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About Our Karate

Traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu

Karate Practice

What Is Karate?

For Adults & Kids Alike

Karate is a traditional martial art from Okinawa, Japan. Unlike modern martial arts, Goju Ryu Karate has origins over 100 years old, and we are dedicated to preserving that history. Karate is a peaceful martial art: we practice how to defend ourselves and others, and how not to be the cause of harm.


This is not a fighting sport. It is the art of self-improvement.


Kids in Karate

And how it works to make their lives better.

We use the techniques, teachings and principles of karate as stepping stones to help children become focused, confident, physically fit, help them forge friendships, become leaders, and improve themselves with each class.

  • Set a goal, achieve a goal: Gradings and New Belts are always earned, not given away. This helps to learn to work toward goals. 

  • Listening is Key: you must listen to Sensei in order to know what is going on around you. Good listening is reinforced multiple ways for older and younger students alike.

  • Respect and Focus: we show respect to others, to Sensei, and to students in every class. 

  • Never give up: mistakes and bad days are inevitable. Picking yourself and trying again up is what counts. 

Image by Allen Tanzadeh

Our Classes

And their Format

Little Dragons (Kids aged 5-8)

  • 30 minutes. Reason: with physical activity like karate, attention spans tend to dwindle after 30 minutes. 

  • Classes consist of a warmup, basics, 2 or 3 technique combos, partner work (for more advanced Little Dragons) and punching bag drills. Class always finishes with a game!

Youth (Kids aged 9-12)

  • 40-55 Minutes (depending on belt level)

  • Class structure includes warmup, basics, 4-6 technique combos, punching bag and/or partner work, Bunkai, self defence, and Japanese/Karate history, Kata, and basic Japanese terminology.

  • Intermediate/Advanced students over age 9 also work on Sparring.  

Teens & Adults

  • Most Teens age 13+ join the adults class. Younger who are a lower level or not emotionally ready for Adults class will remain in Youth. Teens under 18 and Adults will not partner together. 

  • 60 Minutes in length

  • Warmup will consist of a cardio warmup+traditional Okinawan Junbi-Undo. Basics (kihon), Kata, Bunkai, Sparring and partner or punching bag will make up the bulk of class. Self defence, Hojo-Undo, and other drills may be incorporated.

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And why it matters for you.

Sensei Kate Cowan, head of Ogawa Family Karate, joined the IOGKF in 2005 under Chief Instructor Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura and has been regularly training with him since. This links us directly to the head of IOGKF - and gives you the chance to train with, grade, and attend regular training seminars under Nakamura Sensei and even Higaonna Sensei, among others. If you plan to continue through the coloured belts and into the 'dan' or black belts, you have every opportunity to do so with us. There is also the opportunity to travel to international events, gradings, training seminars (called Gasshuku), and tournaments almost anywhere in the world. 

See more at or

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