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Historically, the prime purpose of the Martial Arts has been to enhance the quality of life of those who practiced it. Embeddered in a well taught and well structure Martial Arts program are properties that improves the mental, physical, spiritual and moral health of those who practice consistantly on a regular basis.

Understanding Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate-do
(The Way of the Empty Hand)

The Dojo

The dojo is traditionally known among people who study oriental culture as a school or institution where students are instructed in the martial arts (Judo, Kyudo, Kendo, Karate, etc). Dojo is an ancient Japanese word which means "Place of Enlightenment." Our dojo is not an ordinary Club or Academy.
On the contrary, it is a place
where students who are seriously committed to self improvement and development through the study of Martial Arts receive dedicated instruction. Traditional gestures of respect such as leaving one's shoes at the door of the dojo, and bowing before entering and leaving is required. Our dojo is referred to as a second home by most of the students to the extent that it's care and maintenance is not entrusted to outsiders or janitors. The dojo is cleaned and kept spotless through the personal attention of each and every student that uses it.

Vigorous and enthusiastic participation in class is a basic characteristic of our Karate workouts. Classes begin with a bow of self-humility. Structured warm-up exercises follow. The vigorous training is not only for calisthenic purposes, but to strengthen the student's commitment to the way of Karate.
All Karate training drills at this dojo are highly structured to ensure the proper and safe development of every student. Beginning students are drilled in basic Karate movements until their confidence and ability to perform them properly is unquestionable.


Kata is the foundation of the art of Karate, in the same sense that a good background in mathematics is essential training for the mathematician. To a layman, kata would appear to be no more than a series of beautiful and graceful movements involving blocking, punching, and kicking. In essence, kata is the medium through which the student communicates his attitude, his weaknesses and his strong points thereby enabling his instructor to guide his development carefully and meaningfully.

Kata is very demanding. It demands the ultimate in balance, power, speed, concentration, breathing, confidence, and humility. These are some of the important inputs of the character-building which should be part of every human being's early training. In the Shorin-Ryu Karate system, emphasis is placed on the kata.

However it should not be mis-understood that the concept and necessity of self-defense is ignored or de-emphasized. It is our experience and the experience of generations of Okinawan Karate Masters that true self-defense is possible only after serious training in the above mentioned demands of kata.

© 2009 TTMAI. All rights reserved.

David Harrell, Renshi
a student of

Kyoshi Frank Hargrove

over 35 years.