About Us

About Us

Our company was formed in London 54 years ago to import authentic martial arts supplies from Japan. Since the formation of our publications unit in 1979, we have also published instructional books by the most talented karate instructors in the world.

In 1983, we opened our office in Southern California to supply American corporate customers initially. However, as we grew, we added more individual martial artists customers who understood the value of our products to their training! In 1994, with Jones Intercable, a prominent American Cable TV company, we created a production company that made over forty broadcast-quality karate training videos with instructors as famous as Morio Higaonna, Shinyu Gushi, Shinpo Matayoshi, etc.

Today, our goal is the same as when we started; to provide the best quality, most authentic martial arts equipment at the most reasonable price backed by a truly superior service.

Dragon Associates Inc. Quality, Service, Knowledge

Meijin Dojo Brand Uniform.
This is a competitively priced uniform that is by no means "cheap" when it comes to quality, fit and comfort. Each Meijin uniform is cut and sewn to identical specifications, they vary only in the type and weight of the fabric used in their construction. In other words, if you always wear a size 5 Meijin Tropical, a Meijin Brand Dojo uniform size 5 will fit you just as well.  
$52.25$75.65Select options

Meijin Premium Black Uniform

With the same size and cut as our best-selling standard PRO uniform, the Meijin PREMIUM BLACK is available in sizes 3-12 and half sizes 3.5 - 6.5. Please note that Meijin black uniforms use a special dye to resist fading and discoloration. We strongly recommend therefore that these uniforms be washed in cold water before they are worn for the first time. 

$169.50$244.50Select options

Meijin PRO Uniform

The Meiji PRO is an ultra high quality 100% cotton canvas uniform. The special canvas is woven to our own specification from three strands of long fiber cotton for the ultimate in strength and comfort. The Meijin PRO exceeds many of the other “Premium” brands in everything but price, and is available with FREE Japanese name or style embroidery, and translation if required, on request.
$149.75$199.75Select options

Meijin Tropical Uniform

The Meijin Tropical uniform is our best selling product in many areas of the US and overseas, especially  in the summer time and in locations that enjoy a sub-tropical climate. When the textile mill first showed us the 10-ounce cotton canvas they had developed, we knew we had to use it. (Continues below).
$64.90$119.75Select options
Dojo Brand white belt is supplied free of charge when you order a complete Dojo Brand uniform, but it must be requested and shipped with your uniform order. It matches exactly the specifications of the Meijin Dojo uniform, but if purchased separately costs $4.95    Dojo Brand Uniforms

Meijin Colored Karate Belts: These belts are made exclusively for our company. They feature multiple  lines of precise stitching, over a laminated cotton/felt core, covered by the highest quality 100% cotton cover. We offer them in the following colors: black, blue, brown, orange, green, purple, red, yellow and white.

Custom Belt Embroidery.

Any type of belt can be embroidered, and they all look great when done really well. It’s a very simple process. Order your belt and calligraphy below then call us on 818 889 3856 so we can discuss exactly how you want your custom belt made. You will receive it within 7-10 days. Super high quality, reasonable price, and fast delivery!
The Meijin cotton black belt is sewn over a cotton felt inner core with ten lines of  continuous stitching for stability and strength. This belt is an absolute classic and when we custom embroider these belts with the Class A imported German embroidery Madera thread that we use they become a work of art.  Embroidery designs
$39.00$45.00Select options
The Meijin “silk” black belt actually uses a 100% black rayon cover in a semi-matte finish as genuine silk is not durable enough for this purpose. It is sewn over a cotton felt inner core with ten lines of  continuous stitching for stability and strength. The silky black luster gives the belt a classic appearance which contrasts beautifully with the Class A imported German embroidery Madera thread that we use for custom Japanese embroidery. Truly a class act!   Embroidery designs  
$39.00$45.00Select options
The Meijin Senpai Karate Black Belt uses a 100% black cotton cover sewn over a felt inner core with ten lines of  continuous stitching for stability and strength. Belt construction methods & materials are chosen to enhance embroidery, an option that our company is famous for. Of course translations are free in most cases for embroidery customers, and we do not have “setup” charges!
$9.95$10.95Select options
The Meijin Shihan Karate belt is offered as part of our range of professional grade karate equipment. We offer the SHIHAN karate belt of red and white panels in a width of 1.75" and sizes 4 - 9. Our belts are designated “Premium” because they have 16 red sections and 15 white sections. Of course, we can embroider your belt at extra cost and you may find our translation service, which is free for customers, interesting.
By Masafumi Shiomitsu the former captain of the Nihon University Karate Team, Tokyo, the largest university in Japan. Size 6" x 9" 128 pages featuring everything from stretching and preparatory exercises to training with iron clogs.
Okinawa Karate The Exquisite Art is the definitive work on the history of karate, and the most beautifully produced book of its type to date. Designed and produced by Classical Fighting Arts magazine, it was printed by the highly respected press of Ikemiya Shokai Ltd. in Naha, Okinawa. Full Review Here

$89.00Read more

“Shotokan Karate A Precise History”

…is an enormous volume weighing almost five pounds and produced with such care the result is a book of the quality rarely seen these days. It is both a technical and a historical masterpiece! Please see here for full details.    

Shotokan Karate Advanced Kata …by Keinosuke Enoeda, an instructor best known as the “Shotokan Tiger.”

Volume 3 of a series of instructional kata books produced in London during the early 1980s that are universally considered the very best of their type. Includes the Shotokan Kata: Gojushiho-Sho, Gojushiho-Dai, Nijushiho, Tekki-Sandan and Tekki-Nidan.
This  program includes detailed instruction in:  Junbi Undo-training methods unique to karate for increasing strength & flexibility; Sabaki-effective defensive and offensive movement in karate, Kamae-stances that provide a stable base to fight from.
Morio Higaonna Sensei presents applications of the Kata Seisan and Suparinpei. Higaonna Sensei Goju Ryu 10th Dan Hanshi was designated a “Living Intangible Cultural Asset of Okinawa” in 2012 by the Okinawan Government. Running time 60 minutes.        
Hojo Undo using the chiishi, nigiri game and ishi-sashi to develop overall body power; the historical development of Gekki Sai Dai Ichi and Gekki Sai Dai Ni and their performance; the kata Saifa. Running Time 60 minutes.
The Kata Seiyunchin & Shisochin presented by Morio Higaonna Sensei, Goju Ryu 10th Dan. Filmed on location in a beautiful Japanese garden, this Tsunami DVD is as visually pleasing as it is technically excellent. Running time 60 minutes.
Morio Higaonna Sensei presents the Goju Ryu Kata kata Sanseru & Seipai. Includes explanations of techniques and bunkai, advice on performance, timing, and correct breathing. Running time 54 minutes.
Morio Higaonna Sensei is the student of An’ichi Miyagi and is therefore only one generation removed from the Founder of Goju Ryu, Chogun Miyagi. Presents Kururunfa and Seisan. Running time 60 minutes.
Suparinpei Kata. When Higaonna Sensei visited Fuchow for the first time in 1987 and demonstrated the Goju Ryu kata, older Chinese martial artists recognized many of them. Running time 50 minutes  
Encyclopedia of Goju Ryu 7 This program has three parts which are presented by Higaonna Sensei personally. These are the three fundamental kata of Goju Ryu karate: Sanshin, the dynamic tension kata that develops power, concentration and karate related muscle groups.
Morio Higaonna Sensei shows in detail the applications of the kata Gekki Sai, Saifa, Seiyunchin & Shisochin in order to overwhelm and defeat an opponent. Running time 50 minutes.
The applications of the kata are the keys to its improvement and mastery.  Higaonna Sensei presents the applications of the important kata; Sanseru, Seipai & Kururunfa. Running time 60 minutes.

Feeding Crane Gung Fu

Viewed by many as the grandfather of the Naha-Te Okinawan karate styles, Feeding Crane Fist  combines internal and external intrinsic energy  to produce a fighting system of unparalleled dynamism and Effectiveness Running time: 55 minutes.
From Tak Kubota, the internationally famous police tactics specialist, this DVD includes defenses to  grabbing, trapping and blocking techniques, choke-holds escapes, pain compliance and its use in self-defense. The author is credited with the development of the Kubotan Keychain and the PR-24 Police Baton. ®
Kata: Sanchin, Gekisai Dai Ichi, Gekisai Dai Ni, Saifa, Seiyunchin, Shisochin, Sanseru, Seipai, Kururunfa, Sesan, Suparinpei, Tensho. The complete Goju Ryu syllabus of 12 kata with basic applications performed by this famous modern master.

Goju Ryu Technical 1

This first volume shows superb performances of the foundational kata mandatory Goju Ryu Seipai and Saifa followed by highly detailed explanations of the “bunkai” (applications), correct method of moving, and how to breathe correctly while performing the kata.

Higaonna Technical Series

In Chojun Miyagi's Goju Ryu karate, the benefits of Sanchin training—physical strength, body development, striking power and focus—can only be realized if the kata is practiced correctly. Each movement must be precisely performed and harmonized with the performer's breathing.  
The third in a series of six programs by Morio Higaonna Sensei, presents the entire arsenal of Goju Ryu karate techniques; 21 striking and punching, 10 kicking, and 31 blocking methods, and their most effective combinations. Running time 56 minutes
Lectures and demonstrations 
by Morio Higaonna, 10th Dan, Hanshi of the kata; Gekisai Dai Ichi and Gekisai Dai Ni, 
Seiyunchin, Shisochin and Kururunfa. Running time 56 minutes.
Morio Higaonna Sensei 10th Dan Hanshi, Goju yu, demonstrates the kata,  Sesan, Suparinpei, Tensho, and Gekisai Dai (as kakie) as only he can. Great performance, excellent production quality. Running time 60 minutes.
Sanseru by Morio Higaonna Sensei, a Living Tangible asset of Karate and teacher the likes of which is  born only once or twice each century, has produced this series of  DVDs which is a living textbook of Chojun Miyagi Sensei's Goju Ryu.  Running time 55 minutes.
This is the official English language version of the Shotokan 
Kata Series of programs produced by the Japan Karate Association, Tokyo, Japan, under the technical direction of its Chief Instructor, Masatoshi Nakayama. It has been converted to the DVD format (with full menus) and additional Shotokan historical material added during the re-editing process.
This is the official English language version of the Shotokan 
Kata Series of programs produced by the Japan Karate Association, Tokyo, Japan, under the technical direction of its Chief Instructor, Masatoshi Nakayama. It has been converted to the DVD format (with full menus) and additional Shotokan historical material added during the re-editing process.

JKA Shotokan Kata

Volume 1 Contents: Heian 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & Tekki 1. 
Kata instruction in this series of programs is given by Masatoshi Nakayama, assisted by other senior Japan Karate Association instructors including: M. Tanaka, A. Isaka, M. Yahara, T. Imura, 
A. Isaka, Y. Osaka, M. Yahara and T. Imura. Filmed on location in Japan and in studio.

JKA Shotokan Karate Vol 2.

Volume 2 Contents: Tekki 2, Tekki 3, Bassai Dai. Kata instruction in this series of programs is given by Masatoshi Nakayama, assisted by other senior Japan Karate Association instructors including: M. Tanaka, A. Isaka, M. Yahara, T. Imura.

JKA Shotokan Kata Vol.5 This is the official English language version of the Shotokan 
Kata Series of programs produced by the Japan Karate Association, Tokyo, Japan, under the technical direction of its Chief Instructor, Masatoshi Nakayama. It was subsequently licensed to Dragon Associates Inc.who converted to DVD format (with full navigational menus).  Additional Shotokan historical material was added during the front and end of each DVD during the re-editing and re-processing work.
Shinpo Matayoshi Sensei demonstrates Bo kata, Choun no Kun, Sakugawa no Kun, Suishi no Kun; the Matayoshi Tonfa and Nunchaku kata; the Tsuken Akachu no Eku, kata with the oar he learned from his famous father. Also included is a demonstration of the Hakutsuru (White Crane) kata the author learned in the 1930s from the Chinese Boxing master, Go Ken Ki, (Wu Tsien Kuei) originally from Fuchow.
Shinpo Matayoshi Sensei 10th Dan, the former headmaster of the Matayoshi Kobudo school, demonstrates the Sai, Kama, & Nunti Sai. Visually stunning program filmed in studio and on location and in which he is assisted by Morio Higaonna Sensei, Goju Ryu 10th Dan. Running time 55 minutes.

Matsubayashi  Ryu 1 The history of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu and a biography of its founder, as well as: Pinan Shodan and its applications – Yasuhiro Makishi, Kusanku kata – Takayoshi Nagamine, Naihanchi kata – Chotoku Omine, Gekisai Dai Ichi kata,  Morio Higaonna,  Fukyugata Ichi, Shoshin Nagamine    Weapon Techniques – Sai Dai Ichi Running time: 30 Minutes.

Matsubayashi Ryu 3

This video program presents the first ten kata of the Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu karate syllabus up to Naihanchi Sandan performed by headmaster Takayoshi Nagamine 9th Dan, assisted by senior instructors Makishi 9th Dan and Taira 8th Dan.

This video program presents the first kata of the Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu karate syllabus up to Naihanchi Sandan, performed by the son of the Founder assisted by senior instructors, Makishi and Taira. Running time 56 minutes, filmed on location at the Suiho En Japanese Garden.
Taizaburo Nakamura Sensei was an instructor in swordsmanship at the Japanese Military's pre-war Toyama school who would survive countless physical conflicts in WWII as a member of the Nanpo Kirikomi Tai, an elite special forces group armed principally with swords.
This first program by Uechi Ryu Master Shinyu Gushi Sensei 9th Dan, includes the background of Pangai Noon
 karate, the performance of its signature kata,  Sanchin kata and Shime; as well as supplementary training methods and
 breaking techniques. Running Time 30 minutes.    
This excellent presentation by Shinyu Gushi Sensei 9th Dan, includes Zenkosoku Shomen Geri; Hiji Zuki; Mawashi Zuki; Wa Uke; Sukui Age Uke Gedan Barai; Hajiki Uke; Wa Uke Kamae; Shomen Hajiki; Koi No Shippo; Koi No Shippo-Yoko; Watari Uke; Fumikomi Harai Sukui Age Harai; Suegoshi Hijitsuki. Kata: Kanshiwa, Kanshu, Seichin with
 Yakusoku Kumite.
Master Gushi is an enigmatic figure, as well as a highly respected karate master. He is also a highly accomplished (Okinawan)  musician, in fact the very  personification of the cultured warrior figure so admired in Oriental history and literature. A quiet, modest, and thoughtful man. A man for whom life is karate and karate is life. Includes the kata Seiru, Kanchin, and Seisan.
This program filmed in studio and on location in a Japanese garden, includes,the kata Sanseru; Seijun No Bo; Akacchu Eku; Matsugawa no Sai; Jiffa (traditional Okinawan hairpin kata-probably the first time ever filmed in its entirety) kata, performed by  Shinyu Gushi, 9th Dan Uechi Ryu, one of the foremost instructors in the field of karate and ancient weapons. Running time 30 minutes.
In this program Shinyu Gushi Sensei demonstrates; preparatory and supplementary exercises, fighting strategy, the development of a powerful grip, how to condition the fists and fingers, strength training with a partner, Sanchin, as well as the breaking of hard objects with the hands, toes, and shins. Professionally produce on location in a dojo set in a beautiful Japanese garden.
Power Training is a DVD in which Morio Higaonna Sensei unlocks the treasury of training techniques. His fighting ability made him, according to martial arts author and historian Donn Draeger, “…the most dangerous man in Japan in a real fight.” Learn the complete personal training and conditioning system of Higaonna Sensei, 10th Dan Hanshi (Living Intangible Asset of Karate). The world’s most famous Goju Ryu instructor!
This style was developed by Yasuhiro Konishi Sensei. Technical information included in this DVD; Bogyo Rokkyodo (six defensive manouvres), Hijiate Roppo (Six Elbow Strikes), Tegatana (knife hand attacks), Taisabaki Kata, Ippon, Nihon & Sanbon with applications. Running time 55 minutes, professionally filmed and produced in studio. DVD format with navigational menus.
This is a powerful and fascinating story, illustrated with the rare photographs and demonstrations by the son and senior students of Yasuhiro Konishi,  one of karate's foremost pioneers. Running time 55 minutes, professionally filmed and produced in a major TV facility.
This presentation features instructors: Shuichi Arakaki, Shinyu Gushi, Morio Higaonna, Hideharu Igaki, Takehiro Konishi, Liu Chang I, Yukiyoshi Marutani, Hideharu Igaki, Shoshin Nagamine, Toshihiro Oshiro, and many others. It gives a lucid explanation of the development of karate, the relationship between the styles.
The excellent historical sections and  powerful demonstrations  by Kenzo Mabuni the son of the style's founder, give the viewer a rich and rewarding experience. A professionally produced DVD presentation, filmed on a professional soundstage, the program includes navigational menus, vintage footage from the 1920s, music and narration.
This is the Motobu family system of Tode (karate) presented by Chosei Motobu, the son of the Founder, and Takeji Inaba. It features the three Naihanchi kata and the Jiyu Hon Kumite the “Twelve True Fighting Methods of this unique form of karate. Includes a biography of Choki Motobu, and a historical background of this very dynamic karate man's unique style.
Featuring Seibukan Master Zenpo Shimabukuro this presentation is as informative as it is enjoyable. It presents the karate of Chotoku Kyan including the kata  Passai, 
Chinto, Kusanku, Seisan, Anaku, 
Wansu, Gojushiho, and Wanchin. In Okinawa Kyan Sensei is a karate giant, until now he has not received the credit he is due in the West.

Uchinadi 1

Uchinadi, Tekobushi or Tode as it is known to the Okinawans, is the very essence of karate and derives its prodigious effectiveness from ultra-sophisticated body movements and the dynamic striking power of “Atifa.” A century ago, it prompted the founder of the internationally famous publishing conglomerate, Kodansha, to remark…

Uchinadi 2 The Original Karate of Okinawa.

“Better even than the first in his series, this program graphically illustrates the author's total mastery of his art!”

Includes a comprehensive technical section, as well as demonstrations of the kata; Wankan, Wanshu, Rohai and Patsai: a complete course in makiwara training and also instruction in the Sai kata, Kyan no Sai and Kishaba no Sai.

Winning Competition Karate 1

Master Competition Karate with International Coaches Marutani & Igaki. Contents: Preparation, exercises and stretching stances, basic techniques, drills for kicking, footwork, repetition training, basic and advanced combination techniques and competition strategy. Running Time: 55 Mins

Winning 2 Counterattacks. Yukiyoshi Marutani, a senior national kumite coach, was a Japanese National Team member for seven years. He is noted for the speed and precision of his techniques, and his ability to launch devastating counterattacks from any and every position.

Winning 3 

'Winning’ is the first video series on traditional Japanese karate made overseas to be successfully distributed on a commercial basis in Japan!” —Classical Fighting Arts magazine.” Running time: 55 minutes.

A very valuable, comprehensive and culturally significant treatment of an art that was previously spoken of but very rarely seen. Running time 55 minutes, filmed on location and a professional TV sound stage in Southern California .
AIKIDO The art of self defense developed from Sokaku Takeda Sensei's Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu by his most senior student, Morihei Ueshiba.
Beikoku lit. “Rice Country” in Japanese. Rice was the currency of Pre-Meiji Japan… and all government salaries were paid in “KOKU’ of rice.
While these characters are often interpreted literally as “fighting method,” this is not completely correct. The oriental reader can see in the characters the elements for “stop” and “spear or halberd,” and would understand that this means preventing violence and maintaining peace.
“BUSHIDO” …literally, “The way of the Gentleman, available in calligraphy styles Kaisho (semi-formal)  and Gyosho (cursive).
The Dai Nippon Butokukai was formed in the early years of the Meiji Era (1895 ) to preserve the traditional martial virtues of Feudal Japan for the new, and modern Imperial Japanese Empire that was ruled by a Constitutional monarch, the Emperor. It came to an end in the years following Japan's surrender after WWII because of its close relationship with the pre-war government.

Karate Dan Grade Stripes

We do not sew the stripes to the extreme edges of the belt as this can cause the edges to collapse which looks very unsightly. We stop them a few millimeters short, and lock the design with back stitches to prevent fraying.
Fifth Dan, the first teaching degree. The recipient would have trained continuously with a qualified teacher in the style of his choice for at least 10 years and be at least 35 years old. He or she will need to pass written and practical tests and have a documented record of teaching under supervision and independently. This degree is considered the gateway to the upper levels of martial arts ability.

On May 30th, 1930, a Martial Arts Demonstration was held in Tokyo to celebrate the ascension of the new emperor. Chojun Miyagi Sensei sent his top student, Jin’an Shinzato, to demonstrate their form of karate perhaps because he suffered terribly from sea-sickness, and did not want to make the long journey for a single event. After a powerful performance of Sanchin and Sesan, Shinzato was asked the name of his style, which at that time they referred to only as TI or fist.

A personal method of self defense as opposed to an overall fighting system. In Japanese literally: Go-defence, Shin-Myself, Jutsu-Way or method.  
The teaching degree of 8th Dan is often accompanied by the title, “Hanshi‚” for those who have made a special contribution to the martial arts.
IAIDO is the formal discipline of drawing the sword, cutting down the opponent  then re-sheathing the Japanese sword in a single action.
A blend of Shorin Ryu and Goju Ryu styles formulated by an instructor known in later life as Tatsuo Shimabuku.
In Japanese these two characters mean, “source of the sun.” Please see accompanying notes for a full explanation.
10th Dan is awarded in most cases by a committee established by a recognized government  body to a senior teacher for technical excellence, and services to karate.
Judo, the soft or yielding way synthesized from older forms of jujutsu, notably Kito Ryu, by Jigoro Kano. These design can also be sewn onto belts in both styles of calligraphy.
Ju-jutsu, the soft or pliant way. Overcoming an opponent by using his own strength in order to overcome him.
A term used to describe the unarmed fighting methods that were developed in Okinawa and spread to Japan in the early 1920s.  
Kendo, literally, “Sword Way,” a generic term used to describe fencing with bamboo swords that became prevalent at the beginning of the Meiji Era around 1868.
Kenpo lit. Ken=fist, Po=way to do something or method is a generic term used for any type of Oriental pugilism when a style is absent or unknown.
Kobayashi Ryu is the form of Shorin Ryu (small forest) style of  karate that is associated with the name of Choshin Chibana Sensei, 1885 - 1969.
Ko Bu Do means literally in Japanese, “Old Martial Arts Methods.” In practice, this refers to fighting with Okinawan agricultural implements.
Kokusai = International. For many students of karate who have trained in Okinawa, this will bring back memories of the main street of Naha, Kokusai Dori.

Remove your label

If you would like us to carefully unpick the stitching and remove the label from your belt or uniform there will be a charge of $2.00 per label. When the label has been removed from a uniform or belt, that item cannot be returned for exchange or refund.
A samurai who was no longer affiliated with a clan or samurai warlord was known as a “Ronin.” his loss of status may have resulted from his Clan being dissolved due to a defeat in war.
The style that became associates with the well-known karate pioneer, Shoshin Nagamine, a student of Choki Motobu, Chotoku Kyan and others. It has produced many famous students, principal amongst them Katsuhiko Shinzato a Professor art the Kokusai University in Okinawa and at Stanford in California.

Your first, last, or both names, translated into Japanese and embroidered, usually onto the lower lapel of the jacket of your new Meijin Uniform. Please select the color of thread you would like us to use and apply the coupon CODE  HWBJK2VP when you check out and this service will be discounted by $15 from the total cost. In other words, if you just want one name embroidered, it is FREE!

$15.00$25.00Select options
Okinawa is the largest island of an archipelago that lies south of mainland Japan and stretches in the direction Taiwan. Originally a Kingdom with its own language, culture and traditions, it was annexed by Japan (1879) just after the Meiji Revolution, and became the Japanese Prefecture of Okinawa.
Now well-known to Karate enthusiasts in particular, this flag was not adopted by Okinawa until just after it reverted back to Japanese rule after the 1972 referendum.
Renmei. The direct translation is Federation most often used in the context of karate as a groups of associations combining to form a larger body.
A title given to a karate instructor of fifth dan or above who has shown exceptional ability in, and dedication to, teaching teaching the art of traditional karate.
A Sixth Dan would have been teaching for a minimum of ten years and have received the teaching rank of Renshi. At this level the instructor is considered a professional.
Ryukyu, the name of the group of islands in the East China Sea that formed the Kingdom of Ryukyu until they were annexed by Japan in 1879.
The Samurai were variously soldiers, strategists, and politicians for almost 1,000 years. At the basis of their beliefs were fidelity, honor and fearlessness.
San Dan- Third Dan. The third milestone along the path of karate. At this level senior instructors would start to view the student as being serious about his training and allow him to teach basic techniques to the lower grades in the dojo.
HA=school or method is the designation given to a teacher's version of a central or principal style of Karate. For example the Shito Ryu developed by Kenwa Mabuni but taught by Chojiro Tani ism referred to as Tani Ha Shito Ryu.
Seibukan was developed by Zenryo Shimabukuro and his son, Zenpo and is based firmly upon the teachings of Chotoku Kyan Sensei (Chan Mi Gwa). It features fast and very dynamic techniques that include snapping or whipping actions.
Sempai means one's senior in either age of experience in the Japanese social structure, particularly in the educational system. For example, if a member of your dojo is more experience than yourself, he could be your sempai even if he is younger.
Sensei does not mean “teacher” in the way we understand it in the West. The Japanese characters describe only somebody who was born before you, is therefore probably more experienced and worthwhile studying with.
Kenwa Mabuni named his style of karate Shito Ryu by combining a character from the names of his two principal teachers, Ankoh Itoso and Higaonna Kanryo. A tireless karate pioneer his style has spread internationally.
There is little to distinguish Shobayashi Ryu from its Shorin Ryu cousins other than the former's lack of a cohesive, documented history.
The first level of black belt is referred to as “Sho Dan,” which baffles some people who ask for“Ichi Dan,” instead. In English we say “First Dan” not one dan. Right!
The Shohei Ryu organization is a well-respected group of Kanei Uechi's most senior students who have promoted the style independent of the Uechi family for many decades.
When the name Shotokan (Pine Waves Hall) was first applied to Gichin Funakoshi's style of karate, these characters were used to write the name. Later, a new character was substituted to comply with modern usage.
Gichin Funakoshi's pen name was “Shoto” or pine waves. Shoto KAN (HALL) was the common name for his first permanent dojo founded in the late 1930s in Tokyo and thus became the name of the style.
The roots of this design are ancient yet this version was designed by Hoan Kosugi, the famous painter and friend of Gichin Funakoshi, became the international symbol for Funakoshi's karate after it was published in 1935.
Shuri was the old capital city of the Ryukyu Kingdom and the site of the King's Castle. It also gave its name to the prevalent form of karate practiced in that area, Shuri-Te, now Shorin Ryu.
In 1936, senior Okinawan karate masters decided to rename Karate (China Hand)  Karate (Empty Hand) (空手) probably due to the prevailing political circumstances. Both are pronounced Karate.
The family name of Kanbun Uechi Sensei, the Founder of the style. An Uechi family member strongly objected to the senior students using the family name during his lifetime, although this has now ended.
Hironori Otsuka, one of Gichin Funakoshi's first students in mainland Japan at the Meiseijuku Dojo, went on to develop his own style (Way of Peace Method) by blending Shorin Ryu karate with elements of jujutsu.
Go Ken Ki, (Wu Hsien Kuei) was a White Crane Boxing teacher who settled in Okinawa in 1910 and soon became an influential member of the Naha City martial arts community and a close friend of Kenwa Mabuni and Chojun Miyagi.
The upper rank of junior instructor, from fourth dan the candidate will pass to full instructor grade at 5th dan after appropriate training and examination.
The characters suggest a group of karateka who direct their training at improvement of the mind and body.