What is the ISKF:
The ISKF or International Shotokan Karate Federation is the largest organization in the world dedicated to the promulgation of traditional Shotokan Karate. It is head quartered in Philadelphia with Master Okazaki as its chair-person. The ISKF has 75,000 members worldwide with clubs on each and every continent except Antarctica. It is the only Shotokan organization whose curriculum was developed by the ministry of education of a sovereign nation, namely Japan. It is a non-profit with over 200 clubs throughout the United States. It has a dedicated instructor training program. The ISKF offers different tracks for an individual’s development. These tracks include blackbelt rankings, instructor certifications, examiner certifications and judging certifications. These various tracks help to ensure a high quality and standardized curriculum.
Do I need to be in good shape to train Karate?
You do not. Karate practice will help you improve your fitness as you train. Check with your doctor, before starting any exercise program.
Is Karate safe?
We practice non-contact Karate where the technique is halted 1 centimeter in front of the target. You will make contact during blocking. In my opinion, at the amateur level, it is far safer than basketball, soccer, and other similar sports where collisions may occur. Additionally, Karate is relatively low impact and better on the knees than many other sports. Again, this is my opinion only. Karate is not without risk. It is a martial art after all. Check with your doctor, before starting any exercise program.
Will I really learn to defend myself?
All things being equal, yes. We teach a very practical form of self-defense. This does not mean that Karate practitioners are immune from any assault. Common sense is extremely important. We do emphasize common sense as part of overall self-defense. Generally, Karate cannot defend you against a firearm, a moving car or a wild animal. It certainly can help against an unarmed or lightly armed assault from one or more attackers. Additionally, we strictly discourage using Karate to deliver unwarranted harm to others.
Can I watch a class before I join?
Visitors and spectators are welcome to watch classes but are asked not to talk, whisper or eat during the sessions.
Why are your rates so low?
We have excellent instructors with both good experience and credentials. We run the school as a club with the goal of balancing incomes against expenses and not generating a profit. We have a volunteer teaching staff that is motivated by their love of the martial art and a desire to pass it on to the community at large.
Are you affiliated with a recognized organization?
Our organization is the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) , headquartered in Philadelphia. The ISKF has a demanding curriculum and high expectations for its instructors. It strictly enforces a traditional Shotokan Karate martial arts program. There are ISKF clubs all over the US, Canada and many other countries. See www.iskf.com for a complete listing.
Is Karate a religion or will it interfere with my religious activities?
Karate is not a religion in anyway. The “bow” is a sign of respect much like a good handshake. People of all faiths train karate. Karate is a system of self-defense. Tournaments demonstrate the sports aspect of Karate. Challenging classes boost practitioners’ self-discipline and personal character.