Student Organization Spotlight: Temple Shotokan Karate Club

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Daniel Sbar, sophomore Physics major and Temple Shotokan Karate Club Treasurer, found out about the Temple Shotokan Karate Club, from a worker at Pearson after they stopped him when he kicked a punching bag in a gym.

“I was working out, using one of the punching bags and as I also play soccer, not on the team here I just play soccer, I also like working out my legs and I was not allowed to kick the bags because they didn’t want people to break the chains connected to the ceiling,” said Sbar.

“So they told me that there’s actually a karate team here where I could be working on that kind of stuff so I found out about it,” added Sbar.

After hearing about the club, Sbar attended and has been a member ever since and was promoted to Treasurer in the fall of 2017.

Members of the Temple Shotokan Karate Club practicing. (Courtesy: Temple Shotokan Karate Club)

A typical club meeting begins with stretching led by President of the club, Nicholas Palmer or Vice President Jason Roldan. Then if one of the two teachers or sensei do not show up to the class, either Palmer or Roldan will teach a lesson involving the styles of basic kicks and punches or they will do kumite, which is practicing Shotokan karate moves in pairs.

After these activities, whoever is leading the club that day will guide the members through a kata, which is a choreographed set of movements. Katas are usually 15-21 steps according to Sbar. To conclude the class, the members bow in a line based on rank of skill and say their code, which most dojos, centers for studying karate have.

Each club meeting is different for members.

“My favorite part of club meetings is when we try out new activities to improve our karate,” said Rebecca Crites, sophomore Psychology and Information science and technology major. “So trying different stances, learning new techniques, and having the experienced senseis come in really helps me learn about karate more and improve my own skills.”

“I really enjoy the aspects of being able to workout in a fun and dynamic manor,” said Sbar. “But the thing I like the most about it are people I get to interact with in the club is a very wonderful group of people who I enjoy going to meet with them twice a week every week, and I wouldn’t want to miss it,” Sbar added.

Crites, who had no experience with karate, joined the club at the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester.

“I learned about the club through a flyer that I saw somewhere around Temple’s campus and I just decided to show up to a meeting and try it out,” said Crites. “Everyone was very nice to me even though I had no prior experience with karate. But whenever I was working on my stances or on the katas, they would be very helpful and it’s a welcoming environment and so I decided to come back and be a full time member,” Crites added.

The Temple Shotokan Karate Club meets every Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 8 PM and on Thursdays the club goes to a dojo in West Philadelphia, the International Shotokan Karate Federation Headquarters.

Students interested in getting more information about the Temple Shotokan Karate Club can learn more here.

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