Palo Alto Buddhist Temple Dojo


Traditional Japanese karate in a safe and supportive environment

Children's Classes

Traditional Shotokan Karate for children 6-12 years old. We practice authentic, traditional Shotokan karate as taught in Japan. If you are not sure what that means, please come by to watch a class or two and ask questions afterwards.

Kids can expect to learn:
  • the most important kihon (basic) techniques and begin to apply them in basic and very controlled self-defense exercises
  • very basic kata (pre-arranged sets of movements)
  • strength, speed and balance training

Today, our children's classes are designed for beginner/intermediate students only, but we will add be adding advanced kids' classes in the near future.


Japan Trained Instructor
The instructor for the kids classes, Keeling (Jon) Sensei, started teaching Shotokan karate 28 years ago. He lived and trained in Japan for 8 years and is one of the most highly qualified instructors of Shotokan anywhere. Some parents of kids in the class who themselves have Karate experience sometimes act as assistant instructors, helping when we break into groups by experience levels.

Spacious Dojo
Kids' classes are held at Palo Alto Buddhist Temple located at 2751 Louis Road off of Oregon Expressway in Palo Alto.  The spacious dojo is also used as a full basketball court at other times.

Our classes are different
Unlike the majority of "martial arts studios," we teach authentic Karate. We do not spend half of the class time playing games and the classes are never run by people who are not legitimate black belts. Classes follow traditional procedures but are also fun. Kids should expect to get some exercise while learning techniques and strategies that could help them avoid or get out of a dangerous situation. Our standards are the highest. If your child has been awarded rank somewhere else previously, please do not assume such rank would be recognized with us any more than you would expect their Lego License to be accepted by the DMV. ;-)

When you walk into a Chinese restaurant and see Chinese people eating the food, you know it is authentic. Likewise, when you observe our classes and see that nearly 50% of the students are Japanese or half-Japanese, you can be assured of our authenticity.

Private lessons are also available and can be completely customized.

Times & Fees

Classes are Tuesdays and Fridays, 5:00-5:45 pm (please email to confirm times as these may change during the year)*. Please arrive a few minutes early to change clothes and begin warming up.

See the following TV news clip where the broadcast was made from just outside our dojo: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/video?id=8925147

Please note that we also have kids' classes at Cubberley Community Center (also in Palo Alto) as well as in our Redwood City location.


Several kids from our group recently earned trophies or medals in a tournament.