ADULT KARATE (13 yrs. old and UP)
Karate may be defined as a weaponless means of self-defense. It consists of dynamic offensive and defensive techniques using all parts of the body to their maximum advantage.
Karate practice is divided into three categories:
1. Kihon (basic blocks, punches, kicks and stances)
2. Kata (pre-arranged forms simulating combat situations)
3. Kumite (sparring)
In each category the beginner is given instruction at the most basic level until the techniques become spontaneous.
A beginner’s technical progress in karate is accompanied by physical progress. Gradually the student becomes involved with the study of more intricate and difficult kata, and more dynamic forms of kumite.
As the student approaches black belt level, technique, stamina, speed and coordination become natural as a result of strong practice. It is at this stage that the serious student discovers that the study of karate has only just begun. The object of true karate practice is the perfection of oneself through the perfection of the art.
The values of Karate to people in modern society are numerous. In our everyday lives we often forget the value of exercise to both our physical and mental health. The practice of karate tones the body, develops coordination, quickens reflexes, and builds stamina.
Joining Shotokan Karate of America
Students wishing to pursue the serious study of karate should join Shotokan Karate of America (). SKA is a nonprofit organization that has been teaching traditional karate-do in the United States since 1955. SKA was founded and is still led by Tsutomu Ohshima. Mr. Ohshima is also recognized as the chief instructor of many other SKA-affiliated national Shotokan organizations worldwide. SKA maintains its national headquarters in Los Angeles. The mission of Shotokan Karate of America is "To preserve, perpetuate, and advance the legacy of Shotokan Karate for the betterment of the lives of those who train, and to contribute positively to human history." As a member of SKA, you may participate in kyu tests (tests for white and brown belt ranking) held twice a year in April and November in addition to other special, sanctioned events including Special Training (Summer and Winter), Spring in the South and Regional Practices. As a member of SKA, you have the ability to practice at any SKA affiliated Dojo around the world.
“If you want to learn what true karate is about... pushing yourself mentally and physically beyond your limits, then Stratford Shotokan is the place to go. PERIOD!!!!”
- Bobby Gomez, 7th Kyu - 43 yrs old
"I take kickboxing and karate at Stratford Shotokan. Both classes are amazing! My body has completely transformed and I feel like I am the healthiest I have ever been!! I also have more energy now then I know what to do with. The instructors... are amazing and your classmates are super supportive. I have been part of other dojos in the past but this one is like no other. I would def recommend Stratford Shotokan to anyone looking to start karate, get fit, or if you are just bored of going to a gym. Everyone goes at their own pace....no worries."
- Jenna Lupinacci, 8th Kyu, 30 yrs old