Membership Benefits

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Highlighted below are some of the benefits of SKA membership.  Anyone who becomes a member of SKA will receive:

  • A Student Guide
  • A membership identification card (to be carried with you to all SKA functions)
  • Newsletters
  • In addition to practicing at one’s dojo, the privilege of practicing at SKA dojos across the country and at its international affiliates
  • The opportunity to attend SKA-sponsored activities such as Special Trainings and special practices led by senior black belts
  • Continuing guidance — via newsletter and web site communication — on interpreting, applying and integrating the instructional material in the book Karate-Do Kyohan (Master Text, The Way of Karate) by Gichin Funakoshi, translated by Tsutomu Ohshima, and in the book Training Notes, compiled from 40 years of trainings notes and articles by Ohshima Shihan.
  • Access to  “SKA on-line News”, for news on current activities in the U.S., Canada and international affiliates, schedule of events, monthly training calendar, and more than 1,000 articles and resources related to the martial arts.
  • The opportunity to take part in SKA’s online conferences and Internet mailing list discussion groups.
  • Direct connection to the Shotokan Ohshima Dojo in Santa Barbara, California
  • The opportunity to be ranked at kyu (white and brown belt ranking) tests.  There are NO grading fees for kyu tests.  In contrast, most schools create many grade levels and charge fees for each grading.  Some also require students to buy a different gi (uniform) and/or belt for every level of advancement.
  • The opportunity to be ranked at Black Belt dan (black belt ranking) tests.  There are NO grading fees for dan tests.  Furthermore, at SKA dan tests, each candidate is carefully judged and graded by senior members of the organization, according to the standards handed down through Ohshima Sensei, Shihan (chief instructor) of SKA.  In other organizations, students often do not have the benefit of high-level seniors and are charged exorbitant fees for each level, whether the student passes or not.
  • There are NO fees for dan certificates.  As described in the Black Belt Manual, “the form of our diploma follows an ancient tradition going back many centuries, and is an integral part of the cultural heritage of our martial arts practice.  Its form is identical to that used by Master Funakoshi, including the use of special paper, unique ink stamps for identification and to prevent forgery, and the hand craftsmanship of Ohshima Sensei’s calligraphy.  The reason for the half-seal on the upper right corner is to ensure the diploma’s authenticity.  The other half of the stamp is imprinted in Ohshima Sensei’s book, and only an authentic diploma will match this impression.” These certificates are priceless — no fee can buy them.
  • Most importantly, SKA membership puts the practitioner in line with the direct lineage handed down by Ohshima Sensei.  Because of his life-long dedication and personal investment in so many of the black belts, other martial arts organizations find it difficult to compare with SKA’s rich heritage, depth, consistency, and its commitment to pass the martial art of karate-do to future generations.