Pro-Karate Coopersville

Pro-Karate is one of Michigan's oldest & finest Martial Arts schools. Choose to be your personal best by becoming one of our members.


Karate History

Professional Karate is the place for superior martial arts training. We pride ourselves in our system, which has a base on traditional karate while having the advantage of utilizing modern martial arts training.

We are not a fitness facility, although we have fitness classes. We are not an MMA gym, although we have successful MMA fighters. We are not street fighting thugs, although we teach street self-defense.

We ARE a facility and a faculty that teaches our members to be better. We teach you how to be fit, to be tough, to walk away when you can and to defend yourself when you have to. We teach you how to always try your best and to never accept less.

When you get serious about real martial arts training, call us.

Brief History of Martial Arts

Self-defense is as old as the human race and due to this fact it is virtually impossible to trace the different systems of self-defense back to their beginnings. One could reason that just as most animals have some type of inherent self-defense (fangs, claws, poison, etc.) man also found it necessary to utilize his own features and thinking to defend himself.

Of all the systems of self-defense, the oriental forms are among the oldest and most effective systems of unarmed combat. It is a general belief that many of these systems seem to trace back to a Buddhist monk named Bohdi-Daruma. Daruma journeyed to China from India to instruct the tenants of Buddhism. Upon his arrival he began a monastery where he taught the Chinese, whom he found to be lacking more in physical culture than in intellectual or philosophical knowledge. Finding the monks became exhausted quickly from the severe discipline and pace, Daruma decided to incorporate a physical fitness program into his teachings. Rather than have the monk's practice monotonous calisthenics, Daruma taught a method of physical discipline based on the self-defense movements of various animals and movements he had learned throughout his travels. The monks of Sholin Temple, through working on this system, became known as the most formidable fighters in China.

Various merchants, scholars, tradesmen, monks, etc. and those who traveled to China for personal instruction carried Sholin Temple Tsu (Way) to Okinawa. Okinawa proved the perfect place for systems of unarmed self-defense to flourish during the time of occupation by Japan when it was illegal for anyone to possess a weapon of any kind. This forced the perfection of various empty hand techniques to the point where they could be effective against armed and armored warriors.

Martial arts are generally divided into weapons arts and empty hand arts. The empty hand arts are generally divided into grappling arts and striking arts. Grappling arts are those where you almost always have your hands on the opponent (like wrestling) and the striking arts are those in which you almost always hit your opponent (like boxing). We practice a type of karate in which we also overlap and practice weapons and grappling techniques.

There are many different styles of karate. Each style has its own little differences, the main being whether it is a hard or a soft style and what the particular katas (forms) are. Each past master has also added some of their own techniques and personal touches forming even more distinct style lines.

Brief History of Yamashita Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu

The style of karate we train here at Pro-Karate is Kobayashi Shorin Ryu. We are however, somewhat different than the norm for Kabayashi Shorin Ryu due to our director, Tadashi Yamashita. Master Yamashita is known for his speed and power and has changed certain elements of the traditional style to this end. Although we are very, very close to the traditional style there are some very minor differences that give our style, our system, its own distinctive qualities.

Lineage of Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate

  • Satsunuku Sakugawa Tode 1733-1815
  • Sokon Matsumura Te 1809-1901
  • Ankoh Itotsu Shuri-Te 1832-1916
  • Chosin Chibana Shorin-Ryu 1885-1969
  • Shuguro Nakazato Shorin-Ryu 1921- Present 10th Degree Master (Hanshi) Shorin Kan
  • Tadashi Yamashita Shorin-Ryu 10th Degree Master.Founder of Sui-Kendo (Suibukan)
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