Our dojo was founded in 1978 by LH Lazarus (godan, highest rank in SKA), who practiced under SKA’s founder, Mr. Tsutomu Ohshima, before moving to North Carolina. He continues to teach Saturday mornings. The dojo is currently headed by Dr. Rob Clark (godan), who has also studied under Mr. Ohshima. In addition to these high-ranking seniors, the dojo is fortunate to have numerous additional experienced and dedicated seniors.
Our members enjoy a direct link to ancient masters of martial arts through Mr. Ohshima and his direct instructor, Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan Karate. Please visit the Shotokan Karate of America website to learn more about our nonprofit teaching organization.
Traditionally based in Chapel Hill, in recent years we have been located just over the county line in Durham, practicing in a large gym at The Duke School, 3716 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705.
Karate practice embodies several major attributes of life. It tones the body, develops coordination, quickens reflexes, and builds stamina. The serious practice of karate also impinges on character through discipline and leads to insights into our mental and physical capabilities while improving poise and self-confidence. In this, karate is not an end, but a means to an end through the promotion of coordination of mind and body that endures throughout life.
Karate can be practiced at any age for self-defense and to strengthen the entire body, improve balance, efficiency of movement, breathing and overall health. No special equipment is needed.
Karate practice emphasizes the spiritual values of courtesy, integrity, humility, justice, honor, and self-control.
The study of karate benefits students in all areas of their life.
Come practice with us! Beginners are the lifeblood of any dojo. Through diligent study, SKA practitioners strive to strengthen body, mind and spirit, perfect character, and faithfully transmit the art of karate-do to future generations.
We encourage anyone interested to observe or participate in one of our practices. If you decide to become a member of our dojo, you must join Shotokan Karate of America (annual fee $75 for first time members) and pay quarterly dojo dues of $75. As a member of SKA you will be able to attend any SKA regional, national, and international event and be eligible to test for ranking twice per year at no added charge. Black belt testing is by invitation only and occurs only after summer Special Trainings.
Please email any questions to or telephone 919-923-2772.
Originally this was the most important thing about martial arts – to reach a higher level, to become a strong human being. This kind of strength doesn’t come from big muscles. It comes from being strict with yourself. That is the ideal of martial arts. —Tsutomu Ohshima