San Jose Dojo – Shotokan Karate of America

The original nonprofit organization teaching traditional karate in America since 1956


San Jose Dojo extends a warm welcome to kids, children, teens, and their parents. Parents, we are honored that you have decided to have your children train with us.

Please observe:

Instructors will defer to parents in agreeing on each child’s best departure time. It’s suggested initially children or youth practice 45 minutes. After training for a while your child would usually attend the entire 90 minutes.

Awards vs. Values

The immature focuses on awards: belts, prizes, etc. while the mature are concerned values and the resulting lessons learned. Children who attend karate are exposed to two important values:

  1. Finish what you start.

  2. Do your best and don’t give up.

Practitioners are asked to embrace these and other important values, both in and out of the dojo. Parents may want to consider the resulting beneficial impact on your child when these values are translated to activities outside the dojo, such as schoolwork.

Clearly, those who begin at a young age have a tremendous opportunity. And those who continue their practice into adulthood will enjoy a tremendously positive impact on their lives. But even if a child practices for only a short while and is unable to continue, he are she will be awarded with exposure to many positive values by practicing karate.

Observations, Suggestions

San Jose Dojo instructors have been teaching children and youth karate for decades. During this time we have made some observations and can offer some recommendations that may be beneficial.

Please be aware that our organization does not encourage children with a rainbow of belt colors, belt stripes, “attaboy” patches, trophies, etc.

in this way. In contrast a diligently practicing child in our group will remain in the white belt ranks for years. Instead of motivating with rewards and prizes, our practitioners (children, too) must find their motivation elsewhere: the satisfaction of finishing what one starts and joy of accomplishing a realized goal after much effort, discipline, and persistence without giving up.

“The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants”. – Master Gichin Funakoshi.