Here you will find answers to general questions we get on our kettlebell and karate programs.

If you don't see your answer here, please contact us, and we'll gladly answer your questions for you.


Does martial arts, karate, make kids violent?

No way! Martial arts is about peace, harmony and diplomacy. It teaches children how to AVOID fights - not pick them.

My child isn't athletic. Can he/she still participate in martial arts?

Absolutely. Martial arts teaches kids to be coordinated, flexible and strong. Kids who don't naturally have these qualities develop them. Kids who do have these qualities grow them even more.

Who can Take Up Karate?

Karate is for everyone – men, women and children; old or young; fit or not. Every girl or woman should know what to do if attacked. Women in the lesson get the same training as the men. Children can benefit from the self-discipline, and the skills acquired will improve their self-confidence and character. The training is non-competitive. Older people have gained their black belts after 60 and have practised the art into their 80s. Older students receive the same training as younger people, although naturally, the instructor will not demand the same level of endurance. Everyone’s training is with oneself – the instructor only expects the best that you can achieve; there is no competition with anyone else in the lesson. You can adjust your training to suit your own stamina and abilities, but the harder you train the more you will benefit.

How Good is Karate for Fitness?

Karate is one of the most balanced and complete ways of keeping in good physical condition. Karate incorporates the use of the entire body in which legs, hips, spine, shoulders and arms are co-ordinated to develop balance, flexibility, poise, speed, strength and stamina. No other form of training uses as many parts of the body to such an extent. Karate is not seasonal and so one’s condition can be maintained throughout the year. Other forms of training, where exercise for the sake of exercise is done, become a chore after the first enthusiasm passes and are invariably dropped. However, Karate becomes more interesting and rewarding as you progress, without any limit. Even after decades of training, students will still be learning and improving their techniques – this is very rare in any sport.

Kettlebell Classes

Should women train with kettlebells?
Some of the biggest mistakes women make are not adding weight ‘lifting’ to their fitness program (or lifting too lightly for fear of getting big and bulky) and doing too many slow and steady sessions on cardio machines.  An hour on a treadmill is not going to get you the results you are looking for.  With tight schedules, you can cut your workout times in half with KB training and since KB workouts help craft a lean physique, they are perfect for both genders.  At a first glance, kettlebells may look intimidating to women and/or they may have seen Strongmen or Mixed Martial Artists training hardcore with them.  That does not mean they are only meant for these athletes alone.  If you want to reach your fitness goals in a quick and efficient manner, kettlebells are a perfect tool to get you there! Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Mahler, when asked, “Do women use kettlebells?” always responds, “the smart ones do!”

Will I bulk up with kettlebell training? 
You won’t build big, bulky muscles with KB’s, however, by incorporating them into a sound training program you can build lean, dense, stronger muscles that are more functional with everyday movements and tasks and also help you become more efficient with other types of exercises and training.

I have a weak back.  Can I train with kettlebells?
Several KB exercises focus on strengthening the core, which can mean relief for an overworked back that is overcompensating for a weak midsection.  KB exercises can also increase endurance in back muscles, which can reduce the odds of suffering from back problems.  Our KB programs will help improve back health and help improve range of motion and joint health. 

Are kettlebells dangerous?
ANY exercise is dangerous if you use poor form and don’t get proper coaching.  Proper Instruction is the key to experiencing positive results and benefits with Kettlebells.  All of our Bernardo Instructors are certified through World Class Athlete and Fitness Coach, Steve Cotter and his IKFF (International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation) Organization.  Our BFF Kettlebell Head Instructor, Tammy Bernardo, has been training with kettlebells since 2003 with certifications from the RKC (Russian Kettlebell Instructor Certification) in 2004 and 2006 and with the IKFF in 2009 and 2013.  As always, our Instructors will continue to strive and improve on all teaching skills by maintaining proper certification and by attending top-notch, cutting-edge Kettlebell and Strength training seminars and workshops throughout the year.

I’m not an athlete and I have never trained with kettlebells before.  Should I try it? 
Whether you are a beginner just starting out, or an athlete new to kettlebell training, incorporating our Kettlebell programs into your current fitness regime will help enhance your fitness levels (ie, cardiovascular and muscular systems), your physique (ie, fat loss), core strength and the structural health of the posterior chain (ie, low back, glutes and hamstrings), all critical to a fit, healthy body! Bottom line, Kettlebell training can be incorporated by men and women of all ages and fitness levels.

For other inquiries or questions on our Kettlebell class schedule and pricing, please speak to Sempai Tammy Bernardo or call our Oxford Studio at 519-659-2504.

Our 6 London & Surrounding Area Locations


1165 Oxford Street East
London, ON N5Y 3L7
519-659-2504 (H.O.)
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1106 Dearness Drive
London, ON N6E 1N9
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28592 Centre Road
Strathroy, Ontario
N7G 3H6
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13274 Ilderton Rd
(Rhythm N’ Box Studio- former Walker Hall building)
Ilderton, ON N0M 2A0
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63 Main St S.
Exeter ON N0M 1S1
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St. Thomas

140 Fifth Ave
St. Thomas, Ontario
N5R 4E7
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Trial Memberships

Our trial offers are available at all 6 of our Bernardo Karate & Cardio Kickboxing locations. Come experience our programming for yourself and see why we are voted the best in London.