Frequently Asked Questions

Is this going to be like the movies?

No. The best way to approach your first class would be to disregard everything you've seen in the movies. You won't be asked to wax anyone's car, you won't be hit with sticks, and you won't have to break any boards or bricks.

Will I be asked to fight anyone?

No. Unlike many modern martial arts, we do not practice any type of free sparring. Students are not asked to fight anyone in class, nor do we participate in competitions. Karatedo Doshinkan is not a sport karate. Doshinkan is a traditional, non-competitive martial art in which we learn physical techniques that should only be applied in true self-defense situations.

Okay, so you don't spar, you don't compete, and you don't break boards. What do you do?

Our classes are designed to promote healthy movement and exercise -- we stress a balance between the physical, intellectual, and philosophical aspects of a traditional martial art. Classes usually consist of a warm-up period, followed by repetitions of hard and soft techniques and by kata repetition. Kata are series of movements and techniques, completed in a specific sequence. When karatedo was originally practiced in Okinawa, kata were the primary means of training. In Karatedo Doshinkan, we continue this tradition. In addition, we use controlled partner training to practice applying the techniques we learn.

We also train as often as we can in beautiful locations (Tittling, Germany).

Will this type of training teach me self-defense?

Yes...however, it takes time.  You will learn self-defense techniques beginning in your very first class. With time, dedication, and effort, you will learn a variety of self-defense techniques that can be utilized in many difficult situations.

Do I need any previous experience or training?

No. Our beginners classes are designed to teach members some of the basic techniques and kata offered in Karatedo Doshinkan. The classes start off slowly and gradually add new techniques for the members to learn.

Aren't martial arts mostly for kids?

Although many martial arts seem to focus on children, Karatedo Doshinkan does not. There is no such thing as being too old to train in Doshinkan. Everyone, regardless of age or physical condition (well, within reason), can benefit from training. This is especially true for adults. In fact, adults tend to understand the many different learning opportunities offered in Doshinkan much better than children.

Do children train in the Clemson area dojo?

There are children who train in Doshinkan but it isn't very common. Doshinkan classes are designed for adults. We do not alter our classes to make them more entertaining for children. At the Clemson University dojo, anyone 16 and older is welcome to train with us. Children aged 14 to 16 can train with us if a parent is training in the dojo and with the permission of the instructor.

Are there many Doshinkan dojos?

You will not find Doshinkan dojos on every street corner, however, there are a number of Doshinkan dojos in the states and around the world. Karatedo Doshinkan is truly an international martial art with its headquarters located in Vienna, Austria and numerous dojos spread around the world.  Please visit for a list of dojos.

What if I have an injury or physical condition, such as a bad knee?

You won't be asked to do anything that might hurt you. Our classes are designed to be healthy. All members are encouraged to train to their physical limit, thus improving their physical fitness and capacity through training.  Please let the instructor know if you are unable to do a movement, stance, or technique because of some type of physical limitation and we can work out alternative movements for you to perform.

Do I get to wear a colored belt?

Yes...if you work hard enough. Doshinkan uses 10 kyu ranks (color belt ranks) and 10 dan ranks (black belt ranks). Of course it takes many years to work your way through all of the ranks. Also, don't expect to be awarded a color belt right away. The first four ranks in Doshinkan are white belts.

Who leads Doshinkan classes in the Clemson, S.C. area?

Shihan 8.Dan Dr. June Pilcher. She was initially authorized to lead classes by Hanshi 10.Dan Isao Ichikawa, the founder of Karatedo Doshinkan, and is currently authorized to lead classes by Doshinkan's current grand master, Hanshi 10.Dan Nobuo Ichikawa. Shihan Dr. June has been leading Doshinkan trainings for over 25 years. She holds an eighth degree black belt (8.Dan) and has been awarded the title Shihan.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Shihan Dr. June Pilcher.

Return to top