Instruction is oriented to adults and young adults (12+). We consider younger students on an individual basis and are happy to have children train with their parents, but we have no separate kids' classes.
Sessions are 90 minutes long (but please see below for exceptions for September 2023). We practice traditional techniques, do frequent full-contact training on pads, and incorporate body-weight strength-training and stretching.
Lucy, one of our black belt instructors, doing plyometric chest-clap push-ups
Given the current COVID surge, N95 masking is mandatory for indoor classes. Masking in optional for outdoor sessions. Integral to our tradition is the commitment to take care of each other.
Small classes mean personal attention from instructors, often one-on-one
New students are welcome anytime! Anyone with a sincere desire to learn Seibukan is invited to try a class for free, regardless of experience or level of fitness. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail or text Doug (contact information is at the bottom of each page) or use the contact form below.
For the rest of September, on Saturday mornings we'll be training outdoors, beneath the trees and in the park directly south of Strathcona High School, at 72 Ave and 105 St. There is plenty of free parking and there's a bus stop on 106 St, as well as one served by multiple routes on Whyte Ave, a 10 minute walk away.
On Tuesday 26 Sept and Thursday 28 Sept, we'll be using temporary space at the Reveal Wellness Studio, Suite 202E, 7718-104 Street (Calgary Trail). There is free parking to the north of the building, off 78 Ave. Because the studio is smaller than our regular dojo, we'll be splitting into two classes: beginners and white belts, 1900-2000. Advanced students, 2000-2100. The following week, we'll be back in our regular space of the dance studio at Strathcona High School.
Class Schedule and Fees
In person: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1900-2030 and Saturdays 1000-1130.
Online: Monday 1900 - 2000 MT and Sunday 1100-1200 MT.
First class is free; first month is $45, which covers annual Karate Alberta fees.
After that, $65 per month or $660 per year ($120 discount). $15 per drop-in per class. $40 per month for distance online-only students. If three or more members from the same household are training in-person, the tuition for the third, fourth, etc person is reduced to $35/month. We are privileged to have a special relationship with Strathcona High School and its students and staff can train in our dojo for zero tuition.
From the beginning, our policy has been that anyone of good character with a sincere desire to learn Seibukan karate should be given an opportunity to do so, regardless of their financial circumstances. Our tuition is among the lowest in the city, but if you want to try our karate and can't afford our regular rates, please contact us and we will make arrangements which will allow you to train.
In October, we'll return to the beautiful dance studio of Strathcona High School.
We train hard, but we also have the warmest and most welcoming community you'll ever encounter.
Over the past three years, supporting each other and the community meant heeding public health experts and maintaining good COVID protocols, including masking and air purification. In the autumn, we'll reexamine the local COVID situation and risk, and set dojo policies accordingly.
Education and karate as the transformation of what you are: a little more about our approach
Few would dispute the possibility of radically transforming your body through good nutrition and exercise. We understand that we can greatly change our physical selves, even if most of us don't. That can start with something as simple as doing push-ups regularly.
The transformation of the body is an alternative trope for learning. When education is conceived as the acquisition of skills and knowledge, it's as if those are objects you can possess. Hence the metaphor of adding to your toolbox. What you've learned is what you have.
What you own is structurally and conceptually different from what you are. You, the subject, use the knowledge, the object you have acquired. As the image of the toolbox implies, this can be very useful.
Yet changing what you are, including but beyond your body, is very different from adding to what you own. The first line of our dojo kun (the oath of the dojo that we recite every class) is, "Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomeru koto 人格完成に努めること": "Seek perfection of character."
It's common to say someone has character, but that's misleading, because character is what someone definitively is. It's what you are.
Unfortunately, for a lot of karateka, the dojo kun means no more than polishing the selves they already adore, so they shine a little more brightly. For others, it's just empty words. And then there are the self-centered, boastful, bigoted, and ignorant.
I think we need to take the dojo kun seriously. For all but the terminally narcissistic, perfection of character is an impossible ideal, and the seriousness of a karateka can be measured in how they recognize the distance between what they are and what they should be.
And how much they're willing humble themselves and sweat to get a little closer.
There is no reason why anyone who practices karate needs to be that serious. A person can benefit a lot from karate as just exercise. But for the more serious, seeking the impossible perfection of character portends fundamental changes in who and what they are changes that they may not even be able to imagine at right now. It's a lot more than adding to your toolbox. Yet I think this is ultimate power of education far beyond good martial arts, but exemplified in them.
The seriousness of karate is the potential to radically transform us.