Our mission at Integrity Martial Arts is to create a positive environment for our students to become the best versions of themselves through the study of traditional karate. We believe in the value of martial arts training — not just as a method of self-defense or as a sport, but as a way of life. We look forward to training and growing alongside you or your child.
This welcome packet will hopefully give you a little “guidance” and best practices as you begin your martial arts journey with us. We hope you find this resource helpful, and please don’t hesitate to ask your instructor or a member of our leadership team any questions you might have!
Students should wear their uniform (called a gi in Japanese) and belt to every class. The karate gi can get sweaty and should be washed regularly! We encourage washing in cold water, and air drying. Hot water and drying machines will shrink the gi, fade the color, and damage the IMA logo on the back of the gi jacket. Parents and caregiv
Students should wear their uniform (called a gi in Japanese) and belt to every class. The karate gi can get sweaty and should be washed regularly! We encourage washing in cold water, and air drying. Hot water and drying machines will shrink the gi, fade the color, and damage the IMA logo on the back of the gi jacket. Parents and caregivers, please make sure young students are coming to class in a clean and unwrinkled gi.
This might be the hardest part of being a new karate student, and everyone struggles with this at first. You can check out the diagram below, the “How to Tie A Karate Belt” or ask your instructor. We expect all students to learn how to tie their own belts and ask that parents and caregivers help encourage young children to learn!
All students begin at white belt (or 7th kyu). A white belt is a beginner in karate, and the color white represents the blank canvas that every student enters the dojo as. Kyu is a term for the number of steps (belt ranks) away from black belt: over years of training, students’ progress through several colored belts, before arriving at the rank of black belt, which is known in Japanese as a dan rank.
At each color belt level, students will receive colored stripes on their belts indicating their progress and knowledge of the required curriculum.
We strongly encourage all our students to train in at least two to three classes per week — even our white belts! And remember, at home practice and study is a crucial part of growth in the martial arts. We strongly encourage parents and caregivers to help younger students set a routine for daily practice (even five minutes each day!) and encourage adult students to seize those precious opportunities to practice as they arise around commitments to work, family, and friends.
You can always email us at email@example.com, call us at (469) 900-8832, direct message us on Facebook or Instagram, or ask any of the Integrity Martial Arts staff in person. We’re always here to help, and we look forward to seeing you in the dojo!
No individual can truly claim to be the founder of "American Karate" because it is an eclectic mix of systems and styles. Many instructors have taken what they considered to be the best of different systems to devise a curriculum that worked for them and their students. Some individuals who have claimed to be founders of their own systems of "American Karate" are listed here, some of whom have claimed 10th degree or higher black belt ranks for themselves. In the Asian culture, most 10th degree black belts (typically represented by a Red Belt) were awarded only upon the death of the Grandmaster to his successor.
Jhoon Goo Rhee (January 7, 1932 – April 30, 2018), commonly known as Jhoon Rhee, was a South Korean master of taekwondo who was widely recognized as the 'Father of American Taekwondo' for introducing this martial art to the United States of America since arriving in the 1950s. He was ranked 10th dan.
Allen R. Steen is a 10th-degree black belt who earned his 1st degree black belt in 1961 in Tae Kwon Do from Jhoon Rhee. Steen opened the first karate school in Texas in 1962 and became known as the "Father of Texas Blood and Guts Karate." He also gained fame for defeating Chuck Norris and Joe Lewis in a single evening to win Ed Parker's Long Beach International Karate Championships in 1966.
Joe Lewiswas often called the "Muhammad Ali" of American sport karate. He amassed many firsts including the first World Professional Karate Champion and the first U.S. Heavyweight Champion. He began his martial studies while an 18-year-old U.S. Marine stationed in Okinawa in 1963. He earned a black belt in a record 18 months and due to his outstanding tournament career was named the "greatest karate fighter of all time" by his peers in a Black Belt Magazine survey. Lewis died in 2012.
J. Pat Burleson is a 10th-degree black belt. He received his 1st degree black belt in 1963 in Tae Kwon Do by Allen Steen. Burleson was Allen Steen's first black belt student. Steen, in turn, was Jhoon Rhee's first black belt student in America in 1962. Burleson based his system on Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, and Wado-Ryu. His website says he is one of the founders of American Karate and his claims have been based on his legitimacy of winning the first National Karate Championships in 1964 in Washington D.C.
Jim R. Harrison is a 9th-degree black belt. He received his 1st degree black belt in Judo and Jujitsu in 1962, Tang Soo Do in 1963, Shorin-Ryu Karate in 1964, having trained under Bob Kurth, Kim Soo Wong and Jim Wax. In 1964 he opened his Bushidokan dojo in Kansas City from which he competed, trained several regional and national champions, and hosted major tournaments.
Ernest H. Lieb was a 10th-degree black belt. He received his 1st-degree black belt in 1958. Mr. Lieb based his system on Chi Do Kwan, Karate, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, and Aikido. In 1964 Lieb was one of the first teachers to put the word "American" in front of karate.
Edmund K. Parker, Sr. was the founder of American Kenpo Karate. He received his black belt in 1953 from William Chow. Parker based his system on Chow's Chinese Kenpo Karate. Parker was one of the first to commercialize karate in America and became known by many as the "Father of American Kenpo Karate" because he originated the first "Americanized" version of Karate.
Keith D. Yates is a 10th-degree black belt. He received his 1st degree black belt in 1968 in Tae Kwon Do by Allen Steen. Yates was Allen Steen's youngest black belt student at the time. After a successful tournament career Yates went on to become a respected teacher and author. He has served on the editorial boards of most of the major martial arts publications and has authored or co-authored 13 books. He also sits on the governing boards of several international martial arts organizations.
John Worley is a 10th-degree black belt. He received his 1st degree black belt in 1967 in Karate under the tutelage of Charles Loven and Texas karate legend, Master Instructor J. Pat Burleson. Worley also studied with Jhoon Rhee and was one of the top instructors in the Jhoon Rhee Institute in Washington, D.C., before leaving to found the National Karate system of schools in Minnesota in 1973. Along with co-founder and fellow 10th-degree black belt Larry Carnahan, Worley has grown the National Karate schools into one of the most successful sport and Americanized karate systems in North America. In 1977, Worley and Carnahan also founded the Diamond Nationals Karate Championships.