Lynn Kobayashi runs his karate classes like a drill sergeant but denies he is training junior Rambos.
"Our art is a violent art form," said Kobayashi, an L.A. City Department of Recreation and Parks teacher. "In our system, you learn how to hurt and maim another human being. I'm not going to teach somebody this knowledge unless I see that they have the discipline to handle it."
Be prepared to do two things in a Kobayashi class--sweat and take orders. He also demands strict discipline and a willingness to work hard.
"I'm trying to build the character of the individual," Kobayashi said. "They are going to have to sweat a little and things are going to be expected of my students."
The first thing Kobayashi expects of his students is that they listen.
"If students are too busy asking questions and not listening to the answers, then nothing can be taught," Kobayashi said.
His self-described "militaristic" style of teaching has not always been popular with the parents of his younger students.
"I once had a father accuse me of teaching his kid to be a Rambo," he said.
Kobayashi, who holds a black belt in three different styles of karate, teaches Chosen-Ryu karate, a style he originated by combining different aspects of other martial art forms. In addition to his ongoing class at Granada Hills Park, Kobayashi will conduct an eight-week session of classes at Northridge Recreation Center starting June 29. The classes are open to youths ages 8 and older.