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Karate at LRA

“Cultivating Strong Minds, Strong Bodies and Strong Characters!”


At LRA, students in Kinder through 4th Grade are eligible to participate twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays) during their regular physical education classes in karate classes in the LRA gym.  


3T Karate partners with Living Rock Academy to bring the benefits of martial arts training to your primary school students. When taught properly, karate instruction is about developing the personal excellence of each of its participants, so they can achieve their God-given potential physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. It has the added benefit of teaching personal safety and self-defense skills. For details on the content of the curriculum, please see our 4 Core Areas Worksheet.


Our instructor, Penny Pitassi, has been training and teaching in the martial arts for over 30 years and holds black belts in five different martial arts systems. She's been fortunate to train under and learn from many of the most knowledgeable and influential martial artists in the world.


Within the martial arts industry, 3T Karate studios are widely recognized as being in the top 1% of schools nationally. The instructors teaching at LRA have between 6 and 14 years of training and teaching experience, have completed an instructor training certification program, have continuing education requirements, and have hundreds of hours of teaching experience for ages 3 through adult in our regular studios. 

Karate classes will be part of the regular PE program for elementary school students. Students will have the opportunity to earn rank and progress in belts. 


This is an exceptional opportunity for children to learn self-discipline, character, integrity, all in the name of Jesus, our Lord, and Savior! The cost of the program is $20 per month.

Karate FAQ's

The system we teach is Shorin Kempo Karate. It combines Traditional Okinawan Karate and Chinese Kempo. The focus of these arts is self-defense and developing the student’s physical skills, mental skills, and personal character.

Absolutely not! Martial arts builds a child’s confidence in themselves so they don’t have to fight or be aggressive. We focus on teaching respect and how to avoid and resolve conflict in non-aggressive ways. We teach our students to maintain good self-control and self-discipline while also learning the skills they need to keep themselves safe if necessary.

No. A well-known karate master named Gichin Funikoshi said, “The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.” We use karate as a tool to teach Christian values and develop students to be the best version of themselves, just as God intended. For an overview of the curriculum please see our 4 Core Areas Worksheet.

All of the staff members teaching in the karate program at LRA have anywhere from 6 to 14 years of training and teaching experience. They have completed an instructor training certification program, having continuing instructor education requirements, and have hundreds of hours of teaching experience for ages 3 to adult in our regular studios. Being an instructor in our system is more than knowing how to teach physical skills. It means knowing how to motivate and inspire students and bring out the very best in each of them.

At our regular studios students wear martial arts uniforms designed to make working out safe and comfortable. However, due to the time constraints of doing karate in a PE classes whatever the PE uniform for LRA is, will be what the students wear for their classes. They will wear their rank belt with their PE clothes. If students choose to participate in classes at one of the regular studios then they will be provided a wear an official karate uniform as part of their participation in that program.

Beginner Students - White, Gold, High Gold, Orange, High Orange

Intermediate Students - Green, High Green, Blue, High Blue

Advance Students - Purple, High Purple, Brown, High Brown, White/Black

Black Belt Students - Black Belt, Junior Black Belts Level 1 - 8, Adult Black Belt

Yes. The karate curriculum will mirror LRA’s grading periods. Each student will start as a white belt. We will hold progress checks every quarter. At each progress check all students will have the opportunity to advance to the next belt if they have learned the required material for that quarter. They will continue to advance in rank as long as they are in the program and learn the material. The only exception is advancement to black belt which must be done through the studio. When a student gets close to that point we will have a parent-instructor conference to discuss the details of how that process works.

Yes. Our regular curriculum is designed for students to attain their black belt in 4 calendar years if they train and practice regularly. This means a student who begins training in first grade will be able to attain their junior black belt in their 4th or 5th grade year if they pass their belt rank tests. Students who wish to test for their junior black belt may do so at the studio after receiving their white/black belt. There is a black belt preparatory course the students need to complete, and then they take a full day exam for a panel of high ranking black belts.

Absolutely not! All belts in our system are earned. The students will have material they must know just like any other class, and they will be tested and graded on that material. The belt system is a reflection of the skills that a student has learned and the level at which they have mastered them. It is up to the student to practice and advance. Our curriculum is designed to help a student to achieve their black belt by presenting the material in a way that makes sense and builds on previous skills. There is no guarantee for any student that they will achieve any belt rank.

It is a rare student that will pass every rank test and achieve their black belt by fourth grade. However, for those that do, we have an entire 8-level curriculum for junior black belt students that will continue to challenge them to grow and advance.

Students may become members at the studio for a discounted tuition. Classes are available in the evening and on Saturdays. Any student who doesn’t complete their junior black belt training during their elementary school years is encouraged to finish achieving this goal through classes at the studio.

Students at our studios pay belt test fees. LRA students have their belt test fees covered through their tuition in the program so there is no additional cost to you. However, students wishing to test for their black belt do need to pay a separate fee for that exam. More details will be provided when a student gets close to that point in their training.

Our instructors have experience teaching martial arts online. We have been teaching our regular students online via Zoom since COVID restrictions were put in place. We currently offer both online and in-studio classes. We will work with the staff at LRA to provide an online option for karate training either through daytime participation as the live class or via attendance at one of our evening online sessions. More information will be provided as we get closer to the start of the school year.

Fantastic! We love students who already have experience. We will add new tools to the toolbox of techniques they have already learned and they will attain rank in our system as well. Our curriculum is designed to be able to challenge students at all levels, even in the same classroom.

No problem! We offer discounted family memberships at our studio. We have many parents who train with their children in our family classes in the evenings and on weekends. We also offer teen & adult only classes for those that want to learn karate but do not want to train in classes with younger students.

As with any physical activity there is a possibility of injury while participating. Our classes are highly supervised and the curriculum is designed to challenge students of every ability while modifying exercises if students have limitations.

There will be no sparring on the school campus. However, any student wanting to test for their junior black belt will need to do sparring during their black belt preparation process which will be done at the karate studio. Students who want to explore that part of training before getting to white/black belt can do so by participating classes at our regular studios. All students wear protective gear and are supervised when sparring.

The beginner curriculum is focused on teaching children how to stay safe from strangers and anti-bullying strategies. The intermediate and advanced curriculums focus on teaching students the skills necessary to protect themselves against punches and all types of body grabs and holds if they find themselves in an altercation that requires them to respond, and they have no options to avoid it.

We have continual conversations with our students about what is appropriate use of their skills. Any situation that arises will be handled individually. Students must understand that karate is part of their PE grade and inappropriate behavior will reflect in their grades.

The physical skills developed in martial arts translate directly to every other sport. That is why so many professional athletes incorporate martial arts into their training programs. We focus on basic physical skills like balance, coordination, agility, flexibility, strength, endurance, and hand-eye coordination. Even more important than the physical skills, karate demands focus, discipline, perseverance, and mental toughness as a student advances. It is these intangible skills that separate top athletes from the rest of their peers.

Karate is uniquely designed to meet every student where they are at physically and mentally and help them to move to the next level. We encourage students to compete against themselves to do better than they did the last time and not worry about doing better than the person next to them. We encourage this same attitude in all of our students, regardless of skill level. Recognizing that God has gifted us all in different ways helps us to navigate life more successfully.

The nature of karate inherently requires students to focus and be self-disciplined in order to advance. Our belt system teaches the process of goal-setting and overcoming obstacles. As students progress through the belt ranks and increasingly difficult curriculum they gain confidence in themselves and the courage to take on difficult challenges. We place an emphasize on developing a positive can-do attitude and learning mental toughness, resiliency and perseverance. These are all skills Christians need in today’s world.

Absolutely. There are numerous studies showing that karate training helps kids with ADHD improve their focus as well as learning to control impulsiveness and maintain emotional control. This can often lead to better academic and social outcomes for students with ADHD.

No. We will not be teaching weapons skills on the LRA campus. Students who are interested expanding their martial arts skills and learning different karate weapons may do so through the main studio at a discounted rate.

Karate is an officially recognized Olympic sport and students can qualify for college scholarships. However, we are not teaching competition or sport karate on the LRA campus. Students who are interested in competition are encouraged to expand their skills through participation at one of our regular studios.