Frequently Asked Questions

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Classes will be  held at the following locations:

Classes begin PROMPTLY at 6:30pm! on tuesday and sunday and then 7:30 on Thursdays


Tuesday - Parish Hall

Thursday - Parish Hall

Sunday - Parish Hall

Directions to St. Mary's Church (3916 Locust Walk). Use the entrance marked for the Parish Hall 

What is this "kempo" anyway?
You can check out our main page for a brief description of what we do. Because we crosstrain several different martial arts its sometimes difficult to explain to potential members what our style is like. The best thing is to come to a few classes.

How do I join?
Come to one of our classes! Anyone who shows up is welcome to participate. To become a full member of the club you would need to pay dues.

Do I have to be a Penn student to attend?
We are chartered as an organization for members of the UPenn community, but in special circumstances we may allow non-Penn members to practice with us. You can ask, the worst we can say is no.

How much are dues? Do I have to pay right away?

Regular Membership (Active Kyu Ranks)

Year: $120

Semester: $75

Active Black Belt Membership

Year: $100 

Dues go to pay for the space the club uses to practice, common equipment used during classes, and to make possible special events and seminars. Your personal equipment is not covered by dues.

You do not need to pay right away. You are free to try our club for a few practices before we ask you to pay dues and become a full member.

What does a full membership get me?
Full members of the Kempo Club may attend classes beyond the trial period, borrow equipment and literature from the club, vote in the election of club officers, attend seminars hosted by the club, and get discounted prices for seminars that the Kempo Club attends.

What should I wear to class if I stop by?
Come to class in clothing in which you will be comfortable moving around, working out, and sweating. Unlike many martial arts schools, we wear shoes during class.

Are there belts/ranks?
Members of the Kempo Club can be awarded rank as they progress in our art, if they desire. A dedicated student may even earn a black belt. With that said, rank is not an end in itself and the Kempo Club focuses more on learning than on rank. Often, members of other styles train with us and ask not to receive rank. The club teaches everyone to their ability, regardless of rank. Testing for rank often occurs toward the end of the semester; however, the instructors award rank at their own discretion, sometimes even without a test.

There are currently 6 student ranks below black belt. All beginning students are beltless. Intermediate ranks are orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Advanced students receive a brown belt, and may eventually earn a black belt.

I've trained before. Should I wear my belt/uniform?
You may certainly wear your old uniform during any class.

If you hold rank under Dillman Karate International you may wear your belt to class. If you hold rank (black belt and above) under another style you should bring your rank belt to class and wear it when we spar. Because of differences in requirements for rank among styles and schools, we typically ask new students with previous experience to wear a white belt until we have had a chance to evaluate them.

Do I need to come to every class? Is it ok if I am late to class? if I have to leave early?
You do not need to come to every class. Your schedule and academic needs should limit how often you come, and the club asks that you attend only as many classes as you have time to attend.

While we would prefer that you make it to class on time, we would rather see you in class late then not see you in class at all. If you are late, quietly enter the room, warm up and stretch on the side of the class, and then wait for an instructor or officer to invite you to join in the club's activity.

If you need to leave early, please tell an instructor or officer at the beginning of class, and before you leave. If there is an emergency that requires you to leave immediately, please tell someone else in the club before you go.

Will I need to provide my own equipment? If not, where can I purchase equipment?
The club has a lot of common equipment like focus mitts, kicking shields, and practice mats. If you plan to stay with the Kempo Club you will need to purchase some equipment of your own; the club sells most of the equipment you will need. The club has a package of new equipment that costs $50; it includes gi pants, a club t-shirt, a pair of arnis sticks, bag gloves and a pair of forearm protectors. If you bought these items elsewhere, they would cost you considerably more, as we take advantage of ordering such items in large quantities to pass on the savings.