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Master Karate, Kickboxing, Self-Defense and More at Dojo Fairfield

By Marina Jokic

Dojo Fairfield in Fairfield, Connecticut is a private karate and kickboxing school that combines physical, no-contact training with character development and offers kids' karate, adult kickboxing, C.O.B.R.A self-defense, and Dojo fitness. Owners Karina Gramesty and Kailen Pirro have extensive expertise in teaching martial arts and other techniques to kids and adults alike.

Dojo Fairfield makes fitness engaging and fun, with a variety of classes and programs to choose from. In conjunction to fitness and martial art training, Dojo Fairfield teaches character development through physical means, using the exercises as a means to teach different life skills. Especially in classes designed for younger audiences, instructors stress respect, focus, self-control and perseverance. Values and manners are a crucial component of the curriculum at Dojo Fairfield.

"As kids progress through our program, their physical strength grows as well as an understanding about how their bodies move and work," says Gramesty.

Gramesty and Pirro encourage people with no prior martial arts experience to join in. Of course, results differ for each student, but overall, the instructors want people to just have fun and enjoy the experience. "We all remember our first day on the mat and no matter what their skill set is, as a community, we want them to succeed," adds Pirro. Teachers at Dojo Fairfield want their students to know that coming through the front door is the hardest part, and that they'll be with them every step of the way.

"In the beginning, they may not understand or get everything that we teach them immediately, or even in a few months, but if they stick to it, they will eventually have a light bulb moment and understand," explains Gramesty. It is the teacher's job to provide the tools to the student, but it is up to the student to do the actual work.

Among the most popular programs at Dojo Fairfield is the kids' karate. In karate classes, youngsters learn the fundamentals of karate as well as valuable life skills such as respect and persistence. Teachers reinforce positive behaviors through physical movement and student-to-student interaction. Kids will learn to kick and punch in a no-contact, safe environment, but instructors are also tasked with imparting good manners and strength of character, something which not every studio will teach.

Surprisingly, in order to become good at karate, you do not need to actually kick or punch anyone to many a parent's relief. There is a reduced tuition plan for families who train together which provides an effective mechanism for translating positive values learned in class to the home.

Dojo's adult programs include kickboxing, Dojo Fitness, and COBRA. The kickboxing class is a blend between American and Muay-Thai kickboxing, which not only teaches you the basics of these styles but also gives you a great workout. "We have a highly-trained staff that has the skills and teaching experience to teach even the most insecure of students," underscores Gramesty.

Dojo Fitness is a thirty-minute HIIT workout that is accessible to all people from any fitness level. Finally, the non-martial-arts-based COBRA self-defense is a ten-week self-defense academy that allows you to participate in real-life scenario training and drills. Essentially, C.O.B.R.A is a civilian police academy that emphasizes self-defense.

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