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A superior program of aerobic exercise, self-defense, and traditional martial arts discipline, KENSHIKAI KARATE is designed for men and women of all ages. A traditional form of Japanese karate, Kenshikai is derived from the martial arts Kyokushinkai Karate and Seido Karate. Vanderbilt YMCA's chief instructor is Shuseki Shihan Leighton Barker, a 7th degree Black Belt, who studied under Seido Karate Grandmaster Tadashi Nakamura for over 25 years.


KENSHIKAI KARATE provides a complete program in physical conditioning. Our exercises are safe, effective and tailored to individual needs. Kenshikai Karate develops flexibility, coordination, power, and stamina, and it builds strength in virtually every muscle group in the body. Our goal is that each day when you leave class, you will feel a little better mentally and physically than when you arrived. We provide you with the program, supervision, and environment that will allow you to realize your full potential.


KENSHIKAI KARATE is also an effective and efficient form of self-defense. You learn to use your body as a weapon, developing the ability to defend yourself against assailants bigger and stronger than yourself. Hand, elbow, knee, and foot techniques are taught based on their effectiveness and practical application in street situations. Your safety is your personal responsibility. Men and women, young and old, have found Kenshikai Karate to be a practical solution to the risks of crime we all face in our urban environment. Self-defense training is one way to protect yourself against the potential hazards of city living.