Personalized Instruction

In National, SDSS Ridgefield by SDSS

At SDSS, students have the opportunity to receive personalized instruction in addition to their regularly scheduled classes.

"I started that model over 20 years ago," said Grandmaster DeMasco. "Group classes are great for exercise, working with many other students, practicing what has previously been taught and group motivation. But, there are two major reasons for personalized instruction."

Individual attention

"Learning the martial arts in a small group setting gives the student much more individual attention," Grandmaster explains. In the small group setting, students work on their curriculum, alongside a select group of students, most of whom are at a similar point in the black belt journey. The instructor gets to know each student personally. That dramatically improves the quality of instruction.

The personalized approach creates an advantage for students of any age, by the way. The student-to-instructor relationship has always been at the core of martial learning. Students connect each lesson to the last, retaining more and performing better. Moreover, advanced belts can practice their martial arts on each other in a safe, fun learning environment with trusted classmates.


Grandmaster says the other big reason is time. "Many are busy with their everyday life. This program gives them the flexibility to take classes that fit in their schedule." Full class instruction means students have to build their schedule around class, and not the other way around. It helps younger students stay engaged during seasonal sports or the summer recess. This approach also allows adults to stay on track while handling the demands of work, home, and family.

Personalized sessions and full-classes

Every SDSS student has the opportunity to be a part of terrific, high-energy classes. Group classes are grouped by students of similar ages, with. In your group classes, you'll develop your conditioning and build on the skills you already have.


According to Grandmaster, this format "allows students to learn more and advance in a reasonable time frame." We never rush a student to black belt, but we want you to feel like you're getting better after each lesson because you are. As with anything in life, slow, steady progress is the most satisfying and usually the key to success.

It's always about you.

"Our students come first," Grandmaster teaches all his instructors. "It's always about them." Grandmaster DeMasco will soon celebrate 50 years in the martial arts, and in all those decades he has seen more than his share of self-centered sharks in the martial waters. You've seen them too. Classes with dozens of nameless students, learning nothing, making no connection to the instructor, all the while forking over hundreds of dollars with no result. Once Grandmaster put his name on the studio, he knew things had to be different.

Grandmaster DeMasco built our entire company around the idea that each student should leave every lesson feeling great about themselves and about what they're learning. Personalized, small-group instruction is one way we ensure you're getting the best possible experience, week after week. You can work independently and improve your skills by working together with other students. Your program is customized to your needs and your goals. It is remarkably effective.

Each studio sets things up a bit differently, so if you're new to SDSS, talk to your local instructor. We'd love to help you get started on your way to black belt!