Our Philosophy
"The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its practitioner." - Master Gichin Funakoshi

Martial arts training is our foundation; it is the medium through which we work, but it is not our most important purpose. The Independent Karate Schools seek to realize Master Funakoshi's premise and help our students build character – for themselves, for their families, and for their community. Under the umbrella of character development, our lessons help reinforce a variety of character traits:


We use ceremonies to reinforce courtesy and show respect. Students bow when entering or leaving the dojo, when greeting their instructors. Each drill begins and ends with a bow. Master Funakoshi believed that the Martial Arts should begin and end with this principle. As our students progress through their training, they realize that these formalities are symbolic and that true courtesy should come from within and be focused in their daily lives outside the dojo.


We instill confidence in our students by testing them and teaching them to test themselves. Knowing their limits and their potential instills a sense of confidence that can be used in their professional and personal lives. We teach the martial arts strictly as a form of self-defense, and while we repeatedly stress that the best technique is to prevent or avoid confrontations, we still want them to be well-grounded in the art and confident in their abilities. With this confidence, they are less likely to be shamed or goaded into fighting.


One of our most fundamental guiding principles is the slogan "Treasure in a Pocket", symbolized by our Front Position stance (right fist in left palm). The treasure is expertise in the martial arts and the pocket is humility. True martial artists are not showy, they do not draw attention to themselves, and they do not flaunt their martial ability in front of others for either intimidation or boasting. A true martial artist keeps their treasure in the pocket, and only brings it forth as a last resort in self-defense, or the defense of others.

"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."