Assembly of the Fighting Arts, LLC
A.F.A. Karate, Kickboxing, MMA & Self Defense at it's finest!
869 West Main Street 2nd Floor, Branford CT 06405
Email: – Established 1988

Thanks for voting A.F.A. Karate 
as the
BEST MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL year after year!!!
New Year / New Location!
We have moved to 869 West Main Street 2nd Floor, Branford CT 06405

Student Handbook
A.F.A. Karate is a combination of Martial Arts emphasizing a few styles of Karate. The styles the curriculum is based on are (Japanese) Shotokan, (Korean) Tae Kwon-Do & (Chinese) ChinNa. Shotokan is known for its low powerful stances and strikes body height kicks. Tae Kwon-Do is characterized by its speed and flexibility with head height kicks. ChinNa is an extremely effective & painful, (for the attacker), form of self-defense that allows you maximum results with very little muscle. Technique & application are the key ingredients to this intricate form of martial art. What Sensei George has done in his school is combine the form and power of Shotokan with the speed and flexibility of Tae Kwon-Do, the self defense of ChinNa & the challenge of sport karate. This combination makes A.F.A. Karate pleasurable and effective for both the student and for those who watch it. With himself, his wife, and his Instructors, Sensei George Fusco provides a highly qualified team making this an excellent school.



"We Stand in Unity, We Win With Dignity!"

Welcome to Assembly of the Fighting Arts, (A.F.A. Karate). We have developed a special program to provide you with the following benefits:

The emphasis of our program is establishing C.A.R.E. (Control, Attitude, Respect, Esteem). This structure is built into our Karate instruction.

The program provides confidence, discipline and character building by assisting the children to accomplish their goals. A.F.A. Karate also teaches the student to have self-control over his/her body and develop the ability to stand up to peer pressure and other intimidating situations.

The movements of Karate develops coordination, increases strength, flexibility and stamina which is very important throughout your life.

The awarding of higher levels of Karate belts can give you a sense of achievement and accomplishment. We keep this very much in mind, because the length of time for achieving belts can be from 3 to 6 months. We award stripes on the belt as you progress between levels. Training for these levels enhances an individuals ability to concentrate as well as plan for and triumph over learning hurdles. This is an excellent reinforcement of study techniques for school and/or business.

Karate instruction also involves free-style competition (Sport Karate). This helps develop a sense of fair play and sportsmanship in a controlled competitive situation.

The foundation of A.F.A. Karate is its self-defense value. We are very careful to teach student’s that Karate is not to be used outside the Karate class in any manner other than in a true self-defense situation. The result is a self-confident person who does not need to "bully" or to "show off" to others.

Finally, Karate is good clean fun for children and adults of all ages, and a great way to burn off extra energy, reduce stress and accomplish great goals.

If you have any questions, feel free to talk to any instructor. We believe strongly in the values of our program for all ages. Especially for the young, who can gain lifelong benefits from our school.



Roseann Fusco


Welcome to Assembly of the Fighting Arts, LLC/A.F.A. Karate, LLC! Congratulations on your decision to take the challenge towards personal excellence! The purpose of this handbook is to make your start with our school easy and comfortable. Included are class times, people to call for information and the rules and structure of the school.

Assembly of the Fighting Arts Karate & Fitness Center

As a student of the Assembly of the Fighting Arts, LLC of North Branford, you may train at any of A.F.A. Karate School affiliates listed below. A student wishing to train at one of the Karate Schools listed below, should always notify the head instructors in advance.


Attendance is the key to progress. We recommend at least two classes a week to gain the maximum benefits from A.F.A. Karate Centers, however, many of our students are progressing well at one class per week. Please communicate to your instructor any obstacle to your regular attendance, so we may assist you in overcoming them. Overcoming obstacles and experiencing the exhilaration of victory is one way we teach our students how to build self-discipline, confidence and perseverance. Through the exercise of this responsibility, we all learn the value of teamwork. TEAMWORK IS ESSENTIAL!! Once you are a member of A.F.A. Karate Centers, you will be allowed to train at any affiliate school with prior approval.


Please refer to your schedule for class times. We highly recommend you attend class at least two times a week. If for some reason you are not able to attend class, we ask that you call the school and inform the receptionist or your instructor. Prior to visiting one of A.F.A. Karate’s affiliate schools, please call in advance & notify the head instructor of the school you will be visiting.


The student uniform consists of a black traditional karate uniform plus a belt. Your uniform should be kept clean. Students who are Black Belts may wear any style uniform. On Saturdays you are allowed to wear a school T-shirt or sweatshirt with your karate pants plus your belt. During the months of April through October, you may wear a A.F.A. Karate T-shirt along with your karate pants. If you have a custom made uniform, you may wear it on Saturdays ONLY. DURING TESTING, YOU MUST WEAR YOUR COMPLETE BLACK UNIFORM WITH AN A.F.A. KARATE PATCH. All Black Belt instructors may wear any color or style uniform they choose along with their belt.


A.F.A. Karate School Patch - Left front chest (all students)

American Flag - Right shoulder (all students)

Yellow Star – After passing the Beginner "A" Test

(Center cross point of collar or at the tip of the V on a V-neck uniform)

Green Star – After passing the Beginner "B" Test

(1st star from yellow star on the right side of the collar)

Blue Star – After passing the Beginner "C" Test

(1st star from the yellow star on the left side of the collar)

S.W.A.T. Patch – Upon beginning the Intermediate Class – Left Arm

Purple Star – After passing the Intermediate "A" Test

(2nd star from yellow star on the right side of the collar)

Red Star – After passing the Intermediate "B" Test

(2nd star from yellow star on the left side of the collar)

Brown Star – After passing the Intermediate "C" Test

(3rd star from yellow star on the right side of the collar)

Metallic Star – After passing the Advanced 1 "A" Test

(3rd star from yellow star on the left side of the collar)

Black Star – After passing the Advanced 1 "B" Test

(4th star from yellow star on the right side of the collar)

Black with Metallic Star – After passing the Black Belt Test

(4th star from yellow star on the left side of the collar)

Your instructor must approve any other patches that you would like to wear on your uniform.


Students of A.F.A. Karate show their progress in the art by the color of the belt they wear. Each color belt is a step toward the goal of Black Belt. Our students are graded on a regular basis. The progression toward Black Belt is as follows: White, Yellow Stripe, Green Stripe, Purple Stripe, Black Stripe, ½ Yellow & ½ White, Yellow, Green, High Green, Purple, High Purple, 3rd Brown, 2nd Brown, 1st Brown, 1st Degree Black Belt, 2nd Degree Black Belt, 3rd Degree Black Belt, 4th Degree Black Belt. Testing is held on one Saturday of every month, (however you will not test every month), see the schedule in the waiting room for exact dates. At the New Student stage, testing will be done about every 1 to 2 months, once you reach yellow belt, testing will be every 4 months, at the intermediate level, testing will be every 6 months & at the advanced 1 level testing will be every 6 months, at the Advanced 2 level testing will be in approximately 12 months. If for some reason you miss classes or a belt exam, please see your Instructor to arrange a make up time or a private lesson so as not to delay your progress.


Parents are encouraged to watch classes. We ask that you respect the class by not entering the training area while classes are in session and that if you are bringing younger children with you, please keep them quiet and under control. Please do not walk across the floor while class is in session, not only does it distract the student’s, it also is very dangerous.


A.F.A. Karate offers a substantial discount to allow families to learn karate together. A 30% discount is taken on the 2nd & 3rd family members, the 4th family member can train for FREE, a 40% discount is taken on the 5th or more family members. A family member consists of anyone in your immediate family.


Testing for a new belt is done on one Saturday of every month, see the "What’s Happening" schedule on our website or check the schedule in the waiting room for exact days & times. You must have an A.F.A. Karate patch on the left side of your uniform, (over your heart), prior to testing for any belt; you must have an American Flag patch on your right arm prior to testing for High Yellow Belt or higher.


Students are allowed to start sparring after they earn their 1st belt. Due to mandatory insurance regulations, it is mandatory that all students who spar must have hand, foot, head protective padding, as well as a protective mouth guard & groin protector (if male). If you plan to spar in tournaments (sport karate), the same protective gear is required. Shin guards, a face shield/cage & a chest protector are strongly recommended. All protective gear is available from A.F.A. Karate, please see your instructor.


We run 7 A.F.A.C.T. Rated Karate Tournaments each year & tournaments we feel are suitable for our students will be posted on the bulletin board. Any student wishing more information or having questions on requirements to enter a tournament should see your instructor.


If for any reason you fall behind and need extra help or want to schedule a private lesson see your instructor. Achieving goals at A.F.A. Karate Centers is one of the most vital instruments used in building our student’s confidence. Communication, teamwork and action are essential for the benefits to be obtained. For scheduling of private lessons see your instructor.


Periodically your instructors get together and hold a Movie/Game night for our students. We play games, watch movies and eat Pizza. In the morning, Roseann makes pancakes for everyone. All A.F.A. students, their siblings & friends are eligible to participate. The cost for our sleepovers is $25.00 per person. Drop off is any time after 6pm on Saturday & pickup is anytime before 9am on Sunday. Please check our "What’s Happening" section of our website for exact days & times.

Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates are available for Karate & Kickboxing Instruction & merchandise purchases, if you would like to purchase a Gift Certificate, please see your instructor or stop by the front desk.


To order supplies not in stock, please speak to your instructor, or make the order at the front desk. Special orders are placed at least 2 times a month, so allow about 1-3 weeks for delivery. Many items not seen in the store may be obtained more quickly if they are in stock in one of our other schools.


Assembly of the Fighting Arts Karate Phone -203-468-7956


A.F.A. Karate Centers will supply you with instructors and assistant instructors that are trained to be professional, courteous, friendly and proficient in the teaching of the Martial Arts. We pride ourselves on knowing our student’s needs and meeting them. Over the years, we have blended the philosophy and theories of Shotokan, Sport Karate, Taekwondo, ChinNa and other Martial Arts, to create a dynamic and practical approach toward self-defense for the modern American. Follow our guidelines, and our professional staff will guide you to a better mental and physical fitness as well as teach you to discipline through the Martial Arts.

Rules of the Dojo (Training Hall)

1. MOST IMPORTANT! Leave your ego at the door.

2. A customary bow as you enter the training hall and before you leave, also to the instructor is required.

3. All participants are required to wear a CLEAN uniform with A.F.A. chest patch and respective belt.

4. Cleanliness of the body is mandatory for training.

5. Nails of both feet and hands are to be rounded to the end so as not to inflict harm or damage to a partner.

6. Mouth guards, fighting gear and cups (male students) are mandatory for sparring and should be brought to every class & all tests yellow belt & higher.

7. Refrain from fighting outside the dojo. (Karate is not a license to fight!)

8. Respect all, especially yourself.

9. If class is not yet in session, please use that time for stretching or Kata.

10. Weapons are allowed only when SENSEI provides you with them.

11. The instructor is to be addressed as SENSEI at all times within the dojo. (example: Sensei Fusco, Sensei Roseann, Sensei Rick )

13. No horseplay, loudness, abusive language, or gestures are allowed in or outside of the dojo, before, during or after class.

14. A.F.A. Karate is a family. Help each other in & out of the Dojo. Your instructor will always be there for you (whether it is Karate related or not). If you are having any problems, feel free to speak with us & we’ll be glad to help.

"We Stand in Unity, We Win With Dignity"

A.F.A. Karate’s Student Creed

1. I will develop myself in a positive manner & avoid anything that can reduce my mental growth or physical health.

2. I will develop self discipline in order to bring out the best in myself & others.

3. I will use common sense before Self-Defense & never be abusive or offensive.

4 A.F.A. Karate is a black belt school, we are dedicated, we are motivated, we are on a quest to be our best!, ous!

The Codes of A.F.A. Karate

1. Be Loyal to one’s country.

2. Be obedient to parents and elders.

3. Honor friendship.

4. Never retreat in battle

5. In fighting, choose with sense and honor

The Tenets of A.F.A. Karate

1. Control (Self)

2. Attitude

3. Respect & Obedience

4. Esteem (Self)

5. Perseverance

6. Humility

7. Indomitable Spirit

8. Integrity

Remember: If you give respect, you will get respect!

Try it today, for 1 week, & see how it works

A.F.A. Karate Shotokan & Tae kwon-do

Shotokan Karate is a style of Japanese Martial Arts. The word "Shoto" represents the beautiful ocean waves of Okinawa, the word "Kan" represents a Building. The meaning of the word Shotokan is to be beautiful and powerful with the fluidity of an ocean wave and to have a strong foundation like that of a building. The word karate was written in charactors with the literal meaning "chinese hand", but master Gichin Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan Karate) changed the charactors for its meaning in zen buddhist philosophy "rendering oneself empty". Master Funakoshi was the first master to introduce karate to the Japanese public in 1922, and established Shotokan in 1936; a great landmark in the history of karate in Japan.

Tae Kwon-do Karate is the modernized way of an old oriental art of self-defense or unarmed combat, it was first heard of 1300 years ago in Korea when it was called Tae Kyon. Tae Kyon is a form of foot fighting. Through the centuries hand techniques were introduced and the combination is now called Tae Kwon-do, but in the more advanced techniques the use of legs is still more important. This makes Tae Kwon-do more effective and spectacular than other oriental self-defense arts, because the legs can develope more power and reach farther than the hands. The Korean word "Tae" means kicking, jumping, stepping or flying of the feet; "Kwon" means punching, striking or beation of hands or fists, and "Do" means art, techinque or way.


In the "good old days", parents worried more about their children being home by the time the street lights came on than whether they got the recommended amount of daily activity. Today, however, the world has changed and we are faced with a myriad of challenges that were unheard of only a generation ago. For instance, today’s parents are advised to monitor their children’s body mass index (height-to-weight ratio) as the obesity epidemic among children ages 6 to 19 has reached nearly quadrupled from what it was in the 1960s.

Physical activity such as karate will not only help today’s children by preventing them from becoming obese or helping them to lose weight if necessary, it will also teach them healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Here are A.F.A. Karate’s Top 10 Reasons Why Kids Should Take Martial Arts Classes:


Kids who exercise are more likely to keep exercising as adults. Because of our emphasis on personal responsibility, respect, discipline, and control; and our acceptance of individuals of all levels of physical skill, Martial Arts provides a great alternative to other sports, which may tend to exclude certain children.


The exercises we do in class help our students improve cardiovascular function, build muscle, and achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.


Regular physical activity such as Martial Arts helps build and maintain strong, healthy muscles, bones and joints.


Because our curriculum emphasizes Courtesy, Modesty, Respect, and Integrity, Martial Arts aids in the development of important interpersonal skills. In addition, Martial Arts at our school promotes the self-discipline necessary to set and achieve life goals. Of course, we also offer the best in self-defense training.


In conjunction with a healthy diet that is low in fat, artificial flavors and colors, and preservatives, vigorous physical activity such as Martial Arts classes improve the quantity and quality of children’s sleep.


Our own experience, as well as research has shown that the emphasis placed on Focus and Concentration as developed in our classes promotes improved school attendance and enhances children’s academic performance.


Because of the positive, highly motivational atmosphere of our classes, kids who practice Martial Arts have greater self-esteem and better self-images. Children with a strong self-esteem are better equipped to resist bullies and negative peer pressure.


Participating in regular physical activity prevents or delays the development of many chronic diseases for children (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension) and promotes an overall healthy lifestyle.


Children who are active report fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and a better overall mood.


The blocking, punching, kicking and other techniques and drills of Martial Arts helps improve children’s motor coordination and enhances the development of various motor performance skills.

"The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude." -- William James

If you can see it, & you believe it, you will achieve it!!

The sport of personal challenge, confidence & honor!




A.F.A. Karate’s Logo, What Does This Mean?

In the above symbol, the red circle represents the Japanese sun, the right hand (fist) represents the life line (power). The left hand symbolizes warmth and security. Combined, they show respect for the individual.

OSU! What Does This Mean?

Osu is a word we use that mean s yes, I agree or I understand but more importantly Osu means patience, respect and appreciation. In order to develop a strong body and a strong spirit it is necessary to undergo rigorous training. This is very demanding and difficult because you push yourself to what you believe to be your limit and you want to stop; to give up. When you reach this point you must fight yourself and your weaknesses and you must win. To do this you must learn to persevere, but, above all, you must learn to be patient. This is OSU.

The reason you subject yourself to hard training is because you care about yourself, and to care about yourself is to respect yourself. This self-respect evolves and expands to become respect for your instructor and fellow students. When you enter a dojo you bow and say "Osu!" This means you respect your dojo and the time you spend training there. This feeling of respect is Osu.

During training you push yourself as hard as possible because you respect yourself. When you finish your practice, you bow to your instructor and fellow students and say "Osu!" Then as you leave the dojo, you stop at the door, bow and say "Osu!" once more. You do this out of appreciation. This feeling of appreciation is Osu.

Thus, Osu is a very important word in A.F.A. Karate because it signifies patience, respect and appreciation. That is why we use the word Osu; to remind ourselves of these indispensable qualities.

Japanese Spelling

English pronunciation
































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Last modified: July 24, 2014