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About Emerald City Karate

An International Journey to strengthen our Community

Emerald City Karate has become part of the bedrock of the Greenwood/Phinney Community with members training at the dojo from every nook and cranny of our neighborhood but it didn’t start off that way.  Emerald City Karate was founded by Tobey Stansbury who dedicated his life to the Martial Arts at the age of 7 in Yakima, Washington under Morris Mack, Hanshi 10th Dan.  Tobey Sensei grew up at the dojo and opened up the first Emerald City Karate dojo while he was going to college in Shoreline.  After graduation, Tobey Sensei decided to move to Japan to further research and study Shudokan Karate-Do with the masters who learned from the founder of our style of Karate.

In 2008, Emerald City Karate was re-established in Ballard upon Tobey Stansbury’s return from Japan.  The dojo has moved several times from the Phinney Neighborhood Center, to Fremont, and then to our current home on Greenwood Ave.  With each move the one thing that has remained constant is our dedication to our students and to improving their lives.

It was his goal to create a positive atmosphere for students to learn not only an effective self-defense system but also a comprehensive program of personal growth and development. This has been achieved by consistently teaching Life Skills in every class to foster integrity, goal setting, academic excellence, focus and respect, and our community has fully welcomed and supported Emerald City Karate.

We offer classes for all ages from Four Year Old Children to Adults, in age specific classes. We specialize in Traditional Karate and Practical Self-Defense. We also offer Spring and Summer Camps, After School Programs, Sparring Classes, Weapons Classes, and Women’s Self-Defense Workshops.

Stop by the dojo and we’ll help you live your best life!

Dedication to our Community

At Emerald City Karate, supporting our Community is a big deal!

We are proud to help support and sponsor the Greenwood Elementary Jog-a-thon and school auctions for nearly every local school in the area.  We also support the annual Hunger Goblin drive in October as well as the Greenwood Classic Car Show in June.   We offer transported After School Programs for families in our community and offer special day time classes for home school families who  dedicate their lives to the personal education of their family members.

Another popular community dojo event is our monthly Parents’ Night Out event which is an extravaganza of excitement featuring nerf games, dodge ball, foam sword battles, pizza parties, and more.

We continue to strive to be a pillar of excellence in our community by offering Women’s Self-Defense Seminars to the public to help keep our families safe in the constantly changing world. We invite you to come down and change your life for the better by stepping onto the mat at Emerald City Karate.

Come and experience self-mastery!

What makes Emerald City Karate different from the rest?

Emerald City Karate is a cut above the rest in many ways.  It’s rare to find an authentic martial arts school these days.  It’s even more rare to find one operated by an instructor who actually studied and lived in the country of its origin.  Emerald City Karate has direct ties to Japan and the masters living there.  This means that you will experience an authentic form of the art but in Emerald City Karate’s loving atmosphere of excitement, discipline, and fun!

Many families look to the martial arts to help develop confidence in their children.  Emerald City Karate’s Life Skills Program goes beyond simple confidence by teaching life changing qualities like Respect, Focus, Teamwork, and perseverance.  We teach these skills in our daily mat chats and throughout our drills in class.  Our mat chats are often inspired by the timeless proverbs from Japan called Kotowaza and Koan.

Classic examples of these are:

  • Even Monkeys fall from trees.   Saru mo ki kara ochiru.
  • Fall down seven times, get up eight.  Nana korobi, Ya oki.

Family Classes!

Another thing that makes our program incredible is our Family Classes.  Our program is both serious enough for adults and fun enough for children, which means that the whole family can train here.  Most of our members are part of a family unit training here.  That means moms and dads, brothers and sisters, all having fun together on the mat!  Parents can choose to either train side by side with their child or separately in our Adults Only Karate Program.  We also have parents that choose to mix and match classes so they can train once a week with their child and once a week in the Adults Only program.

Remember… the family that kicks together, sticks together!

2 week Trial $29.99

Includes Dojo T-shirt and Belt!


“I first started training under Sensei Tobey in 2008. When I first started my training I was a pack-a-day smoker. I had tried to quit smoking many times but had failed. I promised Sensei I’d quit before my black belt test. I no longer smoke, and I believe that my training in Shudokan Karate under Sensei Tobey gave me the mental discipline that I needed to quit.”

-Thom E – Adult Karate Program

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“My 7-year old son and I have been going to Emerald City Karate for several years now. We have had a great time and always look forward to our family/youth class. As well as teaching about karate and Japanese culture and language, Sensei Tobey provides great lessons on how to work hard and patiently to succeed in anything. It’s also a great way to get mid-week exercise!”

Alan H – Youth & Family Program

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“Sensei Tobey is my son’s Karate teacher (we’re in the 4 to 6-year-old class).   As a teacher of small children, I find him to be a wonderful combination of patience, discipline, and fun. He is very passionate about teaching Karate and it shows. He relates to the kids very well and can teach boys and girls equally, not only the physical skills of Karate but mental focus skills as well. It’s been a great experience for my son and I highly recommend Sensei Tobey and Emerald City Karate to anyone looking to enroll their child in a martial arts class. “

Yvette H (Karate Mom)

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Before joining Emerald City Karate I had no experience playing sports or participating in exercise programs because I didn’t like physical activities. So I didn’t expect I would be able to keep training for more than a month or so. But I found it to be fun immediately. The karate class has a variety of different subjects that keep students from being bored. Also, Sensei Tobey knows how to encourage students and allows them to have fun while feeling good about themselves. He likes telling jokes and making students laugh but his passion for teaching karate is always distinctive and serious. Because of his encouragement, I have kept training for a long time and even now I am training in Japan! Karate has taught me the joy of exercise and improved my concentration and it continues to teach many students to practice better manners and etiquette.

It is my pleasure to recommend Emerald City Karate for your exercise and experience in martial arts.

-Kaoru M: Adult Karate Program

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“I cannot say enough good things about the programs offered at Emerald City Karate. If you have children, this dojo (school) is a wonderful environment for them to learn traditional Japanese martial arts, self-discipline, and to have a great time!”

-Samantha: Karate mom

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