What is Karate?
Karate is more than an effective means of self-defense or a dynamic sport. It is a vehicle to improve one’s life by refining one’s character through our training on the mat. The word ‘Karate’ is a Japanese word that literally means ’empty hand.’ The most basic understanding of this word is that you will learn to protect yourself and your loved ones without the need for anything but your own hands. Through Karate training you will learn that the true meaning of Karate is much deeper than a simple literal translation. As your understanding improves you will be able to face the challenges that life throws at you with confidence, determination, and peace of mind.
Emerald City Karate traces its lineage hundreds of years, all the way back to China and the original importers of martial arts to the Okinawan Islands. This proud heritage has been carried on by Martial Arts Pioneers in the United States like Yokou Takahashi, Walter Todd, and Morris Mack. We are proud to welcome you to join these time-honored traditions in our school. Join us today and start your journey towards a black belt.
History of Shudokan Karate
At Emerald City Karate we teach Classical Okinawan Karate that originated from the Shudokan Dojo. Learn more about this style of Karate and check out a lineage chart to see how our style has been passed down through the ages.
Toyama Kanken: (1888-1966)
Learn more about the founder of the original Shudokan dojo in Tokyo and his amazing journey from Okinawa to Taiwan to Japan and how his karate spread around the world to America and is carried on at Emerald City Karate.
Walter Todd's Biography
Learn more about this Marital Arts Pioneer whose long career changed the face of Martial Arts in the United States. His life long journey helped bridge the gap between two cultures who were dead locked in a deadly war.
Tanaka Mikio's Biography
Learn more about the head organizer of the Toyama Kai. This direct student of Toyama Kanken DaiShihan has helped keep Toyama type karate alive in Japan. He was also given the great task of teaching at Toyama’s Dojo the Shudokan after his passing.
“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
“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
“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)
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
“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