Shotokan Karate is a BUDO (traditional Japanese martial art) focusing on empty-hand self-defense. Its purpose is not to win against an enemy outside of your body but to win against yourself. That means to win against your fears, doubts, indecisiveness and to be surprised by nothing.
”The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or in defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.” – Gichin Funakoshi, Founder of Shotokan Karate (1868 – 1957)
Due to this destructive power, a true karateta (a person who practices Karate) can win against his/her enemy with only one blow; mistakes could therefore be disastrous. Thus, one who practices Karate must trust his/her opponent and must be trusted by his/her opponent. To be trusted by your opponent, you must show respect to your opponent and always demonstrate your tranquility.
In our dojo, we use time proven and innovative teaching methods to develop student form, technique, and performance. Karate could be seen as a challenging and fun comprehensive exercise program (body-mind-soul) and a great alternative to traditional gym workouts.
”People believe that there are limits to the strength of their bodies and minds without really trying hard to overcome the limits. With proper training, the mental and physical barriers can be removed to reveal surprising power. Karate was devised to overcome weaknesses and limitations by bringing out hidden or unnoticed potential.”(Copyright 1994, Kitoh Karate by S. Sugiyama)
The Dojo was founded by Walter Nakamoto in 1962 as the Chicago Karate Club. The name was changed in 1963 when Shihan Shojiro Sugiyama was invited to come to America from Japan to become head instructor. We are honored and humbled to have received our foundation from Karate masters such as Shihan Sugiyama and Shihan Nishiyama and are proud to be able to trace our lineage back to Master Funakoshi, the founder of the Shotokan style of Karate.
Today the JKA Chicago prides itself on being a source of Japanese traditional martial art while continuing to innovate techniques to allow the student to progress at the fastest possible rate.
Karate training increases endurance and muscle tone, improves balance, develops quicker reflexes and a greater sense of well-being. Regardless of whether you want to become a competitive athlete, learn self-defense techniques or simply become more physically fit, this program will help you achieve your goal.
No previous experience is required and each student will receive a one-on-one attention from our instructors to speed-up his/her advancement. If you do have some experience in martial arts, this program is a great place to rediscover the many benefits of martial arts training.
What to Expect?
In the Beginner class, students will focus on the fundamentals of traditional Karate and practice the basics stances, blocks, and strikes (Kihon) while learning how to use various training equipment. This class also emphasizes on basic conditioning and physical fitness.
In the All Ranks class, students will continue to focus and perfect the fundamental techniques (Kihon) while building strength, endurance, flexibility, and body coordination. They will also learn various forms (Kata) which are choreographed sequences of block and strike techniques. Practice of Kihon and Kata prepares the students for Kumite which is controlled and safe combat versus one or more opponents.
The Family class is the opportunity to train for family or couples in a fun and friendly environment. Students will focus on fundamentals of Karate and practice the basics stances, blocks, and strikes (Kihon). They will also learn the first 5 forms (Heian Kata) which are choreographed sequences of block and strike techniques.