Founded in 1997, the Kosho Kai Karate Dojo is a private club offering traditional karate classes for adults and children ages five and up. In addition to our traditional program, we offer Mini-Tigers classes for children ages three to five (not yet in kindergarten), women's self-defense, Kobudo (Okinawan weapons), and Koshiki (combatives).
Okinawan Seito Matsumura Shorin-ryu is an old village style of karate taught as a highly aesthetic art form steeped in cultural tradition and extremely effective for personal protection. Shuri-ryu is a stylized sport form of karate that is very athletic and competition oriented. The Kosho Kai Dojo curriculum includes both of these styles of karate in their unaltered forms. This dual approach to presenting karate results in a well rounded program which offers the best in fitness, self-defense, sport, authentic tradition, and fun.
Karate, the Japanese word applied in the early twentieth century to the Okinawan art of self-protection, has developed along three separate lines in accordance with the wants and needs of its practitioners.Those three branches of development are classical art, combat sport, and civil self-protection.Frank and Patricia Fink have collectively dedicated over sixty years to the study of this fascinating art.Their personal journeys have taken them through many phases, affording them the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the aesthetic, combative, competitive, and self-development aspects of karate.Together, they have developed a diverse and flexible curriculum that offers adult and youth students the ability to tailor their karate experience based on their individual goals.
By Sensei | October 18, 2017 at 12:03 AM EDT | No Comments
Over the course of my thirty-six year long martial arts journey, the focus of my training has shifted numerous times. Rather atypically, I first began my karate venture looking for spiritual truth. Granted, not the typical reason most fifteen year olds take karate, but then I wasn't a typical fifteen year old boy. Having become disillusioned by western religious practices and the luke warm, if not hypocritical, approach to Christian living displayed by my fellow youth group members, I turned to eastern mysticism for truth. Having been inspired by the humanity and wisdom exemplified by Kwai Chang Caine and his fellow Shaolin monks in the television series "Kung Fu", I decided to give martial arts a try. As fate would have it, I wandered into and enrolled in the best karate dojo in Illinois. Even after several years of training, I didn't find much by way of spiritual mysticism. What I did find was the practical philosophical world view of warriors throughout the ages: strength through benevolence, compassion through confidence. When I joined the Springfield Phil Koeppel School of Karate, I was not even aware there was a sport aspect to karate. Soon, however, I attended my first tournament. That was all it took; I was instantly hooked. I began what was to become a twenty plus year competitive career that took me all over the United States and to two foreign countries. The third phase of my journey began several years into my dual career as an Army military police officer and as a federal correctional worker. By now I was in my thirties and had tasted success as a karate student and as a tournament competitor. Nevertheless, I found that very little of what I had mastered was of much use in civilian law enforcement or real close quarter combat. Again fate intervened and I was given several training opportunities that expanded and informed my karate expertise. After throwing with throwers, grappling with grapplers, and boxing with boxers; after learning from police defensive tactics trainers, military combatives instructors, and some brilliant traditional martial arts prodigies, I returned to my base art only to confirm what I had suspected all along: old Okinawan tode-jitsu, the stuff our karate developed from, was a complete civil self-protection system complete with strategy, tactics, and a plethora of techniques. What had become known mostly for long range strikes originally subsided mostly on clench fighting, trapping, joint locking, strangling, throwing, and vital point manipulation. This realization naturally led me to the next stage, that of karate scholar. Since what I had been taught regarding karate's purpose and function was wrong, I wondered what else was inaccurate. I began to read books by leading martial arts researchers and discovered the two truths of karate history (see earlier posts on karate history). I became aware of brilliant research backed up by solid evidence and intriguing theories less supported but plausible nonetheless. I found myself consuming and contributing to internet resources and joining a growing online community of bunkai junkies and karate nerds. So, in short, I went from pilgrim to athlete to warrior to quasi-intellectual all in pursuit of mastery of the art I love. So what's next? To answer this question, I need only to look to my sensei. At nearly eighty years of age and with well over fifty years of training, he sets the perfect example of what a mature karate-ka should become. He still practices and teaches regularly. Not in the same manner he did twenty or thirty years ago for sure. Because back then he, like me, was trying to discover just what lies at the depths of this thing we do. Today, he merely does karate, the inevitable outcome being enhanced physical and mental health and deep personal satisfaction. The journey truly is cyclical. My hope for you is that your devotion to karate grows and changes shape as you pass through the various stages of your life. Karate is not a one-size-fits-all thing, and your journey will be uniquely your own just as you are a unique individual. You can never "outgrow" karate. Its capacity to serve and fulfill you is limited only by your commitment. Osu.