Our mission is to make a positive contribution to our community through teaching non-contact Traditional Japanese Karate. We help our students to increase their capacity and act as a catalyst for positive, healthy, living through the disciplined practice of martial arts techniques and Samurai philosophy.

Benefits for Children and Adults

Our curriculum promotes building self-confidence and self-esteem and the development of respect, sincerity, benevolence, and humility. The training helps to improve concentration, balance, spirit, and grace.

The Art

The “art” of karate is practiced during the kata period. Kata are prearranged forms (like gymnastics) that have a theme and meaning to the movements. As practitioners advance, they improve in their ability to express the feeling of the kata during the performance and retain the spirit of the kata after the performance. Example themes include: flexibility in daily life; building internal and external awareness; peaceful confrontation.

Our Style

The style of karate we practice is Shito-Ryu (pronounced she-toe-rue). Shito-Ryu is considered one of the four major Japanese styles of karate (Shito-Ryu, Shotokan, Goju-Ryu, Wado-Ryu comprise the four). The originator of Shito-Ryu was Kenwa Mabuni, an Okinawan who studied under two masters of Okinawan karate: Shisu (Itosu) and Toona (Higashionna). Shisu and Toona were, respectively masters of the two main Okinawan karate systems: Shuri-te and Naha-te. One can call Shito-Ryu (a name which Kenwa Mabuni derived from the first syllables of his two instructors) a Japanese/Okinawan karate style, because it originated in Okinawa and he took it to Japan.

What is Aoinagi?

The meaning of Aoinagi ties into one of the classical forms of traditional Japanese/Okinawan karate-do. It can be translated into English as “the green willow tree”. The remarkable quality of willows is their persistence in the face of overwhelming odds. Where there is water, there are willows. When there is water, there is life. Traditional martial art training is for life! It reaffirms our historical primal foundational link to Sensei Raymond Castilonia, Kyoshi founder of Aoinagi-ha Shito-Ryu.

Attendees at our annual Lake Arrowhead weekend training