About the Club

Kicking & Punching
at the U Since 1967.

Tradition that Runs Deep

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.

expert instructors

The Club retains professional Black Belt Instructors who provide Highest-Quality Training and technical expertise in Traditional Karate and Practical Self-Defense.

open to everyone

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 David Gimberline

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.

Current Club Officers

Euan Lim (President)
Xiaohang Zhu (Vice-President)
Maria Quiros (Safety & Facilities Officer)

Past Club Presidents

Andrea Dominic Sarmentio (2023)
Rea Banerjee (2022-2023)
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)

Past Club Instructors

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)

what they say