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Ueshiro Downtown – A Traditional Karate Experience


There are over 15 styles of Karate taught around the world that originated in Japan. Shorin-Ryu Karate was brought to the U.S. from Okinawa by Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro in 1962. Ueshiro brought his teaching style and many years of expertise to Long Island, NY, shortly after establishing his first school. Since then, the Shorin-Ryu style has been taken up in many dojo’s around the U.S., including two in the heart of New York City.


The foundation for Shorin-Ryu Karate lies in the Katas that are practiced and learned in every class.

When offered the chance to learn about the Shorin-Ryu style at the Ueshiro Downtown Dojo, I put on my gym clothes and headed to the city.  Kevin-Sensei, owner of the Ueshiro Downtown Dojo, explained to me before beginning why he’s taught this form of Karate for over 30 years. In the city, it can be very important to learn how to defend yourself and to maintain calm in intense situations. If you can do these two things, you can avoid being the victim of a crime and may find yourself the leader in times of crisis. This is something I never thought about when considering why people might train in Shorin-Ryu. Overall, studying Shorin-Ryu contributes to developing a healthy mind and spirit as well as overall fitness.


Every training session begins and ends with a courtesy, a key principle of the dojo, including a respectful bow.

As the class continued I realized that Kevin-Sensei mixed one-on-one instruction with a small class environment to ensure his black belt students and myself received personal attention. The environment was serious and focused, but welcoming and enthralling at the same time. With one class, I felt as if I was a part of something bigger than myself – part of the school of Shorin-Ryu. Other elements of the class included stretching, stepping, punching, blocking and pre-arranged fighting. The nuances of every move made for an effective block, a perfect kata, or a strong punch. Training in this manner and environment allows students to develop confidence, self-awareness and respect for one another.


Basic drills help a student develop strength and coordination for more advanced techniques in later classes.

Today, the Ueshiro Downtown Dojo offers classes for ages 10 and up. Classes are arranged in a way that allow beginners ample opportunity to train alongside advanced students. Their convenient location in Tribeca, NY also makes it easy to train after work, after class or on weekends. Kevin-Sensei’s word of advice is always give yourself time. Results are never gained overnight. He has overseen generations of students grow and develop with Shorin-Ryu, and it has proven time and time again that martial arts can be a pillar in anyone’s life.


A strong decisive block can mean the difference between making it through a fight and defeating your opponent. There is no first strike in Karate.


—– Reported by Melissa Perrier



Ueshiro Downtown Shorin-Ryu Karate Dojo
107 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007
TEL: 646-745-6172  |