Pallen's Martial Arts recently changed its name to Baciarini's Martial Arts to reflect major school expansion and growth.


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2005-12-20 11:15:23   I did their trial, and I hate to say anything negative because they were really nice people, but I had a few issues with the place. First, I got the impression that belt advancement is virtually guaranteed as long as you have good attendance, and their emphasis was more on martial arts as a fun character-building activity than as a system for self-defense. Also, at least in the beginner classes, you don't get the same instructor every time so they sometimes aren't aware of your progress. There was one lesson, too, where the demo team was practicing at the same time and kept getting in the way of the beginner lesson. But, if you're interested, you should try the two weeks and see for yourself. —PenguiN42

2006-04-02 16:32:41   PenquiN42 is completely right. I belonged to the school for a few months and would agree. There is definitely a "kids" slant, which is fine, but if you are an adult learner, it may be better to go elsewhere. Belt testing is virtually guaranteed w/ consistent attendance and you're may feel goofy moving up the ranks with 1-2 other adults and 20 kids; in fact they're website says "we are a real karate school..." Everyone is encouraging but there is definitely a cliquish quality with the more advanced students. Pallen's seems to have a lot more boys vs girls in the classes, and it's the same impression I got from my neighbors when they were looking for a martial arts school for their girls. What's more, the boys seem to be in there to learn better discipline of their "energy" (ADD, perhaps?) and it gets pretty wild in there at times.

When I was attending, the monthly fee was $85 for one person per month. The crummy part about the class setting is that you have very measured (slow) progress during the beginner classes. I don't know if it's because the kids have a harder time remembering stuff or if it's to keep the process drawn out. If you are in better than average shape, the workouts are generally pretty easy. With the monthly cost, you can get a family membership at a local gym with more access and variety of things to do to stay in shape. If you need the validation from a karate school about your skills, confidence, or health, then by all means go for it. It should cost you about $4000 to earn that recognition —UsetheForce

2006-08-14 00:26:55   I can't speak to how Pallen's measures up as a place for adults to study martial arts, but it is a terrific place for kids. Advancement *is* pretty much guaranteed if you go to class, but this is fine for kids. And although the early belts are easy to get, it gets more challenging as you progress. It's been a great experience for my son, who's been there over a year. I see greater self-confidence & self-control, an easier time making friends of all ages, and - a real biggie when we 1st started - better sportsmanship (i.e., learning to be a gracious loser). Their summer camps are expensive, but a lot of fun. Our older son isn't interested in studying karate regularly but enjoys their summer camps every year. And although there are more boys than girls at Pallen's, I've always been impressed both by how many girls are in each class, and how several of the more advanced students or teachers are girls/women with leadership roles in the school. What a great example for all the kids, male & female alike. —PrimulaBaggins

2006-11-09 12:00:05   I am an adult student at Pallen's and I am having a great time and I feel challenged every class. Pallen's is a place where you can learn and grow as fast as your able. So if your a serious have a serious training. If your highly umotivated and have no self discipline...then things will go slow...whether your young or old. Pallen's is all about teaching character, integrity, self discipline, self defense, and sparring. Nothing wrong with any of those things. I highly recomend it. —AaronDarling

2007-08-24 13:57:18   Pallen’s is a very family oriented place and has a positive atmosphere. In order for you to get a black belt in this school you need to work for it. The black belt test is intense and last three days without any guarantee of passing. The school provides a safe environment for growth and encouragement to all their students. As an adult student I feel challenged every day. The beginning level is easy however it gets harder as you become an intermediate and advanced student. —mb

2008-02-11 15:58:29   I’ve been training at this school continuously since about 2000, and have nothing but good things to say about the experience. When I started I was in good enough physical shape, but with my training I’ve gotten much better body awareness and balance, a better sense of personal safety, and a much improved level of fitness.

There are both kids classes and adult classes. The kid’s classes have lots of games and are built to be fun—after all, they’re kids and this is not army camp. But as long as the kids stick around and put in the basic class work, they will advance to upper belt levels, and as they progress they will be faced with more and more challenges. Pretty soon they’re not coasting, but instead are moving under their own power. If I had kids, I’d enroll them without a doubt.

The adult classes are different. The content is deeper and more challenging. The lower levels are mostly about teaching basic technique and improving physical conditioning. The upper levels are increasingly difficult. By the time you are poised to test for black belt, you will have a mighty task in front of you. I can say without qualification that earning my black belt was one of the most challenging things I’ve done in my life.

Is this school The Best in Davis? I really couldn’t say, because it is the only one I’ve attended and I see no reason to leave. I’ve been told (by students who have previously studied at other schools) that this is a great school, which is gratifying to hear. The cornerstone of the school is the Chief Instructor, Manoi Richard Baciarini, and his skill and enthusiasm is what makes the school so vibrant.

A comment for adults wondering about martial arts. There is a lot of ritualized bowing, handshaking, titles and the like. But that’s not about ego. Its about showing respect to each other, because the training involves activities you’d never be able to do without it. If you accidentally strike someone while learning a technique, those layers of formality serve to remind you that you are working together in a respectful environment.

That’s what the bowing is about!


2008-04-15 10:08:06   As a child, I studied different martial arts intensively for nearly 8 years. As I grew older, I fell in love not only with the physical aspect, but also the mental. I still practiced through college and try to maintain focus for my personal health. My son grew up watching me practice in the mornings, and always tried to copy the things I did. After seeing his interest I decided to enroll him into another local school. To my surprise, he did not take well to the instruction, and soon burned out. After a 6month break, he wanted to try Pallen's, where he had seen the do "cool" stuff. I reluctantly signed him up, as I felt they were too "fun". He has been taking from them for a couple of years now, and still loves it. I've even joined in some "Buddy" Classes to see how my skills matched up. As for the "guaranteed" move up in rank, yes this does happen more than I'd like to see. But they do evaluate and recognize individual students when their ability warrants it. As for an overall experience, I'd tell anyone to consider this school for their child. —Aaron.Curtin

2008-06-13 13:21:40   I hate to say this, but I wasn't impressed by this karate school. I definitely agree with UseTheForce. You automatically get promoted for attendance and good behavior. Also, it is very awkward when belt testing with a bunch of little kids. However, if you want to improve your self esteem/confidence, I highly recommend it. If you are looking for a way to keep up your physical fitness for a decent price, I wouldn't recommend this. —jrendler

2008-07-01 17:58:18   UseTheForce, jrendler, I'm sorry, but after reading your comments I came to the conclusion that obviously you don't know what the true meaning behind the club is. It shouldn't matter that you're training and grading with younger kids, the point is that you're all one big family and are meant to help each other and support each other. If you let yourself think you look stupid grading with little kids, then I guess you are. I attended Pallens for at least four years, and while I was there I went right through from white belt up to black belt. I found the atmosphere supportive and friendly, and I really loved it. Pallens teaches people some very important morals such as integrity, respect, determination, perseverance, things that apply to everyone and everything. I understand why people think that you're 'guaranteed' to get every belt, and in there lower belts, thats probably right, would you be very happy if you sent you're kids to Pallens and they didn't pass their grading? No. While this may be the case in the lower belts, I know that this is definitely not how it is in the higher rankings. The people who have achieved brown belt, brown-black, and black belts definitely deserve it and there is no way they got their belt just by turning up to class. If you can't hack it training with people younger than you, than thats your problem. I for one think that Pallens is a great karate club, and always will be. —Scarlet

2008-10-21 10:59:34   This is definitely a great place to train. It's also a great friendly family-style environment. I can speak from experience and anyone that needs validation feel free to contact me. The first thing is one must decide why they are interested in the martial arts. Some have a genuine interest in the history, philosophy, and true meaning of the arts while others use it as a conditioning mechanism. Frankly, a few of us watch television and want to be able to perform the cool moves so we head to the local dojo to sign up. I strongly believe if one understands his reasoning for learning the martial arts, he will better guided on his journey. Some people are curious and don't know what to expect when they enter a dojo and when it's not what they expected, they become disappointed. I certainly can attest to this. This is a place that teaches not only self-defense but life principles. As a Police Officer on the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles, I can honestly say that my martial arts training and continued support from Baciarini's Martial Arts have enabled me to perform my duties with extreme confidence and professionalism. I personally know many other students with similar stories. (Scarlet is one of my favorites!) It's always your choice where you want to study but if you are looking for training that lasts a lifetime, I highly recommend Baciarini's Martial Arts.

*Scarlet please send me your email address* —MrWilds