Martial Arts, karate, and kickboxing, in Central PA

"Success isn't always about GREATNESS. It's about CONSISTENCY. Consistent hard work leads to success. GREATNESS WILL COME."

- Dwayne Johnson

When you walk through our doors, there may be a class in session, or students may be coming and going from a class. Our office is just inside & to the left, and usually there is a black belt available to speak with you. If everyone is busy, please find a seat on the benches along the wall and we will be with you as soon as possible! Feel free to observe class and see how we do things.

Please note that in order to keep our mats clean and in good condition, we ask that you remain on the carpeted area of the floor. If you must walk on the mats, please remove your shoes.


**During COVID we are asking that you call ahead for an appointment so we can adhere to guidelines and occupancy requirements. Thank you for understanding!**

Download our New Student Application here.

What to Expect at your First Class

For your first class, we try to have a black belt available to you to help you learn how we do things. They will explain our style to you and teach you some basics to make it easier for you to follow along in class.

Wear clothing that is comfortable and easy to move around in. Exercise-wear is recommended. You can purchase a uniform (Gi) in the office upon sign up.

Common Questions

How long will it take me to become reasonably proficient and how long will it take to attain black belt level?

The time it takes to become proficient carries upon style and your own abilities. In most self defense systems, you should feel that you could defend yourself fairly well after six months. To reach black belt, the same variables are in play, but somewhere between three and five years is about right.


How many classes per week should I attend?

Most instructors recommend two classes per week, plus some practice time in between classes. You should match your involvement with your fitness level.


Will there be other beginners in my class?

At this studio, the students are grouped by age. Our Children’s Class program is further grouped by rank. This means that you should be in a class with other beginners and lower ranks.


Will martial arts training make my child too aggressive?

At this studio children learn that the martial arts is not an act of violence, but the art of how to handle themselves in a problematic situation. Aggression should be channeled into assertiveness to increase a child’s self esteem and build discipline and character.


Why do people bow when they go into the studio?

The bow is a symbol of respect in Asian cultures and is just like a western handshake.


Is meditation part of some religion?

At this studio, classes may have periods of silent meditation. Mentally, it gives students a heightened sense of concentration and it deepens their sense of self. Physically, it improves performance because speed and accuracy are increased when the body is relaxed. It has no religious significance.


Is sparring necessary to learn martial arts?

Some martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan or Aikido do not require sparring. Most other martial arts do. Since martial arts involves dealing with an opponent, it is necessary to practice in conditions similar to an actual confrontation. In this way you learn about reactions, timing and speed.


What are the chances of getting injured?

The chances of getting injured are very small since training should be constantly supervised with safety in mind. The better equipped the studio is (mats, etc.) and the protective gear that is required to be worn by all students reduces the chances even further.


Should I take group or private lessons?

Private lessons will increase your progression two to three times faster than by taking group lessons alone. The personalized attention and energy of an instructor is a tremendous advantage. Group lessons are good because it allows you to see different people react to situations and techniques. You also get to meet new people and friends. The best of both worlds is a program that lets you have both group and private lessons.

10 Ways to Raise a Street Smart Kid

Knowing that it’s OK to use force to defend one’s self is one thing. Knowing how to avoid and prevent being in a situation where you might need your techniques is another. Click here to read the 10 ways to raise a street smart kid.


Any other questions?

Contact the West Shore Academy of Martial Arts at 717-761-3527 or email us at