What is Shotokan Karate?

Shotokan Karate originated in Okinawa, a small island south of Japan. It was popularized in Japan by Gichin Funakoshi in the 1950s. The name “Shotokan” comes from the name “Shoto,” which was Funakoshi’s pen name.
Shotokan Karate is a traditional martial art. This means that improvements in character and mental discipline are as important as physical skill, if not more so. Shotokan Karate is meant to be accessible to all, including, women, children, and those without great athletic ability. Shotokan Karate Institute offers a caring, safe environment where children can learn the art of karate. Its practice leads to:

• Muscular and Aerobic fitness
• Body alignment, balance and movement
• Increased perceptual awareness
• Stress management
• Concentration, confidence and discipline

Shotokan Karate is a traditional Japanese style of Karate. It combines both mental and physical training to refine the character of its students. Karate means “empty hand” as translated from its Chinese characters. As a result, Karate uses no weapons in its training, relying on the hands, feet, and body of its participants.

Is Karate for Women and Children?

Yes, most definitely! Karate is for all individuals — small, tall, young or old. The Shotokan Karate Institute’s youngest student is 6 and oldest is 85.

Will I be able to defend myself physically?

Students of Shotokan Karate, knowing that they can handle themselves in a physical conflict, feel confident, and thus are able to avoid most confrontations without resorting to a physical fight. If there is no avoiding a fight, the student of Karate learns to disable his or her opponent in one blow.




What is Hanshi Sharifi’s background?

Kanshi Sharifi is currently the highest ranking non-Japanese Shotokan Karate instructor in the United States. He holds the rank of 10th Dan (10th degree black belt). Kanshi Sharifi originally trained in both the United States and Japan. He then moved back to Iran where he started Shotokan Karate in 1971. Today there are over 10,000 students in Iran training in Shotokan Karate! In 1984, Kanshi Sharifi moved back to the United States and started the Shotokan Karate Institute in Oakland, California. In 1995, the dojo moved to the Central Avenue Shopping Center where its students built a custom hardwood floor ideal for Karate. In 2020, the dojo moved to the ground floor of the Church on the Corner in Albany, California.

Is Karate good for my health?

Yes. Because Karate involves both stretching and cardiovascular exercise, it is extremely good for your health. Furthermore, unlike many other activities, Karate uses almost all muscle groups. This means that your body becomes very well balanced rather than overworked in specific muscle groups.

Who are some of Kanshi Sharifi’s accomplished students?

  • Mr. Davood Badrkhani, 2nd Dan
  • Mr. Saeed Badrkhani, 5th Dan
  • Mr. Mohammad Bahrami, 7th Dan, National Coach & Instr., Kuwait and now, Iran
  • Mr. Grant Finwall, 3rd Dan, Assistant Instr. at Main Dojo
  • Mr. Teo Harris, 5th Dan
  • Kyoshi Ricardo Llewelyn, 7th Dan
  • Mr. Ted Lum, 5th Dan
  • Mr. Rick McCallum, 4th Dan
  • Mr. Siamak Montazeri, 7th Dan, Karate Coach and Instr., Regensburg, Germany
  • Mr. Mehran Nikzad, 5th Dan
  • Mr. Hassan Pakbaz, 5th Dan, Assistant Instr. & Coach to Main Dojo, USA & Others
  • Mr. Rick Raffanti, 2nd Dan
  • Mr. Reza Salmani, 7th Dan, National Coach & Instr.,Vancouver, Canada and National Canada Coach, now teaching in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
  • Mr. Shaaolah Sepasi, 4th Dan, European Champion for three consecutive years
  • Mr. Michael Tabassi, 7th Dan, Karate Coach & Instuctor, Maryland, MS.
  • Mr. Ali Tabassi, 5th Dan, Karate Coach & Instuctor, Maryland, MS

Where is the dojo located?

The dojo is located in Northern California on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. It is conveniently located in Albany, CA at the corner of Solano Avenue and Pomona Avenue.

The address is 1319 Solano Avenue, Albany, CA 94706 Practices will be held in the ground floor of the Church on the Corner (entrance on Pomona Ave.)