About

A community-based dojo, we value good character and community relations as much as, if not more than, technical ability. Like other modern Japanese martial ways (budo) such as kendo, judo, and aikido, the purpose of karatedo lies not in the victory over one’s opponent, but the disciplining of one’s body and the forging of one’s spirit through rigorous training. We are affiliated with the World Matsubayashi-ryu (Shorin-ryu) Karatedo Association (世界松林流空手道連盟) based in Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, under the direction of Mr. Yoshitaka Taira.

RFUMC-Garden

A view from the Japanese Memorial Garden on the grounds of our dojo’s host, Ravenswood Fellowship UMC. RFUMC was founded in part by Japanese Americans relocated to Chicago from incarceration camps during and after WWII as a result of Executive Order 9066, and the beautiful Memorial Garden is a legacy to their perseverance.

Ravenswood Shorin-ryu Karate Dojo practices on Monday evenings in the gymnasium of Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church on Chicago’s North Side. Although not religiously affiliated with the church, RFUMC – which was formed by Japanese Americans relocated to Chicago from internment camps during and after WWII – graciously shares its facilities with many outside organizations, supporting both the Ravenswood neighborhood and community-at-large. In addition to our dojo, they also host Choyokan Kendo Dojo two nights a week.

We study Okinawan Matsubayashi-ryu (Shorin-ryu) as catalogued by the late Shoshin Nagamine. Class content varies, but may include basic meditation, calisthenics, kihon (basic techniques), kata (forms), bunkai (applications), yakusoku kumite (pre-arranged sparring), jiyu kumite (free sparring), and goshinjutsu (self defense techniques). Okinawan kobudo, or classical Okinawan weaponry, is studied as an adjunct to our empty-handed training.

Our dojo is open to adults and children ages 12 & up. All students (or parents/guardians for children under 18) must sign a waiver of liability prior to joining, and parents/guardians of children under 18 years of age must remain on the premises during training.

Practices are ongoing and there is no enrollment period. Inquiries are welcome at any time. If you are interested, please contact our dojo manager, Erik Matsunaga, at: ravenswoodkarateclub@gmail.com.