Karate + Self Defense Classes for Gurnee & the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

Ours is a unique martial arts class…
perhaps unlike most others you’ve encountered or heard of.


Though we charge a quarterly fee, we are essentially non-commercial. This means that we do not depend on having a high number of students, and, because class size is limited, we can offer more personalized instruction.  We can also be more selective in our membership. We also reserve the flexibility to adjust fees when the situation warrants, even to use funds to provide occasional scholarships for special out-of-school seminars.

All-Adult Classes

We respect studios that teach children; the martial arts can contribute to their personal development and gets them away from their computers. And, after all, that’s where the money is. However, because we are non-commercial, we can choose to teach what we offer only to adults and mature teens. We would not teach most of our techniques to children or to those seeking to dominate others, i.e., childish adults. Growth demands patience, discipline and humility.


Our practical focus is on serious self-defense and karate as a martial art rather than a competitive sport. When we enter the dojo, we leave our ego at the door. “Winning” or “losing” doesn’t come with a trophy or lack thereof, nor is it always a true measure of achievement — except in the game of scoring “points.” Though tournament competition is not discouraged and has its place if it  leads to genuine improvement of skills and attitude, it is not a key component of the dojo, where serious effort, mutual support and respect are valued above all.

Our System

Though our base, Shorei-Goju, has its roots primarily in Okinawan and Japanese karate, our system also draws on principles from Aikido, Judo, Tai Chi and Wing Chung Feeding Crane — in short, whatever works! While sparring or “fighting” over a length of several minutes is healthy exercise and looks good in the movies, the most effective techniques should be completed within 1-3 seconds. We therefor emphasize efficiency, economy of movement and the development of maximum power.


We respect the knowledge (techniques, kata) and the lineage passed down to us through centuries of history. Because potentially lethal abilities must be tempered with restraint and control, ours is a traditional karate dojo, one which observes universal martial arts protocol and attitudes shared around the world. This includes proper demeanor and terms of acknowledgement. On the mat the sensei or instructor is in absolute charge. This allows the student, ironically, the luxury of lack of choice, all within an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. Your only decision is to be on the mat!


Along with your martial arts skills, you will acquire elements and techniques that, it is hoped, will contribute to life outside the dojo. Obviously one can benefit from an increased sense of well-founded confidence and the ability to “focus” one’s energy. Power also requires centering and proper  breathing, and speed requires the ability to relax, to let go of unnecessary muscle tension. For increased awareness and readiness – – to appropriately respond to the actual situation at hand – – one must let go of preconceptions. The ultimate martial arts goal here is to achieve the state of mushin or “no mind,” to grasp everything by letting go of particulars. These abilities and attitudes can significantly improve one’s daily life and relationships. And, in today’s world of ever-increasing and shifting distractions, it helps to maintain one’s own center.


Dues: $80 per month

Schedule: Classes meet Tuesdays at 7:30 pm and Fridays  at 7:00 P.M. Workouts are approximately 90 minutes long.

Uniforms: Required after the first month

Getting Started: An initial interview is necessary before beginning, and the first two weeks are free. This is to help insure that this class is appropriate for you and that you feel comfortable with us. For an interview or to observe a class, please call 847-971-6626.

Who’s a Candidate?: Anyone interested in developing martial arts skills and prepared to do a bit of work toward that goal — of whatever gender, age or physical  condition. There are paraplegics who, through dedication and fortitude, have earned black belt ranks.

Philosophy and Purpose

If you want merely a physical workout, do aerobics. If you want merely self-defense, get a gun and learn how to use it. If you want to develop yourself as a  person, study the martial arts. — Rev. William Foster, 9th Dan

Legend has it that Bodhi Dharma was not only the founder of Zen Buddhism but of a system of exercises that served as a basis for the martial arts and a way toward enlightenment. Thus he provided practitioners with both a physical and a philosophical foundation. We believe that the serious study of the martial arts will enrichen our lives and contribute to our personal development. To this end, the physical practice must be accompanied by an adherence to what we call the “Cardinal Virtues”: Respect, Discipline, Obedience, Humility, Openness, Compassion and Dedication. (Actually, any one of these, when truly understood, implies the rest.) It is hoped, therefore, that students will develop or enhance qualities that will help them in their studies, on the job, in their personal relationships as well as in other aspects of life.