Dragon Tao Karate School

We Are More Than Just Karate!




   Dragon Tao Karate School New Student Information - Welcome To Dragon Tao Karate School!!!!!!!!  We Hope That Your Child Will Experience The Many Benefits Of Mastering A Martial Art.  Karate Teaches Discipline, Repect For Self & Others, Focus And Leadership Skills.  Dragon Tao Karate School Opened In 1987, A Sixth Degree Black Belt, Sensei - John W. Kellam, Jr. Is The Founder/Head Instructor And Is The President Of Maryland Black Belt Association.  He Has Been Teaching Karate For Over 37 Years.  He Has A Black Belt In Three (3) Different Styles, His Motto Is - We Are More Than Just Karate, Putting Children First Helps Strengthens And Preserving Family Ties. 

  Dragon Tao Karate Teaches A Close Range Self-Defense System, Traditional Okinawan Goju-Ryu.  Sensei Kellam Comes From The Okinawan Goju-Ryu Beibukan Karate-Do Clan.  Beibukan, Simply Translated, Means American Training School.  It Is An Association To Teach And Promote Goju-Ryu Karate-Do, As Taught By Sensei - Chojun Miyagi And Passed Down Through Sensei - Seiko Higa, Sensei - Meitoku Yagi, Sensei - Masanobu Shinjo, Sensei - Nathaniel Sanders (Masonobu Shinjo Sensei), Sensei - Howard Karyim Moore Who Was Sensei's - John W. Kellam's Instuctor, Along With Sensei - Steve Jordan & Sensei - Nate Sander. 


  After The Death Of Chojun Miyagi Sensei, Four (4) Of His Senior Students Opened Their Own Schools.  Seiko Higa Carried On As Sensei Miyagi's Immediate Successor, Meitoku Yagi Formed The Meibukan, Seikichi Toguchi The Shorei-Kan And Eiichi Miyazato The Jundokan.  Later, In 1963 Meitoku Yagi Would Receive His Gi And Belt From The Miyagi Family Along With The Menkyo Kaiden And Officially Become Head Of The Goju-Ryu System.  An Knock-Off Of The Okinawan Goju-Ryu System Was Gogen Yamaguchi, Who Studied With Chojun Miyagi Sensei And Promoted The System In Japan, Forming The Japan Karate-Do Federation Goju-Kai.  Peter Urban, Introduced Japanese Goju-Ryu To The United States In 1959, Later Forming The U.S.A. Goju Association.  Gosei Yamaguchi, The son Of Gogen, Followed in 1964.  He Moved To San Fransisco And Established The Goju-Kai Karate-Do U.S.A. 


  Karate-Do Means The Way Of Empty Hand Fighting.  Goju-Ryu Is The Karate Style Developed In Japan Which Applies The Principles Of Hard And Soft.  Literally Translated, Goju-Ryu Means "the way of (Ryu), the hard (Go), and soft (Ju).  A Hard Technique That Requires The Use Of Body Strength And Muscular Tension.  Soft Techniques Requires A Minimal Use Of Muscular Tension And Are Usually Combined With Body Motion.  Hard And Soft Techniques Integrate to Form A Complete Fighting System Adaptable To Any Particular Situation.  One Of The Major Characteristics Of Goju-Ryu Karate Is Its Emphasis On Breathing Techniques.  SANCHIN And TENSHO, The Two Breathing Katas, Represent The Most Basic Forms Of Goju.  Sanchin Reflects "GO", Or Hard, And Tensho Simulates "JU", Or Soft.  Breathing Is Important Not Only To The Practice Of Karate, But Also To The Experience Of Life.


  A Kata Is A Pattern Of Movements Which Contains A Series Of Logical And Practical Attacking And Blocking Techniques.  In Each Kata There Are Certain Sets or Predetermined Movements Which The Karate-Student Can Practice Alone, Without A Partner.  These Kata's Have Been Created By Previous Masters After Many Years Of Research, Training, And Actual Combat Experience.

  The True Meaning And Spirit Of Karate Are Embedded In The Kata And Only By The Practice Of The Kata Can We Come To Understand Them.  For This Reason, If We Change Or Simplify The Kata Either To Accomodate The Beginner Or For Tournament Purposes, Then We Also Will Have Lost The True Meaning And Spirit Of Karate!!!!!!! 

  In Karate There Is No First Attack.  Every Kata Begins With A Defensive Movement, Which Exemplifies This Spirit.  Not Only Is There No First Attack, But The Best Defense Is To Avoid The Fight To Begin With.  That Is Why It Is Said That Karate Is The Art Of Wisdom.

  Almost All Of The Okinawa Goju-Ryu Katas Were Handed Down from Higaonna Kanryo Sensei (Teacher Of Goju Ryu Founder Chojun Myagi Sensei).  Higaonna Sensei Had Studied And Trained For Many Years Under Ryu Ryuko Sensei In Fukien Province, China.  The Following Katas Were Handed Down By Higaonna Sensei From Ryu Ryuko Sensei: Sanchin, Saifa, Seiyunchin, Shisochin, Sanseru, Sepai, Kururunfa, Sesan, And Suparinpei. The Original Creators Of These Katas Are Unknown...

  Many Of The Katas Names Are Chinese Numbers Symbolizing Certain Buddhist Concepts.  For Example, Suparinpei (The Number 108 In Chinese) Has A Special Significance In Buddhism.  It Is Believed That Man Has 108 Evil Passions, And So In Buddhist Temples On December 31st, At The Stroke Of Midnight, A Bell Is Rung 108 Times To Drive Away Those Spirits.  The Number 108 In Suparinpei Is Calculated From 36x3.  The Symbolism Of The Number 36 Is Given In The Explanation Of Sanseru Which Follows.  The Number 3 Symbolizes Past, Present, And Future. 


   Chinese Kempo 

  Based On Mans Instinct Of Self-Defence, Different Fighting Styles Were Developed In Most Cultures, Especially In Central Asia, Egypt And Turkey.  The Principles Of The Asian Martial Arts Are Believed To Have Spread From Turkey To India, Where They Were Further Developed To Sophisticated Arts. 

  According To Legend, The Zen Buddhist Monk Bodhidharma Travelled To Hunan Province In China Around 500 A.D.  He Spent Nine Years In The Shao Lin Temple, Whereafter He Started To Teach Different Breathing Techniques And Physical Exercises To The Monks Of Shao Lin.  He Also Explained To The Monks How To Develop Their Mental And Spiritual Strength, In Order To Endure The Demanding Meditation Exercises.  Bodhiharmas Teaching Is Considered As The Birth Of Chinese Kempo. 

  When Kempo Is Spread Throughout China, It Is Divided Into Two Main Styles, The Nothern And The Southern Styles.  The Nothern Style Was Characterized By Straight And Hard Techniques, While The Southern Had Circular And Softer Techniques.  The Kempo Techniques Were Often Inherited Within The Family As A Well-Preserved Secret. 


  During The 14th Century Kempo Was Introduced Into Okinawa.  It Won Popularity And Was Trained As An Art Of Self-Defence, Under The Name Of 'Tote' (= ChineseHand).  At Okinawa The Native Fighting Art 'Te' Was Practiced Long Before The Introduction Of Kempo.  It Is Believed That 'Te' Was Combined With 'Kempo' By The Okinawans And Developed Into The Martial Arts Karate. 

  When Japan Invaded Okinawa In The 1609, The Ban Of Carrying Weapons (First Pronounced By King Sho Shin In 1477) Continues, But The Japanese Also Bans The Practice Of Martial Arts.  Consequently, The Okinawans Must Continue With Martial Arts In Secrecy.

  During The Next Three Centuries The Martial Art Develops Into Its Own Character And Is Called 'Okinawa Te'.  It Was Split Into Three (3) Main Styles: Shuri-Te, Influenced By The Hard Techniques Of Kempo And Characterized By An Offensive Attitude.  Naha-Te, Influenced By The Softer Techniques Of Kempo Including Breath Control And 'Ki'.  It Was Characterized By A More Defensive Attitude With Grappling, Throws And Locking Techniques.  Tomari-Te, Influenced By Both The Hard And Soft Techniques Of Kempo. 

  In The Ending Of The 19th Century Shuri-Te And Tomari-Te Were Subsumed Under The Name Shorin-Ryu, Which During The Years Has Developed Into Several Slightly Different Styles.  Naha-Te Becomes Known Under The Name Goju-Ryu (The Hard & Soft Style) And Has Remained Basically Unified Field Theory. 

   KARATE STYLES (These Are Only Some Of The Different Styles Available)  

  GOJU-RYU     The Actual Word, Karate-Do (Ka-Ra-Tay Doh), Stands For KARA (Empty), KARATE-DO    TE (Hand), And DO (Way).  It Is The Way Of The Empty Hand.  A Tiny Island By The Name Of Okinawa, Located In The East China Sea, Was The Birthplace Of Karate.  In The 11th Century, The People Of Okinawa Developed Their Own Fighting Ability From The Influence Of Chinese Martial Arts & Other Asian Fighting Systems.  The 17th Century Okinawa Was Invaded By Japan And A Ban Was Introduced On All Weapons And Farming Equipment With Blades, Which Left The People Empty Handed To Defend Themselves.  In Those Days, Karate Was Practiced By Family Members And Clans At Night In The Dark To Hide Their Identity.

                     During The 14th Century Kempo Is Introduced Into Okinawa.  It Wins Popularity And Is Trained As An Art Of Self-Defence, Under The Name Of TOTE (Chinese Hand).  At Okinawa The Native Fighting Art TE Was Practiced Long Before The Introduction Of Kempo.  It Is Believed That TE Was Combined With KEMPO By The Okinawans And Developed Into The Martial Art Karate.

                      Goju Ryu Karate Was Founded In The Late 1920's By Chojun Miyagi.  His Teacher Was Kanryo Higaonna, The Founder Of Naha-Te.  GO Means Hard (Okinawan Te), And JU Means Soft (Shoalin Kung Fu With Emphasis On The White Crane Style), Hence Goju Ryu Is Translated As "Hard & Soft Way".

   SHORIN-RYU   The Northeast Shorin-Ryu Karate Academy Schools Are Members Of The American Shorin-Ryu Karate Association, And Study The Matsubayashi Style Of Shorin-Ryu Karate.  It Is Commonly Acknowledged That Karate Originated And Developed In Okinawa, And That All Present Day Styles Evolved From There, Shorin-Ryu & Goju-Ryu BeingThe Two Original Styles To Be Formally Systematized.  Both Have Remained Pure In FormTo This Day.