Baltimore Karate Club is a non-profit organization (incorporated as such in the state of Maryland since 1968) dedicated to teaching traditional Japanese karate. We teach the Shotokan style, and our parent organization is the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF).
Grace and St. Peters Church
707 Park Ave
Baltimore, MD 21201
Tuesday, Thursday: 7:30 - 9:00p.m.
Saturday: 10:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
(NOTE: Saturday practice is optional and will be contingent on participation/
availability of intructors. Cancellation will be noted at class and through
Igor Miletic, 4th Dan
Edward Davis, 3rd Dan
Kenneth Stewart, 4th Dan
Yaacov Dassa, 4th Dan
Bruce Press, 4th Dan
Rob Laschever, 4th Dan
Dojo Entrance from Park Ave
Grace and St. Peters Church from Park and Monument
The basic membership dues are $25 per month for an individual. There is a 10% discount for yearly pre-paid tuition, so for an individual that would be $270.00/year.
We encourage training as a family, the monthy dues for one person and their immediate family is $35.
The fee for active military is $15 per month.
For full-time students (including children) the fee is $10 per month.
Training ranges from very simple to very complex. It should be noted that the simpler and more basic type of training is considered to be the most beneficial, and beginners and advanced students alike spend most of their time on that.
Training is divided into three parts:
Kihon (basic techniques);
Kata (formal exercises);
Kumite (sparring with a partner).
Kihon is the foundation for everything else. One cannot be proficient at kata or kumite without having mastered, at least to some extent, the basic techniques.
Kata are considered the core of karate. They are sequences of techniques performed in a specified order, as defense against several hypothetical opponents. Mastery of certain kata is one of the prerequisites for rank advancement. For example, one must know at least seven kata in order to attain the rank of shodan (first degree black belt). Advanced kata are optional, and are practiced according to personal preference.
Kumite also ranges from basic to complex. It should be noted that sparring must not be viewed as competition against an opponent. Both students are encouraged to do their best while cooperating with each other. A desire to beat the other person runs counter to the spirit of karate and will actually slow down or even prevent technical progress.
A crucial part of karate training is practice with the makiwara (striking post). It is used for punching and, to a lesser extent, kicking. We have a makiwara at our dojo (training hall), and will be glad to instruct beginners how to use it correctly. Also, most of our senior member have built these devices in their homes, and are more than willing to explain how to construct one.
Almost any kind of physical activity or exercise can be a beneficial complement to karate practice. Calisthenics, running, weights, or swimming are excellent, as are milder activities like hiking or yoga.
Participation in competition is not a requirement for rank advancement. It is completely optional. For those who wish to compete, there are several ISKF-sponsored tournaments held each year. It should be noted, however, that a high level of physical fitness is a prerequisite for tournament competition. Inadequate preparation can result not only in substandard performance but physical injury as well.
Any kind of physical activity that involves forceful movement carries a certain risk of injury, and karate is no exception. Compared with other activities, especially popular sports like football, soccer, and basketball, karate has a remarkably low injury rate. Most inujries involve strains and sprains. Injuries resulting from accidental blows are rare and limited almost exclusively to tournament participation.
Karate ranks are divided into two sets, kyu (ranks below black belt) and dan (black belt ranks). There are eight kyu ranks, eight being the lowest and one being the highest. There are nine dan ranks, one being the lowest and nine being the highest. On rare occasions, an individual of exceptional merit, ability, and achievement may be awarded the rank of tenth dan.
Provided one has practiced sufficiently, one can take a kyu exam every three months. Upon attaining the rank of first kyu, one must wait (and practice!) at least a year before attempting the first dan exam. Not passing an exam is not considered failure in the usual sense. One is simply expected to practice harder and take the exam again. Every serious student has failed a number of exams in his/her career.
Kyu exams are usually given every three months at the Shotokan Karate Club of Maryland, in Randallstown, MD. Dan exams are given twice a year at the ISKF headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. Exam and rank registration fees must be paid before the date of the exam.