Master Camp/Fall Camp
Master Camp is a phenomenal training
opportunity in early June each year. Every year, ISKF brings in famous
overseas instructors that represent the most experienced living Shotokan
experts from around the world. Recent guest instructors have included
Senseis Ochi (Germany) and Kanazawa (Japan), and each year the ISKF
region heads and Sensei Okazaki return to instruct as well. Fall Camp is
a regional version of Master Camp with the highest ranked instructors
from the East Coast, including Sensei Okazaki, plus many excellent 6th, 7th, and 8th dan instructors from our region. "Campers" spend their time in
intense training (3 per day) living in rustic cabins and eating at a
communal mess hall at a summer camp north of Philadelphia, PA. These
camps can are a fun experience and a great boost to your karate
Beginner days are scheduled at the beginning of each semester to acclimate new members or any interested students to what karate training is all about. Each Beginner Days session starts with a demonstration of the core elements of karate training, followed by a basic lesson catered to novice karate students. We encourage prospective members to attend a Beginner Days session to get a feel for karate training and get a smooth start in the training sessions, but anyone can join the club at any point during the semester.
Kangeiko is a traditional mid-winter training often held in early January. Training usually begins before sunrise during the coldest time of year, and the emphasis is on testing your willpower and discipline. As such, the typical kangeiko class is physically demanding with calisthenics and many repetitions of technique. Kangeiko is a special training that gives students an opportunity to renew their connection to karate and start fresh for the coming year. Likewise, the cleaning of the dojo is often emphasized during Kangeiko training to prepare the training space for another year of practice as well.
Kyu Exams and Dan Exams
Kyu exams take place three times per year, and generally we travel to Williamsport, PA for our exams. Within the ISKF, there are 10 kyu rankings prior to black belt, with white, yellow, orange, green, purple, and brown color system. A student must demonstrate in the kyu exam that he or she has the proficiency in the basic techniques, kata, and sparring expected at that rank level prior to being promoted to the next level. Advancement depends on how hard and how often a student trains with the club more than anything else, as practice is how we improve our skills. Students are expected to submit an essay prior to testing, and the final decision as to whether a student is prepared for their exam is made by the instructor. Dan exams take place twice a year, and we travel to ISKF headquarters in Philadelphia, PA for these exams.
Regional and National Tournaments
Our club participates in one regional tournament each year for the East Coast region, generally in March or April. We also participate in one national tournament each year, generally in November. Tournament participation is optional, and includes kata (forms) events as well as kumite (sparring) events. Adults who have attained the rank of brown or black belt can participate in adult events. Members who are brown or black belts and age 45 or older can participate in senior events.