Why study Karate?
The study of karate provides many benefits such as physical & mental conditioning. It builds self confidence and self defense. And... it's fun.
Individual students have different reasons for taking up karate. Your goal may include self-defense, physical fitness, fun, competition, or increased coordination and confidence. Gichin Funakoshi, founder of modern Karate, said "The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory nor defeat but in the perfection of the character of its participants."
"Karate" (pronounced "Kah-rah-tay") is a Japanese word that means empty hand and refers to a karate student's ability to offer a defense without the use of weapons.
This style of Karate is referred to as Shotokan or JKA Karate (Japan Karate Association). JKA Karate is known for fast, powerful kicks and punches; its deep, driving stances; the friendly discipline of its classes; and striving for good form that results in maximum power. Traditional karate is taught through kata (forms), kumite (fighting), basic techniques (kihon).
Why teach non-contact karate? Wouldn't contact help me learn to take a punch?
You cannot be conditioned to "take a punch" like the kind you are striving to deliver in Shotokan Karate. Even a weak blow (by Karate standards) can hurt a person. If you become satisfied with weak techniques, you will never learn how to develop and use all of your power.
Will I get a new rank every three months?
No, you must earn your rank by testing to demonstrate your skill. The JKA is known for its high standards. Sometimes you'll decide that you need more time to prepare for a test. Your time is valuable and the high standards of the JKA make your training time even more valuable. As you advance, you'll discover that these high standards mean better Karate.
What is a Karate Master?
A JKA Karate Master is a student and teacher of Karate who has trained seriously for at least 16 years, (usually much longer) and has been awarded a fifth level black belt by other Karate Masters. A Karate Master has an exceptional level of skill and understanding, and has shown a dedication to the spirit and tradition of Karate.
Robert Fusaro, founder of Midwest Karate in 1958, received his 8th Dan October 18th, 2010. He is one of the highest ranking non-Japanese masters in the western hemisphere.