About Our Style
Our style is a blended system of Karate and Kung Fu, which originated in Southern Ontario in the 1960s. Our training is rooted primarily in Shotokan Karate, with a Shaolin Kung Fu influence from which we incorporate four animal forms and a breathing set into our curriculum.
History of the Style
The origin of our blended system of Karate and Kung Fu dates back to 1961 when the Chong cousins opened their first school in the Chinatown district in Toronto.
They taught the Shaolin Kung Fu style they had learned growing up in Canton, China. They also incorporated the Japanese Karate they learned from Tsuroka Sensei (the father of Canadian Karate) when they moved to Toronto in the 1950s. By the late 1960s they had opened branch schools all over southern Ontario.
The system we practice today has been passed down through many instructors and students. Sensei Lisa Felice, who trained under Sensei John Atkinson in the 1980s, opened Kushindokai Karate School in 1990. The school passed to Sensei Terry Walsh who continued teaching for 20 years, before passing the school on to Sensei Michael Fisher in 2013.
While training at Kushindokai, students begin by learning kihon (basic techniques such as blocks, punches, and kicks) and kata (forms that combine techniques together) and move right up to advanced techniques and kata as they progress through the belt ranks.
We also teach basic to advanced level step-sparring, and grappling aspects such as break falls, and take downs.
We also offer kumite (sparring) classes for yellow belts and up, and kobudo (weapons) instruction for green belts and higher.
Our belt system at Kushindokai is straightforward and easy to understand. Without any extra grading or belt fees, progression through the ranks is dependent on the work each individual puts in on the dojo floor and the attitude they bring to class.
We also use a stripe system that allows each student to see and celebrate their progress as they move through each belt. Once a student has mastered a kata they receive a stripe that shows they have become proficient enough to move on to learn the next kata.