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What is karate-do?

Karate is a weaponless means of self-defense, which consists of techniques of blocking or thwarting an attack and punching, striking, or kicking.
What do the words "Karate-do" mean?
The word "Karate" is actually a contraction of 2 Japanese words, "kara" and "te." "Kara" means "empty" and "te" means "hands." "Do" (pronounced like "bread dough") means "way ." So, Karate-do literally means "the way of the empty hand."

What type of karate do we teach?

We teach the Shotokan style of karate, which is the authentic, original karate from Japan. Its techniques are self-defense based, and their effectiveness comes from body control, rhythm, timing, and agility. We emphasize building strong body mechanics and motion. We blend in Chinese Kenpo self defense techniques and Jeet Kune Do concepts to add a modern approach to our personal safety classes.

What kinds of weapons to we teach?

The weapon system we teach is the Filipino art of Kali or stick fighting and knife techniques.

What kinds of seminar to you teach?

We provide Women’s Personal Safety, Personal Safety against a Weapon, Wellness and Stress Reduction seminars.

Where did the name of the style "Shotokan" come from?

"Shoto" was the pen name of the founder of the style, Gichin Funakoshi. Funakoshi's students named his first dojo, or training hall, the "Shotokan" or "Hall of Shoto."

What is the goal of karate?

The most important goals of karate are to strengthen people mentally and physically through strong, disciplined training, so that better harmony among people is realized. The ultimate goal is seeking perfection of character.

Can anyone learn karate?

Women, men, and children aged 7 or older who can safely engage in moderate physical activity can learn karate. You are never too old to begin karate training.

How long does it take to learn karate?

You can learn a great deal in even one day. However, there is really no limit in the learning and mastery of karate techniques. The more you practice, the more you will improve. In classes, karate students are taught the most basic techniques during the first three to four months. After this introduction, they are separated into different classes for more advanced training.

How long does it take to get a black belt?

First-degree black belt in karate is awarded to those who have mastered the basic techniques. With regular, consistent practice, students generally attain the rank of first-degree black belt in two to five years, with three years being average.

How long will it take before I can learn to defend myself on the street?

Each person is different, physically and mentally, so it is difficult to predict how fast or slow they will progress. A person can learn a great deal about self-defense in even one lesson, but it usually takes from six months to one year to be prepared for a common self-defense situation.

Will karate help me get into shape?

YES! In our classes, adults, teens and children not only learn self-defense, awareness, and self-control, but they also attain high fitness levels from the vigorous training. They increase their fitness and stamina. Our exercises tone muscles and burn fat. At the same time, students are allowed to progress at a rate that is most comfortable for them.

How do I choose a karate school that's right for me?

We encourage you to visit other schools before joining ours. Take a close look at the facility and the personality of the instructor. Very carefully observe the atmosphere created by the instructor because this is where the attitude of karate is taught. Beware of schools that want you to sign a contract.

Will karate benefit my child?

Karate produces lifelong commitments to health and personal integrity. We teach respect for self and others. Observe the eagerness of our children as the respectfully approach the practice floor and instructor to join their friends in disciplined and meaningful learning. Parents tell our instructors of improvements in their children's attitudes toward responsibilities at home and school work. Karate provides the tools for strengthening both the mind and the body. We teach children to exercise their self-control and be responsible young adults. This is a treasure that they carry on in life.

Do I have to wear a karate uniform (gi)?

Yes. The gi allows for maximum movement and helps contribute to the serious tone of the class.

How do I get colored belts?

There are eight rankings below black belt represented by the colors; yellow, orange, green, purple, and brown. At least 4 months of regular training is required for each of these rankings. Your instructor will tell you when you are ready for ranking, and an examination fee is charged.

How can I get more information about karate?

We recommend two books:

Best Karate, Fundamentals Vol. 2
by Masatoshi Nakayama

Dynamic Karate
(Bushido-The Way of the Warrior)
by Masatoshi Nakayama



King Lam’s
Tamashii Karate and Tai Chi Center
8132 Willow Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118


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