The Northstar symbolizes the path that we are all on and the guidance we need to stay the course. The 5 colors in the patch symbolize the 5 elements (earth, water, fire, metal and wood). The Yin Yang symbol, while creating an "S", stands for the constant thrive for balance in the interaction of everything.

The karate creed:

I come to you with only Karate, empty hands,
I have no weapons,
but should I be forced to defend myself,
my honor, or my principals,
should it be a matter of life or death,
of right or wrong,
then here are my weapons,
my empty hands.

Black Belt Oath:

The Black Belt Oath[1]
I wear the black belt: It means I have a special responsibility because I carry life and death in my hands.
I protect the young, the weak and the helpless: If I see someone being hurt, I make it stop. I don’t just look away.
I obey the law: When someone breaks the law, I tell the police, even if it is a friend. I don’t just ignore a crime.
I tell the truth: I don’t lie, not even when I might be punished. When someone is lying, I say so. I don’t just pretend I didn’t hear.
I win or lose by the rules: I do not cheat. When I see someone cheating, I say so. I won’t let them steal a prize or a grade that they didn’t earn.
I keep my promises: When I give you my word, I don’t take it back. I expect others to do the same.
I follow my conscience: If something is wrong, I say so, even when all of my friends disagree. I will not be silent just to be safe or popular.
I swear on my honor to preserve rather than destroy; to avoid rather than confront; to confront rather than hurt; to hurt rather than maim; to maim rather than kill; to kill rather than die and to die rather than dishonor my belt.
The ancient masters tell us that winning one thousand victories in one thousand battles is not the highest skill. The highest skill is to win without fighting. This will be my life long goal.
This is my oath, sworn on my sacred honor, and only death will break it.


[1] Shotokan’s Secret by Bruce Clayten, Black Belt Press, 2010