• East Morris Karate Academy
  • (973) 884-2224

'Old School' Karate Dojo

Okinawa, Japan


'Old School' Karate Dojo

East Hanover, NJ


And that matters these days because...

If You Never Climb the Mountain, You'll Never See the View.

Same Mountain. Different Journeys.
Students come in all shapes, sizes, ages and for many reasons.
But, after over 40 years of teaching karate, we know two things for certain:
Any of our students, literally, can excel in the art and the Way.
You don't need great athletic ability or physique.
What it does take is effort, patience and a desire to be... more.
Men & Women (ages 18-80)

Men & Women (ages 18-80)

"What gives the artist real prestige
is his imitators."
  Igor Stravinsky

"The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of the character of its participants."
Gichin Funikoshi, Shotokan Karate

Never get in a gunfight with someone who practices outdrawing himself.
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Teens (ages 12-17)

Teens (ages 12-17)

(To develop students who are...)
"...acceptable at a dance and invaluable in a shipwreck."

J. F. Roxburgh

Humans need to belong, to find their tribe.
For teenagers, growing beyond the family to take their place in society is a pivotal journey. A true 'dojo' is an ally.
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Children    (ages 5-11)

Children (ages 5-11)

"Children are 'pure people'."
D.A. Jenkins, Isshin-ryu Karate

Everyone feels the need to have something they're actually good at.

To respect children, be their leader not their playmate.

Every child wants to be a real hero.
What they need is a real dragon to practice on.
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WHAT you do is never as important as HOW and WHY.

'Karate' teaches technique. 'Karate-do' teaches a Way - to students who train for success.




"Dogs fight, tigers fight, men do kata."
- Tatsuo Shimabuku, Isshin-ryu Karate

Martial artists have long studied karate as a way to grow, be active and have fun. For them, combat ability is a valuable result, but not their main purpose.

Does karate work in the street? Yes and no.
Yes, but, like any art, it's only as good as your skill.
So, no, 'karate' doesn't work - but you do!

Our kids learn the same karate program that's taught to adults. Not, of course, with the same intensity. Yet, they are held to similar standards.

Is it a challenge? You bet, but, for over 40 years, it's one students have proven can be successfully met.



Knowledge & Wisdom

The very definition of 'martial art' includes this aspect of training. It's also something often pretty much ignored, or worse, ridiculed.
And that's bad news for at least three reasons:

- Avoiding combat is the highest display of martial skill - and the smartest. (see Sun Tzu)
- Martial strategies work very well in solving life's non-combative problems.
- Self-defense is actually most often needed for mental or emotional protection.

Children learn more from what they observe and do than what they merely hear.

The traditional dojo environment provides a consistent example of martial arts principles, values and standards that promote abilities such as: self-control, mental focus, critical thinking, attention to detail, teamwork...

While not specifically taught philosophies in depth, as are adult students, the children are exposed to these new perspectives through the dojo culture that is based on them.



Perfection of Character

When you study karate, in a traditional way, you soon realize you are actually studying yourself.

Because you're learning things you've never done before, your patience, humility, courage, attention, perseverance are all tested to correctly accomplish even the simplest tasks.

Practice is THE most important
part of karate training.
Without practice there is no progress.

And yet, practicing is hard for many people.
It tests perseverance, dedication,
discipline, honesty, sincerity.

Practice, however, is also an excellent way
to develop those same qualities!

And, once you get the hang of it, practice becomes
a most enjoyable part of training.

Of course, good class attendance is vital. But beyond the obvious reasons, enthusiasm and attendance feed off one another.

But just attending class and dojo activities also plays an import role in a student's development. Remember, you're not a martial artist not just for what you can do, but for the person you are.

Because we observe good martial arts attitude in everything we do and wherever we go, students with good attendance have more unique opportunities to develop and practice the Eight Warrior Virtues:

Justice, courage, benevolence, politeness, honesty & sincerity, honor, loyalty, character & self-control.

Promotion to Black Belt (1990)

... after years of effort, trials and experiences.

From child to young adult, she was among the first
of a number of our students
to "grow up in the dojo".

Every dojo makes its promise.

For some, it's one of competition or security.
Others stress calisthenics.
Still others offer amusement.

For us, it's practicing a combat art as a Way.

For that you need specialists.

Meet our staff...

Specialists: We believe that being a karate teacher requires more preparation, effort and commitment than is common. Simple student experience and availability are not enough.


  • Three year formal instructor development program. (Separate study track for advanced students.)
  • Required assistant instructor internship prior to appointment.
  • Continuing monthly training days. Each is focused on personal training, workshops in class & student teaching methods, and seminars on conducting operations professionally.


  • Must maintain a standard of conduct in keeping with traditional dojo culture - on and off the floor.
  • Must be reliable, competent and ethical in conducting dojo business and operations.


  • Our four class instructors
    • Have each taught for an average of over 25 years.
    • Were exclusively trained here as students.
  • Our Head instructor
    • Isshin-ryu karate practitioner since 1974.
    • Co-founder of the American Budo Kai association.


  • Regard each time they step before a class as a priviledge.
  • View each student's training challenges as also their own and one they are determined to resolve.
  • Volunteer many off-class hours consulting each other about student progress and event planning.

Why People Choose Us

Don't entirely trust website testimonials? Neither do we.
Instead, we encourage people to talk with our members - students and parents.
(Of course they'll like us - they're still here! The more important question is what do they like about us.)

Here are a few reasons we know of:
From practice comes progress. For us, it's effort that's always recognized. Rules are enforced consistently and evenly. We have no 'favorites', no 'super-stars'. No one is ever left behind.
We are expert, knowledgeable and experienced in the art and about teaching it to individuals. We are professional at conducting events and dojo operations. In business, we are honest, candid and reasonable.
Safety is always first. All members are valued and treated with respect. We practice courtesy and manners as the hallmarks of good martial attitude - both on and off the floor. We promote cooperation among students, not competition.
We adhere to the three universal dojo principles: "All start from the bottom. Everybody works. Nothing comes free." Students meet standards, not the other way around. We correct, we insist, not punish or reprimand.
We are dedicated to each individual student's achievement and development. To that end, we continually seek to improve our teaching and depth of our training.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single..."  phone call.
For hundreds of years, to join the Shaolin Temple you first had to sit outside the gate for three days.
Until recently, a martial arts teacher's immediate response to requests for training was usually a simple, "Go away."

We are not quite that tough. All you have to do is leave a message!

We will return your call, make sure all your questions are answered, that you understand what we do and, possibly,
make an appointment to come in and take your (free) trial - and your second step.
Call Us Today.
(973) 884-2224

East Morris Karate Academy - 14 West St., E. Hanover, NJ


 501c3 Non-profit Educational Organization
Martial Promise, Inc. (dba: East Morris Karate Academy) admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs and athletic and other school-administered programs.


973 884-2224

*Our Head Instructor, Mr. Musco,
answers all inquiries.