Our Club

The Japan Karate Association of Albany, Inc. (JKA) is a local non-profit club, whose practitioners have provided training and education in the traditional Japanese martial art of Shotokan Karate-Do for over 50 years. We are a traditional martial arts club that emphasizes a holistic view to training both the body and the mind. We believe that philosophy and ideals are just as important to traditional martial arts as physical prowess. Our training is based on time-honored techniques and systems. Classes are more disciplined and place more emphasis on etiquette than the typical street-corner karate school. The Japan Karate Association is the largest and one of the most prestigious martial arts organizations in the world. Exacting standards of technique and rank are the same in our club as they are in Japan. While your training and advancement is our primary concern, JKA schools will not compromise their ranking standards just to keep students happy. All students receive the finest quality instruction.

  1. All JKA Instructors are nationally and internationally certified.
  2. All JKA Instructors participate in instructor training courses and seminars that improve their teaching skills.
  3. There are four special training camps per year that expose students to world-class karate instructors.
  4. Your JKA rank is recognized throughout the world.

Independent schools and smaller organizations do not offer this depth of opportunity.

The JKA is not a profit seeking enterprise. All surplus funds generated by the organization are used to further develop our karate programs, and are reinvested into our members’ development. Chief instructor Douglas Luft, a 7th Dan (degree blackbelt), has studied and taught JKA Shotokan in the Capitol District for more than 48 years and is a well-known and internationally-accredited JKA martial artist.

Our non-contractual dues structure offers a great value. Students are able to train up to four days per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday evenings and Saturday morning). Monthly fees are: $75 (adults); $55 (Children); and $60 (YMCA Members).

We’re eager to meet prospective new members interested in the JKA style of Shotokan karate training. To join, all you have to do is come to any of our classes and try it out! If you decide you like it, you can then see a club officer, fill out an application form, pay the first month's dues and you're in. If you're shopping around for martial arts schools, you're welcome to come observe class and talk to the instructors or club members.