What Is SKA at GWU? | Why Should I Join This Group? | How Do I Join? | What Is the Schedule? | What Does It Cost?

DC Shotokan is a George Washington University student organization, affiliated with Shotokan Karate of America, a national nonprofit organization teaching traditional karate in the United States since 1955. We can make arrangements to have non-students join our group on a case-by-case basis. Practices are led by dojo leader Kitty Gallagher and the club's black belts.

Kitty Gallagher and Laurence Libelo also teach GWU's Karate classes through the Exercise Science Department for credit. The Section 10 beginner class meets on on Tuesday evenings from 7-9:00 pm. There is no Section 11 beginner class this semester.

Why Should I Join You Guys?

There are many different styles and organizations in the world of martial arts. Choosing a style or a teacher can be confusing and difficult. For more information, see How Do I Choose a Martial Art?

We in SKA feel that our primary asset is our chief instructor, Tsutomu Ohshima, who founded the first karate organization (and the first university karate club) in the United States. Mr. Ohshima brings to us a traditional martial arts practice that combines extremely effective fighting skills with an internal focus that gives karate a broader relevance to our daily lives. More information on Mr. Ohshima and the SKA style of martial arts practice and philosophy can be found in About SKA.

How to Join

Beginners are welcome to join at any time, although it is best for students to join at the beginning of a semester along with a group of other beginners. Don't be afraid to jump in, throw away all mental blocks. All you have to do is show up at a regularly scheduled practice or contact Laurence Libelo if you have any questions at You may watch a practice before joining if you wish, or come dressed in any suitable workout clothes to participate actively.

Practice Schedule

Winter 2009-2010
DayTimePlacePractice Level
Tuesday7:00 - 9:00 PMBuilding KEXSA 026 Beginner's Class
Thursday6:30 - 8:30 PM300 Mass. Ave, Yoga RoomClub Practice - All Levels
Saturday8:00-9:00 AMBuilding KJiyu Kumite Practice
Saturday9:00-11:00 AMBuilding KClub Practice - All Levels

Building K is the Exercise Science Program Building, and it is located at 817 23rd Street NW (between H and I).

What Does It Cost?

To try it out costs nothing. You are welcome to practice with us up to three times to see if you enjoy it, after which you must decide whether to join. Club dues are $50 per semester.

You may also want to join SKA, the national nonprofit organization with which we are affiliated. Membership in SKA includes all "kyu" (rank) tests and a student training guide, and it enables you to practice at any SKA or affiliated dojo in the world, including at Special Trainings, other regional practices led by senior instructors, and the opportunity to practice at the Shotokan-Ohshima dojo, which overlooks the Pacific ocean from the mountains above Santa Barbara, California. Also included is a subscription to the Shotokan newsletter, a bimonthly publication of SKA featuring notes from Mr. Ohshima and other articles relating to our practice. SKA dues are $75.00 per calendar year for renewing memberships and $50.00 for new members.

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