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1407 W. Front Street, Roanoke, IL 61561

We’re not training to fight.

Yes, we’re learning self defense. We’re learning the proper body mechanics to deliver powerful punches and kicks. We’re learning throws, sweeps, and grappling techniques like joint locks and chokes.

But our goal is not to fight. We learn and teach these things because they help us be better people, and so maybe we won’t have to fight.

"The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants." -- Gichin Funakoshi
Gichin Funakoshi, one of the widest-known and most influential Okinawan karate masters

It’s one thing to teach a student to deal with a bully, but it’s just as important to teach a student how not to bully. Our students are learning the effectiveness of their techniques, which teaches them the damage that can be done in a fight and why they should avoid fighting. They are learning confidence in themselves, so they are less likely to lash out or to pass their pain and frustration on to others. They are learning to cooperate with their peers, and how to effectively communicate when they need a little extra help or if they see one of their fellow students struggling.

What’s more, they are learning skills that help them contribute to society as well. They are learning to follow commands and work within a structured environment, and as they rise in rank, they are learning to lead others and set an example. The etiquette teaches them how to be polite, to show respect. They are learning sportsmanship in sparring matches and tournaments, both how to win gracefully and how to accept defeat.

They are also learning the value of hard work. As students progress in rank, their skill developing is evident. They don’t earn rank based solely on their time as a member, they understand they have to practice more to hone their skills, and that there’s always room for improvement. Our dojo does not have twelve-year-old black belts because the black belt means something, and our students understand that it’s something they must work for (which, in turn, teaches them patience).

This applies to adults as well as kids! It’s never too late to learn a little patience, confidence, and discipline, and training in the martial arts can help us avoid a lot of unnecessary conflict.

Come visit one of our classes and we’ll be happy to show you more!

Post Author: Sensei Oliveri

Sensei Mike Oliveri is currently a sandan, or 3rd-degree black belt, in Shuri-ryu Karate-do. He started training with the Academy of Okinawan Karate in 2007, and he served as Sensei of their Eureka location from January 2015 through March of 2019. He opened the Heartland Dojo in Roanoke, Illinois, in April of 2019.