Founded in 1967 by Robert Fusaro, the U of M Shotokan Karate Club is one of the oldest Student Sport Clubs at the U of M.
The Club retains professional Black Belt Instructors who provide Highest-Quality Training and technical expertise in Traditional Karate and Practical Self-Defense.
Everyone is welcome to join - including undergrads, graduate students, alumni, faculty, employees, and members of the public. We welcome members from around the world with varying levels of experience from beginning to advanced who often have training in other systems, styles, and traditions.
The Club is devoted to the study of Traditional Japanese Karate, for self-development, self-defense, fitness, sport, and fun! Shotokan Karate is an empty-hand fighting system consisting of kicks, blocks, and punches harnessing the entire body mass to deliver strikes in a balanced and efficient manner. To develop practical self-defense based on kata, we incorporate pressure points, grappling, trapping, smashing, and striking. Classes consist of solo and partner training to learn kihon (basics), kata (forms), and kumite (working with a partner). Learning traditional karate means learning a new way to move, with control and awareness.
Our members receive some of the highest quality karate instruction in the nation from instructors with years of experience. The club also competes in several intercollegiate tournaments throughout the year, including our own annually hosted U of M Karate Tournament. The club also engages in fun social events.
Come in for practice and see what it’s all about! You may join at any point in the semester. No prior martial arts experience is necessary to train with us. Just show up for class wearing some comfortable exercise clothing, and avoid wearing watches, bracelets, and other jewelry. A uniform can be purchased later if you decide to join.
Sensei Gimberline began studying Shotokan Karate at the University of Minnesota in 1980 and continued a lifetime of study under world-renowned instructors Robert Fusaro, Hidetaka Nishiyama, and many others. He has studied kata application concepts since about 1985 and developed the Kata for Self Defense and Shotoryu Goshinjutsu system. He has designed and taught self-defense courses to men and women and also designed and taught P.O.S.T approved courses in Police Control Tactics (PCT) and defensive tactics to police officers. His online instructional videos are hugely popular and he regularly teaches seminars throughout the US and Canada.
Rea Banerjee (President)
Renee Liu (Vice-President)
Kenshin Aoyama (Treasurer)
Renee Liu (Travel Officer)
Kaixin Feng (Safety & Facilities Officer)
Samantha Knight (2018-2020)
Alex Igl (2017-2018)
Khanh Duong (2016-2017)
Mitchell Le (2015-2016)
Juan Fernandez (2012-2015)
Paige Ahlquist (2009-2011)
Lucas Spangler (2007-2009)
Chris Hanson (2005-2007)
Andre Reed (2000-2004)
Andrew Chen (1998-1999)
Anthony Budziszewski (1996-1998)
Viet Tong (1994-1996)
David Gimberline (2018-present)
Yukino Nakamura (2018-2019)
Scott Parkin (2017-2018)
Amy Sperling (2015-2017)
Robert delMas (-2017)
Laura Ocampo (-)
Nina Chenault (-)
Michael Hubbard (-)
Robert Fusaro (1967-2016)
Like many of my decisions made throughout my undergrad, joining UMN’s Shotokan Karate Club was done on a raw coin flip. I needed something to do with my free time that wasn’t sitting around in my single-occupant dorm room, it was just a matter of testing waters to figure out what that would be. Despite not knowing a lick of karate, I was welcomed with open arms by the entire group and treated with patience and respect by Sensei Gimberline. This club had become a significant part of my four years at UMN. At SKC, I learned both the self-defense style and the traditional artistic form of Shotokan karate. The skills I acquired will most certainly be carried with me for the rest of my life.
A great club run by excellent teachers, keeping traditional karate thriving at the University of Minnesota for over 50 years.
This group's long history is a testament to its quality instruction and the passion of the many U students that have kept it going strong for all these years.
The Annual Tournament is a wonderful tradition. It's one of the only places that karateka of diverse styles can get together to compete.