What We Teach


karate classes in Cornelius NCWe teach karate and kempo, two similar but separate systems.

Karate is a somewhat generic term used to cover the wide range of different styles that originate from the Okinawan martial art of Te. Shotokan Karate, one of the most popular styles, was organized into its modern form by Gichin Funakoshi, who also modified existing katas, and created new katas to add to the practice of Karate. The literal translation of karate is “empty hand,” and that explains the art very well. The main characteristics of this style are various strikes, kicks, and blocks, using different areas of the hands, arms, legs and feet as weapons.

Kempo has a long history. This style started in China, moved to Korea, and then Japan, as it combined the best of various styles into one art. It is comprised of Karate – striking and kicking techniques; Jujitsu – joint locks and throwing techniques; Kobudo – weapons training; Aiki-Jujitsu – similar to Aikido and related to using opponents’ momentum against them; and Kempo-Jitsu – non- traditional self defense techniques.

Students may choose which style they learn. Karate is focused on in the lower ranks, but Kempo is taught in all classes, because it includes Karate. The only difference is in the test requirements, and we offer rank testing in both Karate and Kempo. Many students, especially children, start out testing in Karate, since the requirements may be more developmentally appropriate. Some students continue in Karate until black belt, and some switch to Kempo along the way. There are requirement sheets for both Kempo and Kanshin Ryu Karate, which detail exactly what is required from orange belt all the way to black belt in the different styles.