Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is Upstate Yoshukai?

Upstate Yoshukai Karate (UYK) is a branch dojo of the World Yoshukai Karate Kobudo Organization (WYKKO) serving the Spartanburg County area.

Q:  Why should I train at UYK?

To have fun, learn a new skill, and improve yourself as a person!  Karate offers a wide range of benefits to practitioners of all ages!

Q:  Do you have classes for kids?

Yes!  Our kids’ class (ages 6-15) is active and thriving!  This class focuses on basic karate skills, confidence training, conditioning, and training focused on following directions and coordination.  A great deal of karate/personal skills are taught through games and activities, which have been very successful in engaging younger students.  We have a lot of fun, and we’d love to have you observe a class!

Q:  I have a five-year-old.  Is he/she too young for class?

Our experience has been that five year olds are a little too young for karate class at UYK.  If your child is about to have a birthday (within the next 2 months), please feel free to come to class and give it a try.  There is a fairly major shift in ability to focus from five to six (as 5K starts), and we have noticed five year olds’ attentions will wander fairly quickly.  This can make class difficult and sour the experience for the child.  Obviously, every child is different, and Sensei Dawkins is willing to discuss exceptions with any concerned parent.  As the dojo grows, Little Dragons classes (for students age 3-5) are a definite possibility!

Q:  I see that you have currently have classes for kids.  Do you have classes available for adults!

Yes!  UYK offers adult classes on Wednesdays with a combined class on Thursdays.  The adult classes are intended for students 16-up, and they will be geared to older students with a desire for streamlined martial arts study.  This will be a traditional karate class, and it will also be a lot of fun!

Q:  Can I try a class before committing to the monthly fee?

Yes!  Every student is allowed two free introductory classes before signing up.  The last week of each calendar month is designated for trial classes.  Any student may try either or both classes, and any student who wishes may observe a class prior to the trial week.

Q:  How much does it cost to study at UYK?

Classes are $25 a month, which allows you to attend as many classes during that month as you wish.  In addition to the monthly tuition, students are responsible for uniforms, equipment, testing fees, and yearly dues to the WYKKO.  Overall costs are minimal, and Sensei Dawkins is happy to provide a complete breakdown upon request.

Q:  When is tuition due?

Tuition is due by the end of the second week of the month to the office at the Timken Community Center.  Sensei Dawkins will provide all specifics for payment.

Q:  What should I wear to class?

Comfortable workout clothing, such as sweatpants and a t-shirt, is recommended when you try classes at Upstate Yoshukai.  If you enjoy a few classes, you can order a uniform through Sensei Dawkins.

Q:  Do I get a discount if I can’t attend all classes?  What if classes are cancelled?

With the $25 tuition, you are basically paying for one class.  After that, you may attend as many as you wish for the remainder of the month.  Life happens, and classes will not always meet every Tuesday and Thursday.  Sensei Dawkins makes every effort to run a class at every available time, but occasionally, classes have to be cancelled for various reasons.  You will always be notified of a cancellation.  Usually, there are 8 classes a month–sometimes more, sometimes less.  From time to time, there will be special workouts outside of the normal schedule at no extra cost.

Q:  Will cancelled classes be made up?

Due to scheduling constraints with the Timken Community Center, cancelled classes will not be made up.  Special workouts and occasional months with extra Tuesdays and Thursdays will even out lighter months.  Remember, your tuition essentially pays for one class and the remainder are free.  You or your child will not fall behind as the result of an occasional missed class.

Q:  Should I contact you if I miss a class?

Although you are not required to, it is certainly respectful and appreciated!  Feel free to contact Sensei Dawkins at with any attendance related issues.

Q:  What is your inclement weather policy?

If Spartanburg County Schools are cancelled due to inclement weather, class will not meet.  E-mail Sensei Dawkins if you have questions.

Q:  What is your severe weather policy while classes are in session?

Staff at the Timken Community Center keeps Sensei Dawkins informed of severe weather.  If a Tornado Watch is in effect, Sensei Dawkins is notified and class will continue while listening for updates.  In case of a Tornado Warning, class will immediately cease and Sensei Dawkins and TCC staff will lead the class and spectators to the center of the building to wait for the all clear.  If power is lost for any reason, class will end immediately for safety concerns.

Q:  Why are there combined classes on Thursdays?

Due to the advent of the adult classes, Sensei Dawkins feels that developing a dojo community is of great value to both adult and youth students.  Thursday classes will be traditional, meaning there will be a formal bow-in/bow-out, traditional warm up, and group exercises.  Consider the Thursday class as a way to inhabit techniques learned during the age-separated classes.  Portions of the traditional class will be small-group breakouts lead by higher ranking students.  This will allow rank-appropriate material to be taught to each group, allowing for continued growth.

Q:  Why am I being taught by other students?

Learning karate is a community effort, and teaching is a fundamental aspect of developing mastery.  As students rise in the ranks, they will be responsible from time to time with teaching material to lower rank students.  All teaching is done under Sensei Dawkins’s supervision, and all material will be verified by him.  When learning from middle-rank students, patience is necessary because, just as you are learning new material, they are learning to teach.

Q:  How do I get involved?

E-mail Sensei Dawkins at or visit the Timken Community Center to watch a class!  Depending on the class’s activity for the day, you may be invited to join in!