In 2007 after 8 very long years of getting my butt handed to me on the mat, I received my first black belt under Master Rifkin and became the first female to do so at Rifkin Pro Karate. I had a few friends training at the time but after visiting various schools, watching or participating, I realized the difference in training I was receiving. Kicks and punches being held to a higher standard because when you throw them correctly, you can stop them as well, especially if you realize mid kick that it has more power than you anticipated. Watch other schools, do they point/flex their toes/feet on the varying kicks? Are they're hands down when they kick? Are the arms flailing about with no control or sense over what your body is doing? Master Rifkin notices and they do not skirt by him because proper technique will save your life. I was never treated differently as a female as well which is an invaluable tool in learning martial arts....... because Master Rifkin has a way of pushing you towards your own excellence. I earned my Black Belt and I am humbled to have had such an instructor that cared about my training to see me through. He hasn't changed a bit in all the years I've trained with him and I'm sure he never will...he just cares too much. Train here first, then go out and check other places and see just how much you've learned.
Leilani S., Black Belt, RPKC (2017)