Traditional Karate

This class is for ages 15 and up and for CMA students who have attained their Junior Black Belt through our junior curriculum. Adult Karate offers the chance for adults to earn their black belt in traditional Japanese Karate combined with valuable self-defense skills that will enhance your daily activities by giving you:

Better fitness, flexibility, muscle tone

Increased stamina and energy levels

Reduced stress and tension levels

Improved self esteem and self confidence

Perseverance and self discipline

Improved mental focus


Shotokan is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957) and his son Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi (1906-1945).

Shotokan training is usually divided into three parts: kihon (basics), kata (forms or patterns of moves), and kumite (sparring). Techniques in kihon and kata are characterized by deep, long stances that provide stability, enable powerful movements, and strengthen the legs. Shotokan is often regarded as a ‘hard’ and ‘external’ martial art because it is taught that way to beginners and colored belts to develop strong basic techniques and stances. Initially strength and power are demonstrated instead of slower, more flowing motions. Those who progress to brown and black belt level develop a much more fluid style that incorporates grappling and some aikido-like techniques, which can be found in the black belt katas. Kumite techniques mirror these stances and movements at a basic level, but are less structured, with a focus instead on speed and efficiency.


Gichin Funakoshi laid out the Twenty Precepts of Karate, (or Niju kun which form the foundations of the art, before some of his students established the JKA. Within these twenty principles, based heavily on Bushido and Zen, lies the philosophy of Shotokan. The principles allude to notions of humility, respect, compassion, patience, and both an inward and outward calmness. It was Funakoshi’s belief that through karate practice and observation of these 20 principles, the karateka would improve their person.

The Dojo kun lists five philosophical rules for training in the dojo; seek perfection of character, be faithful, endeavor to excel, respect others, refrain from violent behavior. The Dojo kun is usually posted on a wall in the dojo, and some shotokan clubs recite the Dojo kun at the beginning and/or end of each class to provide motivation and a context for further training.

Funakoshi also wrote: “The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant.”

Former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida holds a 3rd dan black belt in Shotokan karate, while his brother Shinzo holds a 4th dan and their father Yoshizo holds a 7th dan and was head of the Japan Karate Association’s Brazilian branch.

Several other mixed martial artists also have a Shotokan background or utilize Shotokan (e.g., Vitor Belfort, Antonio Carvalho, Mark Holst, Assuerio Silva).

Action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme holds a black belt in Shotokan and used the style when he competed in full contact karate competitions in the 1970s and 1980s. Actor and action movie star Michael Jai White is also a practitioner of and black belt in Shotokan alongside seven other distinct martial arts.

Kyokushin kaikan:

Kyokushin kaikan is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese karate master, Masutatsu Oyama ( who was born under the name Choi Young-Eui). Kyokushinkai is Japanese for “the society of the ultimate truth”. Kyokushin is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training. Its full contact style has had international appeal (practitioners have over the last 40+ years numbered more than 12 million.

Sparring (kumite)

Sparring, also called kumite, is used to train the application of the various techniques within a fighting situation. Sparring is usually an important part of training in most Kyokushin organizations, especially at the upper levels with experienced students.

In most Kyokushin organizations, hand and elbow strikes to the head or neck are prohibited. However, kicks to the head, knee strikes, punches to the upper body, and kicks to the inner and outer leg are permitted. In some Kyokushin organizations, especially outside of a tournament environment, helmets, gloves and shin protectors are worn. Speed and control are instrumental in sparring and in a training environment it is not the intention of either practitioner to injure his opponent as much as it is to successfully execute the proper strike. Tournament fighting under knockdown karate rules is significantly different as the objective is to down an opponent. Full-contact sparring in Kyokushin is considered the ultimate test of strength, endurance, and spirit.

Notable practitioners:

*Georges St. Pierre, the current UFC Welterwieght World Champion
* Dolph Lundgren
* Andy Hug, the most recognizable K-1 fighter
* Michael Jai White[13]
* Sam Greco, Karate World Cup Champion 1994, K-1 World Grand Prix 1999 3rd Place
* Francisco Filho
* Bas Rutten, former UFC Heavyweight Champion, 3 time King of Pancrase world champion
* Semmy Schilt, 4-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, reigning K-1 Super-Heavyweight Champion
* Peter “The Chief” Graham, professional Australian kickboxer
* Glen Murphy actor, 1st dan
* Katsunori Kikuno, DEEP 2001 International Lightweight Champion.
* Jayson Vemoa World Muay Thai Champion 1998, K-1 trainer to Glaube Feitosa and Ewerton Teixeira