Complete Shotokan Karate Home Study Course

Traditional Shotokan Karate Home Study Course

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    Complete White-B​​​​lack Belt Course
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    Get the DVDs or Digital Course
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    Just like Having a Dojo at Home

The Entire Course of Study. At Home and At Your Own Pace.

Have you been "meaning to get back to it?" I know what it is like to get busy. With kids, a job, sometimes a second job, helping family, taking care of parents, and plenty of other responsibilities. But, when are you going to give yourself the time you deserve?

This Traditional Shotokan Karate Home Study Course takes the guesswork out of training. Every single belt level is laid out in an easy to follow fashion. Whether you are going through the DVDs one at a time, or studying with the digital edition, you'll have a blast while learning authentic shotokan karate.

Are you happy with your physical strength, fitness, and weight? Do you feel that you could defend yourself and your family if needed? 

In this course, not only will you learn every single technique (kihon), self defense movement (kumite), and pre-arranged form (kata), but you will reach new levels of physical fitness, control, and energy. Shotokan Karate is a full-body workout like no other. While still being safe on the joints and not too intense for certain injuries and limitations. 

It's time to train. Don't wait another day to go after your goals, and to become an even better version of yourself. That is why we do martial arts. Not for belts, to fight, or to be malicious; but to continue on our journey of self-mastery with the right tools, while enjoying life with a greater force of energy.

What You'll Learn

Basic Techniques (Kihon)

All basic techniques (kihon) from white to black belt. Stances, punches, hand strikes, kicks, and blocks. All instructed with proper Japanese terminology, angles, detailed breakdown, and a practice drill.

Self-Defense (Kumite)

You will progressively learn all types of kumite (fighting/self defense techniques). Starting with Ippon Kumite, then Sanbon, Gohon, Kaeshi, Jiyu Ippon, and Jiyu Kumite. These will develop powerful fighting and defense skills from a wide range of attacks.

All Katas

The course instructs all Shotokan Karate-do kata(s), just as the founder (Gichin Funakoshi) instructed. Along with additional "Geri" practice katas, understanding bunkai, and more.

Every Belt Level

9th Kyu White Belt

  • Introduction to shotokan karate.
  • How to train along with the course.
  • About the use of Japanese terms.
  • Basic stances and etiquette.
  • Kihon (Techniques): Choku-Zuki (Straight Punches), Oi-Zuki (Front Lunge Punch), Gedan Barai (Downward Block), and more....
  • White Belt Class
  • Sample Belt Test Video

8th Kyu Yellow Belt

  • Kihon (Techniques): Tachikata (Stances), Tettsui-Uchi (Hammer Fist Strike), Gyaku Zuki (Reverse Punch), Age Uke (Rising Block), and more...
  • Kihon Drills: dynamic and static kihon practice.
  • Kumite: About Ippon Kumite, Ippon Kumite #1-2, About Sanbon Kumite, Sanbon Kumite #1-2.
  • Kata: Taikyoku Shodan and Heian Shodan.
  • Yellow Belt Class

7th Kyu Orange Belt

  • Kihon (Techniques): Neko Ashi Dachi (Cat Stance), Tsuru Ashi Dachi (Crane Stance), Ni Tettsui Uchi (Double Hammer Fist Strike), Uraken Uchi (Back Fist Strike), and more...
  • Kihon Drills: 7 complete kihon drills.
  • Kumite: Ippon Kumite #1-2, Sanbon Kumite #1-2. 
  • Kata: Taikyoku Nidan and Heian Nidan.
  • Orange Belt Class.

6th Kyu Green Belt

  • Kihon (Techniques): Uchi­-Ni­-Uke, Empi-­Uchi, Mawashi-­Geri, Ushiro­-Geri, Chudan Ni-­Zuki, and more...
  • Kihon Drills: 12 dynamic kihon drills.
  • Kumite: Ippon Kumite #1-2, Sanbon Kumite #1-2.
  • Kata: Taikyoku Sandan and Heian Sandan.
  • Green Belt Class.

5th Kyu Blue Belt

  • Kihon (Techniques): Shuto-Uchi (Knife Hand Strike), Hiza-Geri (Knee Strikes), Juji-Uke (Cross or X-Block), and more...
  • Kihon Drills: 9 complete drills.
  • Kumite: Ippon Kumite #1-2, Gohon Kumite #1-2.
  • Kata: Geri Kata Shodan and Heian Yondan.
  • Blue Belt Class.

4th Kyu Purple Belt

  • Kihon (Techniques): Tagai-Zuki (Across Body Punch), Kosa Uke (Cross Hand Block), Manji-Uke (Vortex Block), and more...
  • Kihon Drills: 16 follow-along drills.
  • Kumite: Ippon Kumite #1-3.
  • Kata: Geri Kata Nidan and Heian Godan.
  • Purple Belt Class.

3rd Kyu Brown Belt

  • Kihon (Techniques): Sokumen-Zuki (Double Arm Sideways Punch) and more kihon combinations.
  • Kihon Drills: 15 kihon drills.
  • Kumite: Ippon Kumite #1-3.
  • Kata: Geri Kata Sandan and Tekki Shodan.

2nd Kyu Brown Belt

  • Kihon (Techniques): Tachikata Kumite (Traditional Fighting Stance), Kizami-Zuki (Jab Punch), Uraken-Uchi (Backfist Strike), and more...
  • Kihon Drills: 14 follow-along drills.
  • Kumite: About Jiyu Ippon Kumite, Jiyu Ippon Kumite #1-6, About Kaeshi Kumite, Kaeshi Kumite #1-2.
  • Kata: Creating Bunkai Demos, Bassai Dai.
  • Brown Belt Class

1st Kyu Brown Belt

  • Kihon (Techniques): Footwork, Stances, Positioning, Free Style Kumite Punching, Free Style Kumite Kicking, and more...
  • Kihon Drills: 3 traditional kihon drills.
  • Kumite: Jiyu Ippon Kumite #1-6, Kaeshi Kumite #1-2, About Jiyu Kumite, Jiyu Kumite Tips and Tactics.
  • Kata: Kanku Dai.

1st Dan Black Belt

  • About Shodan: Training for your black belt test.
  • Kata: Jion. (Slow Speed, Normal Speed, Breakdown, and Follow-Along.

The Simplest Way to Learn Shotokan on the Planet

  • You are guided through each belt level
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    Easy to follow, well-explained video lessons
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    A helpful training syllabus for the entire course
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    Over 20 hours of HD video lessons and classes
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    More than 1,000 students are already using the course
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    Complete follow-along classes are just like being in the dojo

Try Your First Lesson

Bonus Items Included With Your Course

The Training Syllabus

This is the official Global Martial Arts University Shotokan Karate syllabus. It includes the exact curriculum for each belt level throughout the course. It is an excellent training reference that you can read on your device or print out. It comes in a convenient .pdf format.


Official Student Patch

If you purchase the DVD + Digital edition, we will include the official shotokan karate-do student patch. On your gi, place it on the left side of the chest (over the heart).


Streaming + Download Edition

All course purchase options also include a streaming and downloadable edition. You will get instant access to all videos which you can stream on any device, or download them for offline viewing.

Shaun Whitt

(Grayson, Kentucky, USA)

“Sensei Jon and Sensei Michael have put together an efficient and fun Shotokan Karate curriculum that is sure to help Martial Arts students increase in skill and knowledge. The online format is comparable to many online colleges and universities. It is easy to navigate and very detailed. Sensei Jon does an excellent job speaking to the beginner and the Black Belt. He breaks it down in an easy, enjoyable practice. Don’t get me wrong, the curriculum is not easy and it does take hard work, time, and energy. But…that is because it’s the real deal. Students can earn accredited rank and an increased skill base regardless of their prior knowledge."

Jonas Bieri

(Bennwil, Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland)

“The course is well-structured and follows more or less the Karate curriculum used here in Switzerland. Lesson videos are clear and of good quality. Sensei Jon puts a lot of emphasis on clearing the mind, breathing, correct stances and hip rotation. Some techniques differ from the traditional Japanese form my kids learn. In these cases Sensei Jon lets me choose which variant I want to demonstrate in the grading video.”

Get the Course. Just Moments from Training.

Traditional Shotokan Karate Vol. 1

(White - Orange Belt)

Digital Edition: $99

DVD + Digital Edition: $129

Traditional Shotokan Karate Vol. 2

(Green - Brown Belt)

Digital Edition: $99

DVD + Digital Edition: $129

Traditional Shotokan Karate Vol. 3

(2nd Brown - Black Belt)

Digital Edition: $99

DVD + Digital Edition: $129

The Complete Course (Best Value)

  • 20+ Hours of HD Instruction
  • 16 DVD Set (Region Free)
  • Training Syllabus (.pdf)
  • Student Patch (with DVD Edition)
  • Save Thousands Over Training in a Dojo

DVD + Digital Edition: $349

Digital Edition: $299

More than 1,000 Happy Students

We back up the Traditional Shotokan Karate Home Study Course with a 30 day money back guarantee. If you don't see the results you were expecting, or are just not happy, we will give you a full refund. We have been creating home study courses since 2008, and have received less than ten returns to this point. We know you'll love the training!


How do I enroll as an official student to earn rank?

Do I need a partner to train in shotokan?

How long do I have access to the digital course?

Do you ship worldwide?

More Unedited Reviews

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Average rating:  
 17 reviews
 by Matthew Allen
Amazing Course!

I started training in the Complete Shotokan Karate course about a week ago. I have watched all of the videos, started reading through the manual, and begun working on the white belt techniques and katas.

The course is very well put together from one belt rank to the next and the techniques and katas are broken down very well and easy to follow along.

Practicing the kata is very centering as well. I have anxiety and depression, and when I am having a "not-so-good"day I practice the kata and use it as a form of meditation and it helps to keep me grounded.

I am so thankful to have the opportunity to train with this program!

 by Justin Mitchell
Shotokan Karate-Do

Great program and very detailed and true to the martial arts. However, that is not even the best part about this program. The feedback they provide for your test is very intricate and prompt.

 by Jason Noble
The Nuts N Bolts I was looking for!

I started the Complete Shotokan Karate course while I was waiting for a course in Krav Maga to start in my hometown. You see, I had been taking Karate at a local dojo, and, while I really liked my Sensei, I just wasn't getting what I needed. My Sensei's directions to "follow along" just wasn't enough for me and I found my self frustrated as a white belt trying to follow along with class full of blue belts, brown belts and black belts. Needless to say I lost interest and decided I would try something else, and so I waited for my Krav Maga course to start. While I was waiting, I stumbled upon the black belt at home course and was amazed by the professional quality and straightforward instructions. I decided I would give it a try. The Shotokan Karate home study course has rekindled my interest in karate because Sensei Jon's videos are very simple, step-by-step and teach you only what you need to know for that belt level. Sensei Jon's instructions are very specific and he takes the student through learning the techniques using a 1-2-3 method that works like a charm. This is EXACTLY what I was looking for! And being able to replay or rewind any video is amazing for learning the techniques. I find I follow-along with the videos several times before I go on to the next one. I could go on forever about how great the program is, but the best way is to try it and find out for yourself!

 by Troy Johnson
Great training

I have been a Black Belt at Home student training in the Complete Shotokan Karate course for nearly 2 years and have been enrolled in GMAU since "Day 1". What I love most about this training is that I can work through it at my own pace, pause, go back and do things over and over, and I don't feel pressure to "hurry up" or do things perfect immediately like I would if there were 20 other people standing around me watching. Sensei Jon does a great job of explaining each form, punch, kick, etc, in detail. If you are concerned that once you start the course you will be "left hanging" out on your own with no communication, you are wrong. Both Sensei Jon and Sensei Michael are great at answering emails quickly. I have sent numerous emails to a Sensei Jon with questions or clarification on certain moves. I have even reached out to him a couple of times for moral support or advice on personal concerns or issues and he has always been understanding and super supportive. I have progressed through a few belt rank exams and Sensei Jon always films a personalized grading video and sends it to you with honest feedback. This course is helping me do something I always wanted to do, but never thought I could. I would recommend it to anyone....any age....any size....any body type. Thank you Sensei Jon and Sensei Michael for making this a reality.

 by Jessica King
Highly recommended!

I started Shotokan awhile ago, but I haven't been actively using it for awhile. It's not by choice though. From what I've seen and done so far, it's well done and informative. The only reason I'm not actively working on it right now is poor health. I hope to get things under control as soon as possible, but we'll see. I'd like to continue when I'm able. I may need to focus on Tai Chi though.

 by Colin
Shotokan at Home

Hi All, Just wanted to let everyone know how good the Shotokan program is, the training DVD are very easy to follow and you can improve very quickly. This is a great way to gain a raking in Karate when you are in a very busy job that you travel for, you can take it any where you go and you don't need to be looking for a Dojo to train at.

 by Adam Bein
Efficient and thorough. By far the most efficient martial arts training on planet Earth.

I'd give Global Martial Arts University 10 stars but the rating scale only goes up to five stars! Even University courses in non-athletic based topics aren't as well delivered as the instruction I have received from Global Martial Arts University. My name is Adam Bein. I was a professional springboard diver and jet skier in amusement parks around the globe and a stuntman on the Universal Studios Hollywood Live Action Stunt Show the 'Miami Vice Action Spectacular'. Look it up on YouTube, I'm the guy in the red shirt and black pants in this series of videos here: from 'Studio Tour'.

Here's the concept as I saw it-maybe you have the same thoughts:
If I can learn to improve my windsurfing by watching and pausing videos-why not Shotokan Karate?
If I can learn to shuffle dance, yes...'Shuffle Dance', by watching AND PAUSING videos-why not learn Shotokan Karate by video?
Every. single. class I am, every single interest I have, I can learn from watching videos! So why not include the learning of martial arts?

Objection #1: "You can't fight yourself! BAH!" Really? Well I've got new for you buddy-the first two belts at least-you're NOT sparring now are you? Nope. Because you don't know the movements, you don't know the body positions, and you don't know how much strength is too much. Someone is going to get hurt in a real life in person class-so instead you do 'katas', you practice forms and stances and body positioning. You're not in combat in class, you're practicing body position and movement. Later on you CAN get a partner/find someone, Global Martial Arts University even has an online 'Locate a Student Near Me!' page where you can go to find ppl near you who are also enrolled in Global Martial Arts University. Find someone nearby and meet them and run thru katas together.

THIS i what you get from Global Martial Arts University. YOU, you YOURSELF get to, at the time YOU want, pause their Shotokan Karate instructional videos and analyze the videos as YOU need in the manner YOU wish. Do you have ANY idea how important that is?! Just you TRY to get an instructor, in person/live, to pause over and over and over again-waiting for YOU to get up to speed with something as simple as the EXACT position of the back foot during one stance and the right fist during a block. NOT going to happen and if it DID-it'd take you years and years or gobs of cash. Global Martial Arts University allows YOU the STUDENT to take control of your own education, of the information as YOU study it in the way & manner & speed YOU wish.

Objection #2: "I can just watch any video on martial arts for FREE on YouTube." Yes, yes you can. Go right ahead. Go right ahead & you go watch YouTube videos. Lemme tell you how THAT works. You'll go to the search area & type in 'Karate for Beginners'. and you'll find a bunch of videos. You practice them. Fine. Then let's say you DO make some progress with that video. YOU'RE going to have to have a list and library of 5-10 videos on YouTube for every skill and move and position-and one person's beginner video won't match another persons. There's no quality control, there's no consistency, there's variation, there's no belt testing that's for sure, the quality sucks-oh, don't forget, you're going to have to ADD a library list AFTER you search for it mind you, for warming up, how to test, how to do each long form drill. At what point do you realize that YOUR TIME is worth money? Do NOT count your pennies when you are trying to save dollars. If you're counting pennies you've got bigger problems in life. GO watch the free hack videos and lets see how long before you realize you demand quality, organized, thorough, consistent, patient, step-by-step, instruction.

Objection #3: Isn't going to a gym/dojo/school better? NOPE! There's no way the Instructor is going to pause and freeze like you want them too. There's no way the class is at the time YOU want-FOR THE DURATION you want! You're GOING to HAVE to get in your car, drive over there, get there early, workout, then drive back. Isn't your driving time worth money to you? And have you researched the COST of schools?! I did! $200/month PLUS at least one private class at $50.

Listen, I'm not saying it's a good idea to learn to skydive or to learn to swim or to learn to hang glide by watching frickin' videos. Let's not be ridiculous. But other than those activities and maybe Lifeguarding water rescues, we're running short on the list of things one cannot learn from watching videos! This is how the world IS right now-instruction on demand on your device!

So if you have any desire at all to learn Shotokan Karate, save yourself a boatload, a boatload of time AND trouble AND frustration AND organizing, and just plunk down NOT VERY MUCH MONEY and buy yourself, treat yourself, to Global Martial Arts University's Shotokan Karate class. I did and I made a damn good choice. The joys of living in this day and age include efficient, when YOU want, on demand, online martial arts instruction. I wish we had THIS 20 yrs ago.

Objection #4: "I'm going to look at other online schools." That makes sense. I did the same thing. You go look at other online schools long & hard like I did-and then come right back to here to Global Martial Arts University when you realize, just like I realized, that the other schools are not nearly as organized, personalized, and professionalized as Global Martial Arts University. Plus one online school's frickin' ex.pen.sive. You have no idea.

Best damn gift I ever gave myself. Hey-you can give this as a gift too when you pay at the checkout!

One thing's for sure-You will NOT be sorry you signed up with Global Martial Arts University for their Shotokan Karate class.

 by Robert Hughes
Complete Shotokon Karate

I began the Complete Shotokan Karate course this past Summer, and it changed my life. I have wanted to train in the martial arts, mainly karate, since the age of 5. Through all of lifes twists and turns, unfortunately I never had the opportunity. Now as a working husband and father, although time is limited, I am able to fulfill my dream while working on relieving my anxiety issues through karate. The course is extremely hand on, and Sensei John, and Sensei Michael are with you every step of the way. I can't wait until I am able to resume my journey when financial issues subside.

 by Jeff Bixby
Blackbelt at Home Study Course

Training with Sensei Hodge since June has been great! What I love about this course is the supplemental materials and the one on one belt test feedback. The feedback has helped me to better train myself, little tips like posture make me a better student of Shotokan. I'm constantly slowing the dvd down, rewinding, looking for foot movements. See that is the thing, with the home study course you can take time, view the techniques at your own pace. Get the forms down in your own mind first then follow along. No way in a traditional Karate class could you ask the Sensei to "Slow down, now stop there so I can see which way your toes are pointed." But with the DVD's it's all at your own pace.

Much praise for this program!

 by Scott Ewing

I'm a proponent of self-study and distance learning, so I was pleased to discover Complete Shotokan Karate's 8 DVD set. I have taken good advantage of technology-enabled distance learning before, in subjects ranging from graduate engineering studies to personal fitness. From my experience, I know that self-study is not for everyone, and that one gets out of this sort of training no more than one is willing to put in. I have been a traditional, in-class student of several styles of martial arts, including Shotokan and related styles of Karate. I had the advantage while serving in the military to work out in a related style in Japan with Japanese police and members of the Maritime Self Defense Force. Which is to say, I'm reasonably qualified to judge "authenticity" in the art. As I have begun to review Sensei Hodge's instructional DVDs, I've been fully satisfied by the clear, well-explained lessons he presents. I've found both Sensei and his instructor son Michael to be very accessible. I have emailed them and received same-day replies, and on questions regarding peculiarities of hand positioning or foot movement, the Hodges have been understanding. Like me, their backgrounds include Chinese, Korean, and Japanese martial arts. I can state with confidence that if a student had learned fundamentals from live instruction, they would find working with this DVD set very easy to do. For those who have not had the advantage of live instruction, I think that Sensei Hodge's training is well enough designed that the student could become proficient as long as they were willing to put in time and serious effort to their training.

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