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26 Rounds June 6, 2021

By | Upcoming Events
June 6 Private Event at Practical Martial Arts in Corte Madera (SF Bay Area)

The PMA Black Belt candidates of 2021 have already passed the technique portion of their test. Now they need your help to complete the fighting portion of their test and their required Altruism Project. This year they will combine the two and actually fight to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California!

The Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California (EFNC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization leading the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.The EFNC is dedicated to providing information, resources, and support to the over 180,000 Northern Californians in 44 counties living with epilepsy – including Sensei Mike & Karen’s son, Levi.

The goal is to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences, to improve how the community views epilepsy, and to dispel myths about this condition by providing information through training, events, and programs. Fundraising from this event will do just that! Please join these dedicated Black Belts in their mission to impact the lives of people living with epilepsy…

$26 – Sponsors a Black Belt’s campaign

$100 – Sponsors seizure first aid training

$200 – Sponsors therapy programs

$350 – Sponsors educational programs

$1000 – Sends a child with epilepsy to the EFNC’s medically supervised camp


Why Isn’t Your Child Wearing A Gi?

By | PMA Blog

Why Isn’t Your Child Wearing A Gi?

“They are uncomfortable in it”
“It always comes untied”
“I see other kids in tshirts”
“It’s just easier for me without the gi top”

If you have a Grasshopper, Little Dragon or a Beginner student you likely can relate to one of the above statements. It is certainly more comfortable to train in a tshirt vs a gi jacket and when it’s hot it can feel “impossible” to wear the gi jacket.

However, it is not our goal to make students feel “comfortable” at all times. Our goal at PMA is to Teach People To Be Strong In Difficult Situations. We do this by finding the appropriate amount of pressure to apply to allow the optimal amount of growth for our students. The very first step in that process is requiring a uniform: gi top, gi pants and a belt tied properly.

The gi (kimono/uniform) serves multiple purposes:
1. It’s like making one’s bed in the morning. It sets a tone of conscientiousness. It signals to everyone else, including the student, that they are accepting the identity of a martial artist.
2. It makes one feel the part. To be a Black Belt you must first look like one. Do you ever see our instructors wearing street clothes while teaching or training?
3. It builds discipline, patience and resiliency. By dealing with the slight discomfort of a gi in each training session we desensitize students to small discomforts so that eventually they can endure large discomforts like live sparring & grappling.
4. It creates the mindset that the little things are the big things. Details matter. Listen to Admiral William H. McRaven: University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address – Admiral William H. McRaven
5. It shows respect: for one’s self, the instructors and the dojo


Next time they complain, try responding this way:

“We wear our gi and belt to every class.”
“I love seeing you look like a Black Belt in your gi!”
“We don’t worry about what others are wearing, we want to behave like a Black Belt!”
“I know you love your superhero tshirt but you need to wear your PMA tshirt while you train to be a superhero!”

Please feel free to purchase a second uniform at 10% off. We do have PMA tshirts as well, so if it’s 105 outside feel free to wear one! However, street clothes are not acceptable on the mat. Martial Arts may be lots of fun but it is actually a discipline based in tradition. Help us help your child by getting them to class each day in their gi! Even at age 4, it’s never too early to start building good habits.

brazilian jiu jitsu

What Happens When You Choose to Step Onto the Mat at PMA?

By | PMA Blog

You might be surprised. Practical Martial Arts is a very different kind of martial arts school. 


Our mission: 

Teach People to be Strong in Difficult Situations.


Life can be tough! At every stage we face challenges that can seem insurmountable. Be it bullies at school, at difficult work situation, health problems, money trouble, worries about the future – the list is endless. That’s why you need to learn how to defend yourself against these stressors!


At Practical Martial Arts we take the progressive techniques of mixed martial arts, unite them with the traditions and principles of the past, and create a place where you can find your grit, learn to persevere under pressure, and to enjoy yourself in the process. We have been guiding students through this exceptional martial arts rite of passage since 1993.


Our Freestyle Mixed Martial Arts is a blend of Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, traditional boxing, wrestling, Judo, and street self-defense.
With our physical curriculum you will:


  • Learn real, accessible self defense skills to you should you ever need it

  • Experience authentic, high level, competitive martial arts training

  • Have a safe and supportive environment in which to train

  • Use Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing and self-defense to practice how to persevere under pressure


You will find that our physical curriculum is balanced with:


  • non-violent conflict resolution

  • scenario-based self-defense

  • altruism projects

  • and neuroscience


Through service projects focusing on goodwill we build community inside and outside the dojo as we feel that our dojo is a metaphor for life. Building contribution, character and physical competency in you is integral to our vision of a true Black Belt. Through careful coaching you will learn the neuroscience of will power, emotions, and the effects of focusing your thoughts to impact not only your success on the mat but also at work, school, and at home. Our style is easily adapted to different levels of fitness and abilities and creates a welcoming atmosphere for new or seasoned martial artists whether you are 3 or 63 years young.


For us, our life is our dojo. Every day we are inspired by our students and feel a great sense of honor to be trusted to influence your lives. We hope that you will stop in for a visit, kick off your shoes and take your first step on the journey of a thousand miles….


~Mike and Karen Valentine


Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California Candlelight Gala

By | Upcoming Events


November 11, 2017
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco
757 Market St
San Francisco CA

Join the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California for a special evening of elegant dining and exciting auction items! Proceeds will fund research, support, education and services for the more than 140,000 Northern Californians living with epilepsy. Bay Area medical professionals, epilepsy patients and their families will be in attendance to celebrate the foundation’s accomplishments over the past year.

Register Here

Self Defense Course Fall 2017

By | Upcoming Events

Taught by women, for women.
Learn the ABC’s: Awareness, Boundaries, Combat. Practive scenario based self defense and test your skills in the last class.
Practical, fun, empowering, supportive, and hands on!


Four Wednesdays, 7-8pm. Sept 13 – Oct 4.
Open to women 18 and over.