The Madison Japanese Karate Club is one of the oldest Martial Arts clubs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is sponsored by the Division of Recreation & Wellbeing, and it is a registered student organization.
Participation is open to all UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff. We start a new beginners class every semester, and for the 2021 Spring semester it will start at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, February 3rd, in an online session (link coming soon). Due to the COVID-19 situation, we will be having workouts online for the start of the semester. The beginner classes will take place every Wednesday and Friday 6-7 PM CT. All you need to participate in our workouts is some space in your apartment (enough for you to spin around with your arms open), comfortable clothes, and no shoes (as we practice barefoot)! As we get guidance from the University to do so safely, we will eventually switch to a hybrid in-person/virtual format, which will further expand the moves that we can practice.
No experience? No worries! Most of our club members started their martial arts journey with our club as complete novices. It is best to start at the beginning of a semester, as we have a structured beginners class. The Spring 2021 class will start on Wednesday, February 3.
Note that it is also possible to start at any time, as long as there is consistency and dedication, so don't hesitate to send us an e-mail.
If you have previous experience, please let us know the details, and you will likely be able to join right away.
Club membership is by semester. A necessary first step is to fill out a couple of forms required by RecWell, which will allow you to participate in our workouts. Follow these steps, and once you come to practice and experience what we have to offer, you can decide if you want to become a member and continue training.
The membership fee for the Japanese Karate Club is $45 per semester, or $65 for the whole year (two semesters and the summer session). Returning members receive a $5 discount if paying for only one semester.
The club sells Gis (karate uniforms) to members at a reduced cost. A lightweight Gi will cost between $25 and $30 depending on size. Heavier Gis are also available. Interested members should speak to an officer as prices will vary based on desired quality and weight.
Club members enjoy a number of benefits aside from being able to attend practices. Each year we host a tournament and seminars with guest instructors. Attendance at events hosted by the club is free. For away tournaments and seminars that we attend, the club covers half of the individual cost for participating members, and the full cost of competition team events. Kyu rank exams which are held at the end of each semster are also part of the membership fee, and include a regional certificate. Exams for 8th - 4th kyu ranks are usually taken in the club. 3rd to 1st kyu ranks tests can be taken at the club or at external events, and are usually part of a seminar or a guest instructor. For brown belts, there is a national registration fee of $15. Higher level rank exams are performed by nationally and internationally qualified examiners.
We practice Traditional Karate in the Shotokan style. Instruction is given from the most basic level and increases in difficulty as the participants learn the techniques required to control their body and mind. All 3 traditional components of karate training (kata, kihon, and kumite) are taught at the dojo.
While the instruction centers on karate as a martial art, portions of the training involve self defense applications and karate as competitive sport. Our club regularly sends teams of men and women to regional and national competitions.
The Madison Japanese Karate Club is affiliated nationally with the American Amateur Karate Federation, and internationally with the World Traditional Karate-Do Federation. All ranking is done under their auspices.