Way Of Life Shotokan Karate is dedicated to teaching traditional Shotokan Karate in a modern world. We practice a do, which means we study the philosophical and spiritual aspects of Shotokan as well as physical training and practical applications. Our unique way of combining traditional Martial Arts, etiquette, and philosophy with the modern concepts of fitness, self-defense, and competition is unparalleled. We ensure that your training is intense and vigorous, while maintaining a safe and fun learning environment that encourages individuals of all ages to reach their potential.
Our club employs the martial art tradition of those with the greatest experience helping those with the least. All classes include proper warm-up, strength training, skills practice, and warm down with stretching. All classes include an element of strength and endurance training, with tactical and technical drills to improve karate and self-defense technique. Classes are also broken down into smaller groups for more individual belt-specific instruction in an aspect of karate training.
Our kids program teaches children and young students basic self defense skills, and develops hand eye co-ordination. Moreover, it teaches kids self-confidence, respect and mental focus.
Ages 6 to 18 see young people going through growth spurts and learning technical, tactical and strategic skills. The Way Of Life Shotokan kids program addresses this with a challenging curriculum that develops the ability to focus and concentrate, physically and mentally. Students also acquire leadership experience as they move up through the karate belt system toward black belt level.
Each student is encouraged to proceed at his/her own pace. The most important elements in advancing in rank are frequency of training (hours per week/month) and commitment (training regularly throughout the year). We also emphasize an element of fun and challenge in the kids program to ensure enjoyment and long-term participation.
Norman Smith- Sensei
Lead instructor Sensei Norman Smith has been a student of the martial arts since 1971.
He received his shodan (1st degree black belt) in 1979, his 2nd degree in 1982, and his 3rd degree in 1990. While the aforementioned ranks were received in the Shotokan style of Karate, Sensei Smith has also studied FuJoPai Tiger Claw Kung Fu from 1977-1979. Additionally, he studied Jujitsu and Aikido from 1992-1997. Sensei Smith began teaching the art of karate in 1988, when he was awarded a position as Karate Programs Coordinator/Instructor for the Kips Bay Boys Club in the Bronx, NY, where he is still holds that position. Sensei Smith also presided over the Way of Life Shotokan dojo in Mount Vernon, NY from 1996-1998.
Miguel Novoa- Senpai
Miguel is a lifelong student of Sensei Smith. He began his training 1991 and has been an Assistant to Sensei Smith since 2000. Senpai is a veteran of the US Army and has served his country with tours in Japan and Iraq. As a sergeant of the Army he lead many convoy missions and supervised critical maintenance procedures to various military vehicles. He also used his knowledge of martial arts to train members of his unit resulting in unit members to become more alert, physically fit and proficient in their jobs.
His youthful energy and enthusiasm is easily displayed in his approach to karate, especially in his commitment to fitness. His classes are full of energy. He is an avid competitor who has competed in many open tournaments throughout the city of N.Y.
Paul has been training in shotokan karate since 1990. Originally from Canada, he received his shodan level (1st degree black belt) from the IKA and Kancho Okuyama in Toronto in 1996. Paul has also trained with the JKA in Canada. Paul has been with Way Of Life Shotokan since 2008 and writes for the blog “Karate Stances” located on their website at www.wayoflifeshotokan.com.