To begin your practice of karate at the Carson Valley Shotokan Karate Dojo, all you need to do is just show up.
After you have practiced regularly for a few months, you might naturally like to know how you are progressing and ask if you can be graded.
Kyu tests are held twice a year in April and November. There are no fees to participate in kyu tests.
In order to participate in kyu tests or other SKA activities outside of the Carson Valley Shotokan Karate Dojo, you must be a member of SKA.
- SKA membership dues are for each calendar year, and are $100 per year for non-black belts. However, for new members, the first year’s dues are only $75.
- Furthermore, new members who join in the second half of the year will receive a further $25 discount from their second year’s dues
The most important benefit of being a member in SKA is the opportunity to attend practices with Ohshima Sensei. Ohshima Sensei leads only a few practices a year at the Shotokan Ohshima Dojo in Santa Barbara, California, which are open to beginners:
- Kids practice (for kids and parents who are practicing) – typically held in June
- Open practice after the Nisei Week Tournament – typically the Sunday following the first Saturday in August
- Senior practice (white belts over 40 years old) – typically held in October
- Last practice of the year with Ohshima Sensei – first Saturday in December
In addition, each year, Ohshima Sensei leads a practice for women, brown belts, and black belts. Thus, the number of times that you can practice with Sensei in a year are limited.
While Santa Barbara is an 8 hour drive from the Carson Valley area, consider that for other people around the world to attend a practice with Ohshima Sensei requires up to a 17 hour flight. If you had the opportunity to receive instruction from the pre-eminent artist/expert in any other field that you were studying, no distance would be too far to travel.
Those of us who have practiced for many years with Ohshima Sensei cannot adequately describe the benefits we have received from his instruction. If you wish to further your practice of karate and join SKA, please talk to one of the senior members in the dojo.