About Us

Our dojo is over 50 years old. It began in the early 1970s, when the Japan Karate Association in Tokyo, Japan, sent pioneering karate instructors from Japan to San Francisco. One of those instructors was our Sensei, now 7th degree black belt, Mr. Kenichi Haramoto. (See photo of Mr. Haramoto with other legends of karate: Masatoshi Nakayama, Hidetaka Nishiyama, and Teruyuki Okazaki )

Our first dojo space was a humble storefront. Mr. Haramoto brought with him the hard teaching style of traditional Shotokan karate as originally taught in Japan. This teaching seeks the development of the body, mind, and spirit through hard training. (See JKA philosophy.) Now, years later, we currently train at the following two locations in San Francisco: City Ballet of San Francisco and University of SF campus (open to USF students only).

Our dojo is a member of the international Japan Karate Association . This means our instruction is based on the teachings of the first pioneers of karate in Japan supplemented by the scientific analysis of later masters at the main dojo. JKA students have access to numerous resources including books, articles, and YouTube videos. More importantly, JKA belt rank is recognized in hundreds of dojos all over the United States and the world should you wish to travel and train or move to another city..

Sensei Haramoto has the following JKA certified instructors: JKA of CA SF City Center dojo; Merv Dixon, Godan (5th degree black belt). USF dojo; Mark Morodomi, Godan (5th degree black belt). They have studied with Mr. Haramoto for over 30 years and continue with his tradition. Their dedication to the dojo is based on the desire to help students learn this martial art.  Our dojo has grown to include schools at Stanford University, the University of San Francisco, George Washington University, and the Oracle Corporation.  Our students include men and women, who are university students, attorneys, mothers, medical professionals, technology experts, business entrepreneurs, and others. Everyone is welcome.

We also organize joint training sessions with other Haramoto dojos in the area.

About Shotokan Karate

Shotokan Karate is a weaponless martial art developed in Okinawa and Japan, emphasizing power and efficiency in combat. Skilled karateka defeat their opponents with a minimal number of techniques and effort, which is particularly useful when facing multiple opponents. JKA Shotokan is distinguished from other martial arts by the linearity and strength of it's punches, blocks, and kicks. Precise techniques, accompanied by mastery and focus of energy flows and a deep knowledge of the body's vital points, make this karate style a comprehensive system for self-defense and combat.

However, JKA Shotokan Karate is much more than just a way to defend and fight - it is a holistic system in which the training itself has far reaching effects on the trainee. It is an ideal way to become and stay fit, as it combines intense aerobic and anaerobic exercises. It is also a way to gain self-discipline and the confidence to surmount everyday obstacles, whether tangible or not. JKA Shotokan Karate encourages and helps in the exploration and understanding of both the physical and mental self.