Classes in the Pandemic
Instruction is oriented to adults and young adults (12+). We consider younger students on an individual basis and welcome children to train with their parents. 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.
We hold classes in the Dance Studio in Strathcona High School, Edmonton, which has a beautiful sprung hardwood floor and mirrored walls.
To protect all our members and the community, we observe strong protocols while COVID persists as a serious threat in the community. Our karate obligates us to do our best to care for others. We monitor Edmonton COVID wastewater signal and are fortunate to be able to rely on the advice of an international public health expert.
Full vaccination is required. N95 or KN95 or better masks must be worn. We sell these at cost for $2. A brief screening questionnaire must be completed before each class. We run a UV air purifier and an electric mechanical HEPA filter in the dojo. We insure good ventilation and monitor CO2 levels, which have never exceeded 800 ppm.
If you would prefer to learn karate without masking or observing other COVID measures, we suggest you try one of the many other clubs in Edmonton with skilled instructors which would fit you better, and we wish you all the best.
In summer, we hold classes in the park adjacent to the school. Outdoor training, yagai keiko 野外稽古, is an old tradition in Okinawa. We make masks optional when outside and maintain distancing for solo exercises.
Unlike most karate clubs, we do not run any dedicated kids' classes. We do welcome children to train alongside their parents, and offer a tuition discount for households who enroll three or more members.
One-on-one instruction pre-pandemic
In person: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1900-2030 and Saturdays 1000-1130.
Online: Monday and Wednesday 1900 - 2000 MT.
First class is free; first month is $45, which covers Karate Alberta fees.
After that, $65 per month or $660 per year ($120 discount). $15 per drop-in per class. $25 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.
All members must also pay $45 annual Karate Alberta dues each November.
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 training and can't afford it, please contact us and we will make arrangements which will allow you to train.
Strathcona High School is accessed by car from 105 A St.
It's a ten minute walk from multiple bus routes on Whyte Ave and about the same from routes running on 109 St.
To get to the dojo, enter via the west-facing doors of the school and go straight through the lobby and the glass doors at the far end. Turn left, go up a short flight of stairs, continue straight and up one more short flight of stairs to the end of the hallway to the doors of the Dance Studio. If you have difficulty locating us, please call Doug at 587 879 0119.
Education and karate as the transformation of what you are
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.
The dojo kun hanging in the hombu dojo
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.