Even though our students might argue that our school is the best, it is our teacher’s name that is “Best.” It has been a common practice throughout history that a martial arts school be named after the head teacher. Alan Best is the founder and chief instructor of our school.
In September 1988 Alan Best opened a school called “The Dojo” in an upstairs space in downtown Eugene.That school was later renamed “Best Martial Arts Institute” and in 1997 the school expanded downstairs, thus doubling its size. In September 2004 the BMAI Churchill Dojo was opened in West Eugene with Jay Kufner as the chief instructor. In October 2010 the two schools were merged into the present facility at 795 Almaden Street. Click here get a look inside our facility.
We offer complete programs in karate / taekwondo, judo, aikido and systema. Advanced members of BMAI also train together in the arts of iaido, arnis, kali, capoeira, and hapkido.
At BMAI, we believe that, if you want to do something, the best age to start is the age you are right now! (Unless you are under 4 years old, then you need to wait a little bit.)
Children’s karate / taekwondo – Ages 4 to 11
Teen & adult karate / taekwondo – 12 and older
Children’s judo – Ages 6 to 12
Teen & adult judo – 13 and older
Aikido – 13 and older
Systema – 16 and older
Here is a breakdown of our current membership fees:
Receive a $10 discount on your membership fees by joining our convenient Auto Pay System (ACH).
- Aikido – Unlimited Aikido attendance – $95 per month
- Aikido – One Aikido class per week – $60 per month
- Children’s Program – Unlimited attendance in Karate / Taekwondo and Judo – $130 per month
- Children’s Program – One class per week in Karate / Taekwondo or Judo – $80 per month
- Judo – Teen/Adult – Unlimited Judo attendance – $95 per month
- Judo – Teen/Adult – One Judo class per week – $60 per month
- Karate / Taekwondo – Teen & Adult – Unlimited attendance in all programs – $130 per month
- Karate / Taekwondo – Teen & Adult – One Karate / Taekwondo class per week – $80 per month
- Systema – $10 per class
Family Memberships – Unlimited attendance in all programs
- One family member – $130 per month
- Two family members – $215 per month
- Three family members – $280 per month
- Four family members – $325 per month
- Five or more family members – $350 per month
No, you need only pay your first month’s membership fee when you enroll.
No, membership is strictly on a month-to-month basis. Members simply inform us by the 15th of the month if they will not be training the next month. There is never a fee to cancel, or change, a membership at BMAI. For your convenience, change in membership forms are available at the front counter.
Absolutely. We recommend that you come in to see our facilities, meet the instructor, and to watch one of our training sessions before joining. If you decide that our school is the right one for you, we encourage you to participate in a class before making your final decision. There is no charge for your first class; just fill out a short liability release before participating. A parent/guardian’s signature is required for minors. You can print the form using the link below and bring it in, or fill one out when you arrive.
Not usually. An instructor can help you decide which of our martial arts programs is best for you. Practicing martial arts is very good exercise and will help get you into much better condition. However, all forms of exercise (such as weight lifting, running, swimming, yoga, etc.) work well in conjunction with martial arts training. The most important thing in all forms of exercise is to increase the intensity of training slowly so you make consistent progress without injuring yourself.
All of our programs accept beginning students.
You should come into the school at least 15 minutes before your first class to fill out the registration forms and to pay your first month’s membership fee. A parent’s signature is required for any minor who is joining the school. If you like, you can download and print the registration forms here.
It depends on which class you are trying. You can wear sweat pants or baggy shorts, and a t-shirt if you are trying a karate/taekwondo class. If you are attending an aikido or systema class it is best to wear sweat pants and a long-sleeved shirt. This protects your knees and elbows from getting abrasions on the mat when you learn the basic falling skills. For the judo class you will need to be wearing a judo uniform, because the Judo techniques rely heavily on gripping the uniform. We should have a judo uniform you can borrow for your trial lesson.
If you join the karate/taekwondo program it is not required that you have a uniform during your first month. You will need a uniform right away if you enroll in either the judo or aikido class. There is no official uniform for systema.
Like most things, martial arts uniforms vary in quality and cost. We stock reasonably priced uniforms that are strong, durable, and comfortable. The standard karate/taekwondo uniform costs $35 – $45, depending on the size. Judo uniforms are much thicker and, therefore, generally cost more. Our judo uniforms range in price from $40 – $90. Students of aikido can wear either type of uniform.
You don’t need to buy your uniform from us, it just needs to be the same style we use. It also needs to be free of patches, or other markings. We wear traditional white uniforms for karate. Judo students wear white or blue judo uniforms. Aikido students can wear a judo or karate uniform, as long as it is white. Bring your old uniform with you and we will let you know if it is the appropriate type to wear at BMAI.
How do I tie my belt?
We have made several videos to help you learn how to tie your belt. As you can see, there are several ways to do it, but the knot ends up the same each time.
Watch this video!
We accept cash or checks. We do not accept credit cards. Most students pay their monthly membership fees by enrolling in our convenient autopay system. You can print the auto-pay enrollment form here.
What if I’m not very good when I start?
There is a popular saying amongst martial artists, “Everyone was a white belt once.” Our instructors all remember what it was like to be a beginner. In fact, they are usually more patient with the student than the student is with him/herself.
The BMAI style of karate/taekwondo is a unique program developed by Sensei Best. All students, regardless of their previous experience, begin as white belt beginners in the system. Due to its vast range of techniques, advancement in this art is very slow. For this reason we do not place students in our system according to the rank given out by other styles of karate and taekwondo. For example, it is fairly common for students to receive their black belt in taekwondo in two to three years. A BMAI black belt in karate/taekwondo usually takes ten years or more.We honor judo and aikido ranks given out by any of the major U.S. and international organizations. Some judo and aikido schools do not register their members’ rank with national organizations, but give out “dojo” certificates instead. In such instances, we observe the student during training to determine whether the rank they received accurately reflects their level of expertise.
No, all of the arts we teach at BMAI are practiced with bare feet on mats.
All of our training areas are covered with Swain Sportsmats Brand Gold Medal Tatami. They are considered by many to be the best martial arts mat in the world and have been used in the Olympic Games for both judo and taekwondo, as well as many other international martial arts events.
Just complete this simple form and we’ll reply as soon as possible. You can also click here for additional ways to contact us.