Help Japan Karate Center save its Legacy

We, the instructors at Japan Karate Center , have dedicated our life to teaching Karate religiously for almost half a century and our dream is now on the verge of ending due to the pandemic.
Having been voted Baltimore Best School several times, received Governor’s Citation Japan Karate center is a hidden gem in danger of closing permanently due to the unfortunate effects of COVID-19. We need your support and blessings.

Japan Karate Center has carefully preserved its ideals and principles without making compromises to the traditional philosophies of Japanese Karate or methods of training. We believe that Martial Arts is about self-improvement – striving to find your best self through your training. We not only teach Karate, but we also inculcate a sense of respect, responsibility, manners, appreciation, and effort to help in personal development. The essence of our ideals is best captured by Japan Karate Center’s motto: "The Spiritual Development of Individuality in Mind and Body".

Watanabe, the Chief Instructor at Japan Karate Center established Japan Karate and Judo Center almost 48 years ago in 1974 after he received "Key to the City” at City Hall in Baltimore City, Maryland from then Mayor William Donald Schafer. At age 84, Watanabe is still committed to his art. He has maintained Japan Karate and Judo Center for almost 50 years on a very lean financial budget as he believes in only charging what it costs to operate the facility.

In 1967, Watanabe participated in the World Expo hosted in Montreal Canada where his demonstration of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karate had such an impact that he was asked to stay in North America to introduce, teach and provide everyone the opportunity to train in this unique style of martial arts.

Having been situated in Owings Mills, Maryland for almost five decades, the center was asked to relocate in a short span of time since the property was sold by the landlord to a corporate giant in late 2019. The instructors at Japan Karate Center were determined to continue and they signed a new multi-year lease to build a new center in Reisterstown, Maryland. Despite the increase in rent and the operating expenses which were more than five times the previous location, Japan Karate Center wanted to keep the door open for the existing students and the future generations to come.

Little did we know that the pandemic was lurking around the corner when the new lease was signed. Japan Karate Center raced to open while many small businesses facing COVID-related closures went out of business. Eventually, the center was forced to shut down because of the lockdown before it was allowed to become fully operational. Not surprisingly, that did not stop us. We quickly adapted to modern technology and started conducting online classes. We have now been teaching at Japan Karate Center 6 days a week. Not only do we teach students across the U.S.A. We also routinely conduct online clinics for students in Japan, Canada, and Australia to pursue our goal of sharing knowledge gained from so many decades of training.

After several waves of the pandemic, we have an existential crisis at Japan Karate Center. Due to the pandemic, we face dwindling student enrollment numbers on top of increased business and operation costs. We may need to close the doors and stop teaching without your help as we cannot sustain the operating costs of the center during these hard times.

Japan Karate Center instructors boast of more than 150+ years of training experience combined. We feel that our loss will be a loss to the local community, nationally, and worldwide.

Your contribution will help us save Japan Karate Center and its legacy. The funds raised by this campaign will go directly to Japan Karate Center's charity account which is used for business operations costs and expenses, maintenance, insurance, and the installation of safeguards as needed to ensure everyone’s safety when visiting the center. All of the instructors are teaching voluntarily and do not receive any financial benefit from the center. So, each donation keeps our doors open for one more day to let current and future students learn, train, and study the art of Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karate.

Please help us spread the message by sharing! Thanks for joining us and being a part of saving the legacy of our traditional Japan Karate Center!
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Reisterstown, MD
Registered nonprofit
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