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Our Mission

At Zen Budo Karate, our primary mission is to instill the next generation of martial artists with positive self esteem, confidence, and the ideals of a truly compassionate warrior. If a student learns to be a good person and fails to learn even a single movement of Karate effectively, we have done our job. Our goal is to do this in all communities, not just mainstream upper middle class communities. We coordinate with grant based programs and serve many Title 1 schools. No one should be prevented from taking martial arts because of the cost. We have many scholarship programs available at our locations. Our primary goal is to take students, wherever they are and help them become better people. If a person becomes the most skilled martial artist in the world but is egotistical and cruel, they have lost sight of the true purpose of Martial Arts. We teach the following core values as part of our program, which are based on the Dojo Kun of Gichin Funakoshi, an important founder of Karate.


 人格 完成に 努める こと
hitotsu, jinkaku kansei ni tsutomeru koto
jinkaku = personality, kansei = complete (perfect), ni = to, tsutomeru = endeavour

Funakoshi believed, as do we, that the primary purpose of martial arts is not punches or kicks, but the perfection of moral character, meaning the quest to perfect and instill positive values in a person. The aim of training was not just to defend oneself but to become a better person. While children come to our classes to learn to roll, fall, throw people and to feel a sense of increased importance and power, with great power comes great responsibility. The aim of Martial Arts is to teach children this responsibility and make them kind, respectful, honest, hard working adults. 


hitotsu, makoto no michi wo mamoru koto
makoto = truth, no = 's, michi = path, wo = with respect to that, mamoru = defend

Honesty and sincerity are an important practice in martial arts. The goal is to have students be honest with each other, but also be honest with themselves. "Did I do that kick well enough? Did I do a good enough job?" The goal of internal honesty is a frank appraisal of one's skills, without resorting to inflating one's ego, and at the same time not berating oneself for inadequacy. The goal of outward honesty is sincerity and trust with one's teacher, other students, and finally the outside world. 


hitotsu, doryoku no seishin wo yashinau koto
doryoku = effort, no = ’s, seishin = spirit, wo = with respect to that, yashinau = cultivate

In most activities, getting to the next level is automatic, and children and adults often change between hobbies and subjects in school at a rapid pace. Karate is a lifetime art, and it takes a lifetime to master. Perseverance and the discipline to continually work on martial arts is an incredibly highly prized value in our generation of instant gratification.  Even getting to the next belt takes months of work, getting a black belt takes years and years of difficult work. Martial Arts teaches a person how to delay their gratification and be truly satisfied with permanent, rather than temporary rewards.


hitotsu, reigi wo omonzuru koto
reigi = courtesy, wo = with respect to that, omonzuru = honour

Respect is one of the most important values that we teach. Respect does not mean obedience or worship of instructors. Rather, respect begins with the self, and being responsible with their Karate skills. First and foremost respect means that each student values themselves and doesn't disrespect themselves. This is taught through slowly advancing through the ranks and testing oneself. Respect for oneself rises as students gain confidence from overcoming obstacles. Valuing the self is the first step towards withstanding a self defense confrontation. Respect is functionally required when doing partner work, sparring and throwing a partner, because the student must be taught to care for the partner's safety at all times. 

Later, respect extends to a larger community, first to the partners that each student works with in trying out techniques, and later the student comes to respect the teachers. The show of respect at the beginning of class is at first a ritual requirement, but as time passes it becomes a heartfelt show of gratitude. 

As the student progresses, they learn more about the History of our martial art, and learn to respect the great teachers and instructors that have come before us. By respecting first themselves, then their partner, then their teacher, then their community and then their history, the student learns to become a respectful member of society.


hitotsu, kekki no yū wo imashimuru koto
kekki = vigor (impetuousness), no = of, yu = courage, wo = with respect to that, imashimuru = refrain

​​This is the "Zen" part of Zen Budo Karate, which deals with mental fortitude. We teach the student to control their mind and their impulses in every class through our opening meditation. Restraint is the ability to control both the mind and body through the force of a student's will. As students progress, they learn to control their anger, frustration and other negative emotions before they spin out of control. By learning to control their minds, they learn to control their body, and by learning to control their body, they learn to control their mind. The mind/body connection is further taught by overcoming fears, like fears of testing for a new belt, role playing self defense situations and maintaining a calm mind even in emergency situations. 

Zen Budo Karate

holistic Martial Arts for Kids And Adults