Clark, 8th Dan Test, Okinawa Japan. Seated left to right: Masters Tomoyose, Yonamine, Takara, Takamiagi, Inada

Frequently Asked Questions

What is so special about karate and why should I consider doing it?
Any sound activity with proper instruction is worth trying. That activity becomes worth doing if you discover that it is enjoyable and special. The key is to try it. You will never know otherwise. Observing a class is a good start, but nothing replaces trying the activity first‐hand. Of course, nothing worthwhile is easy; there is always work involved. Karate is no exception. However with the right teacher for you, everyone can enjoy the multiple benefits derived from practicing martial arts, despite age, gender or physical condition.
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What will practicing karate do for me physically and how?
Practicing karate will improve your ability to focus completely on the task at hand, regardless of whether the task is physical, academic or other. As self-defense skills are improved through repetitious practice your body improves its overall conditioning. Karate practice taps each of the three main areas of good physical health: Strength (isometric), Aerobic training and Flexibility of joints and muscles. These comprehensive benefits are a by-product of the training - You concentrate on practicing the form and the conditioning happens as you train. Skills are developed at an individual pace. Developing a special skill such as karate, being more comfortable with your body and how it moves, and being more fit almost guarantees a more fulfilling and energetic lifestyle. Karate practice provides the vehicle for those who enjoy it.
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What is the best martial art for me?
This is completely an individual decision. Our style is very popular because it utilizes natural and linear movements of the body. You don’t need to be athletic, possess exceptional coordination skills or be in outstanding physical condition. What I typically suggest is that you observe a few different martial art schools and try the one that seems to be the most attractive to your needs.
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How do I know that I have a good instructor?
By examining his or her credentials and evaluating your comfort level with that instructor after meeting them‐ it’s that simple! What I like about OUKA is that no instructor is permitted to teach in an “isolated vacuum”;  we are all linked together through the karate‐do system of seniority. In other words, I am an actively training advanced student and have an instructor that is further developing my understanding and skills all the time. My instructor’s teacher resides in Okinawa and the combination of visits from him and visits by my instructor to Okinawa produce a quality product for every student who enters a school in our association. The result: I don’t simply teach you what I have “learned,” but rather what I am still “learning and developing” at a more advanced level myself. I never forget what it is like to be a student because I am still one and always will be.
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Is karate just about self-defense?
Initially self-defense represents many students pursuit, however, long-term karateka (students) find the study of ‘themselves’ eventually takes over. Karate-Do, an important concept in Okinawa, defines the pathway as strengthening ‘fighting spirit’ which applies to all challenges in one’s life.
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What is OUKA?
OUKA stands for ‘Okinawan Uechi-ryu karate do association’ (OUKA) and is the descriptive acronym to define the worldwide organization led by Grandmaster Shintoku Takara, senior student of the late founder Kanei Uechi.
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