• Basic Information

  • About me
    We practice traditional Shotokan Karate Do. What this means is that we follow the teachings of Gichin Funakoshi, also known as the father of karate, and Budo the way of the warrior. The focus is on becoming better human beings rather than excelling in competitions or becoming the ultimate MMA fighter. Karate Do is more than just learning to defend yourself, it is a way of life.
    We practice traditional Shotokan Karate Do. What this means is that we follow the teachings of Gichin Funakoshi, also known as the father of karate, and Budo the way of the warrior. The focus is on becoming better human beings rather than excelling in competitions or becoming the ultimate MMA fighter. Karate Do is more than just learning to defend yourself, it is a way of life.

    The story of Shotokan tiger
    Gichin Funakoshi has been called the father of karate and the leader of the Shotokan movement. Funakoshi Sensei not only practiced karate, but was also a poet who went by the pen name of Shoto which literally means waving pines in the breeze. The name Shoto kan was derived by some of Funakoshi Sensei’s students to name the dojo in which they practiced. The word kan means practice hall. The symbol of the tiger became attributed to Shotokan Karate after the work of an artist who illustrated a book cover on karate written by Gichin Funakoshi. Over time, Shotokan Karate was often referred to as tiger karate, though it had nothing to do with tigers or tiger like movements. In fact, the crane might have been more descriptive of Shotokan karate with the adoption of Crane like movements from Chinese arts into its katas.

    The story of the lion guardians
    Asiatic lions exist as a single population in India and were not native to China. Stories from traveling priests and traders filled the imagination of the Chinese emperor, who never seen a lion. The emperor had his artisans create a likeness based upon these stories and descriptions brought back from faraway lands. Eventually, legends of the lion being fierce protectors, warding off evil spirits grew. Artistic lion statues were placed in front of temples to protect them from evil spirits, much like gargoyles used in ancient churches. This tradition of using lion guardians traveled to Japan as well. It is very common place to see temples in both China and Japan protected by two lion guardians at the entrance.

    The Story of Simba Dojo
    We began our practice of karate in Kenya a small country on the African Continent. It is well known that tigers do not exist in the wilds of Africa! The most famous African animal, however, is the lion and it is the closest animal to a tiger on the continent. The Swahili word for lion is simba, while the Japanese word is shishi. Simba represents the heart of Africa where our study of karate began. The word has been made famous by the Disney film, The Lion King, here in America. Simba also represents family, protection, power, loyalty and strength which is how we describe our karate spirit. Thus we have it, Simba Dojo, guardians of the temple.

    About the Japanese characters on our uniforms
    Japanese use several different writing systems to communicate. Some writing systems are phonetic such as Katakana, Hiragona, and Romanji. Others are symbolic such as the use of Chinese symbols known in Japan as Kanji. We adopted two Kanji characters to represent Simba Dojo. The first character represents a lion (shishi), while the second represents the spirit or the divine (jin). These Kanji can be found on our website, uniforms and certificates. Katakana is meant to be used to write out foreign names, scientific terms or as highlights. Since it is phonetic system it can be used to write out your name on your uniform and is traditionally placed on the lower lapel of the jacket.

My family and I are back in South Africa, Johannesburg and ready for Easter
Celebrations.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for receiving us in such a
welcoming heart felt way. I do... Read More

Soretha J.

Simba Dojo goes beyond martial arts training to complete mind and body training. Control of one’s self is all that we can control.

J. Pfeifer

Karate has made me happier and has given me more agility as well as more endurance.

Zoe T.

The past few months practicing at Simba Dojo have been fun and challenging. I am learning and growing in the beginnings of what I see as a long and worthwhile journey in bringing body and mind in... Read More

Dwight T.

Karate has helped me to be more serious and show more hard work. I think this dojo is awesome because my friends and senseis always work hard together and have fun.

James K.

Karate has helped me with better behavior. I like karate because I learn how to defend myself with my senses.

Joseph K.
6th Kyu

Karate has helped me become a better Listener. Sensei Cece and Sensei Woody are the best teachers ever.

Jonathan K.
6th Kyu

Simba Dojo has been a fantastic experience for me. They have plenty of classes at different times so it is easy to work with my schedule. The classes offered have no pressure to compete with the... Read More

Patti C.

My daughter had been begging to begin karate. We had avoided it because we had heard more dissatisfied parents about fees and various other issues. When I saw City of Goodyear Rec offered Karate at a... Read More

Kathy M.