Traditional Karate Center has been offering instruction and training in karatedo since 1994. Our original dojo in Staten Island, New York existed from 1994 through 2010. Our Matawan, New Jersey dojo continues to thrive from 2008 to present day. In both locations, our expert staff of IKGA credentialed instructors have produced champions in life as well as in the martial arts.
Headed by Shihan (Master) Michael Buttermark and a staff of expert certified IKGA instructors, TKC Dojo offers the area's most comprehensive and authentic karatedo education available.
We come from a "royal bloodline" of karatedo legends: the real "Mr. Miyagi", Gojuryu Karatedo founder Chojin Miyagi and International Karatedo Gojukai Association (IKGA) founder Gogen Yamaguchi - renownly known as "The Cat". From them, our system was further refined and developed in a very elaborate and comprehensive way by IKGA President: Saiko Shihan (Grandmaster) Goshi Yamaguchi - who is the teacher of TKC Dojo founder, Shihan Buttermark.
Classes are offered to all ages and ability levels without discrimination. "Karatedo offers something for everyone." - Grandmaster Goshi Yamaguchi
Our developmental curriculum offers training opportunities to students as young as 3 years old and to individuals with developmental disabilities. There are several layers of training based on age and/or cognitive ability levels. These are detailed in our PROGRAMS section.
Our international curriculum offers training for students age 8 and older. IKGA standard and advanced curriculum are offered to our students.
Thank you for taking the time to investigate our website and feel welcome to visit us during our class times.
MICHAEL Buttermark-Shihan wishes to carry on the legacy of his teachers: fostering growth of IKGA karatedo in an inclusive manner during his lifetime. Taking to heart the essence of IKGA ideals, he wants to work with like-minded individuals to offer development opportunities through karatedo training at TKC Dojo. If Karatedo offers something (of value) to everyone, then TKC should strive to be as inclusive as possible including extending training to those who are most often excluded. TKC STAFF AND MEMBERS aspire to accommodate the needs of anyone seeking karatedo instruction without prejudgment or prejudice. Welcomed at TKC Dojo are: the very young; elderly, developmentally and/or physically challenged; non-athletes, sedentary and/or obese persons; and all able, or typical PERSONS.
TKC Dojo works to serve our local (surrounding) communities as a beacon of strength and support by offering self-defense and constructive development of its citizens; especially those who are most vulnerable like the elderly, women, the handicapped, and children. Abuse, menacing, abduction, and bullying are especially heinous, cowardly acts and TKC staff, through education/instruction, will arm individuals against their tormentors.
PEOPLE DON'T CARE HOW MUCH YOU KNOW UNTIL THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE!
OVER OUR 18 YEAR HISTORY, TKC STAFF HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY SUPPORTIVE OF OUR KARATE FAMILY AND BLESSED TO HAVE BEEN PART OF THE LIVES AND DEVELOPMENT OF OUR STUDENTS.
TKC STUDENT CREED
WE, THE STUDENTS OF KARATE-DO:
Should be proud of studying the Way of Goju.
Should always observe proper courtesy.
Should strive to be humble and sincere while having fortitude and vigor.
Should cultivate the spirit of unity and mutual assistance.
Should respect and honor the traditional ideals of the martial spirit from olden Japan.
TKC PARENT CREED
We, the parents of Karate-do students:
Should be supportive of the development of all students in a positive manner contributing to the dojo spirit and the students� success.
Should be actively involved in my child�s growth in order to bring out their full potential thus fostering a more positive relationship.
Should make my participation constructive and creative, directing my efforts towards the school goals of Black Belt Excellence and positive, personal development.
TKC INSTRUCTOR CREED
We, the Karate-do instructors:
Should never punish... WE use discipline and expect self-discipline in the future.
Should always give more than the expected amount and lead by example.
Should teach every class as if it is the most important class we'll ever teach.
Should be patient, respectful and enthusiastic seeking the best traits in each student and PRAISE THEIR SUCCESSES.
Should be an upbeat, honest and selfless individual looking to lead by positive example, extoll the virtues of budo, and work TOWARD the development of IKGA, TKC, students, and self.
Mission Statement: Foster organic growth of IKGA and implementing karatedo as a training medium to bring about self-improvement of mind, body, and transcendent inner peace.
Description: IKGA curriculum and standards are taught following strict training guidelines and standards established by IKGA Hombu (headquarters) in Tokyo, Japan.
Classes: We offer approximately 100 � 150 classes per year for male and female students ages 7 and older. SENIOR students may workout separately within their own age group or combined with the JUNIORS for additional training time flexibility. On a case by case basis, high-functioning Special Needs students have enjoyed success in our International Curriculum. Placement in our mainstream programs by our staff is based solely on one criterion: What is in the best interest of this student?
Training: Physical conditioning increases stamina and endurance. Stretching; calisthenics; plyometric concepts; sparring drills; varied (hard, soft, combined, and natural) breathing methods; stationary and moving basics; forms; fighting theory and application are all instrumental in making educated, well-rounded martial artists.
Grading: The IKGA syllabus prepares students to earn promotion primary ranks biannually. Black Belt audition for grade is held annually. Belt rank progression is: White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue, Brown, Black, and Red (master). At TKC, all ranks are earned and strictly adhere to IKGA standards of proficiency. In accordance with IKGA rules, students ages 15 and younger may only advance to a maximum grade of Junior Shodan (Junior 1st degree Black Belt). Students age 16 and older may advance to adult ranks of Black Belt through Master Instructor grades and titles.
WE OFFER OTHER PROGRAMS WITHIN OUR FACILITY. THESE INCLUDE:
CHILDREN'S DEVELOPMENTAL KARATE
Mission Statement: Foster enhancement of gross and fine motor skills development in young children through a wonderfully inclusive and fun introductory experience.
Description: We offer a tri-faceted child development program including: basic karate skills sets; safety skills, and life skills discussions & scenarios. Lessons focus on age-appropriate karate skills; stretching; calisthenics; and, motor skill development drills.
Classes: We offer approximately 100 � 150 classes per year for girls and boys age 3 through 8; and, special needs persons who are 9 or older may fit comfortably into these classes as well. Classes for NINJA and SAMURAI are grouped based on compatible levels of mental, physical, emotional, and social development. Typically, NINJA students are ages 3, 4 & 5; and SAMURAI students are ages 5, 6, 7 & 8. Special Needs students have had wonderful success engaging and benefiting from our Developmental Curriculum. TKC is working to enable individuals with physical and/or cognitive disabilities to engage our programs. The needs of these persons are the key... THEIR COMBINATIONS OF NEEDS & CONDITIONS ARE UNIQUELY THEIRS. Please call to inquire about how we can work with your VERY special person.
Training: Physical conditioning to increase endurance; stretching; calisthenics; plyometric concepts; sparring drills; and training games. Discussion topics on karate skills; karate and work ethics; life skills; safety skills; and abuse prevention. We incorporate motivational stripes and color-coded behavior modification stripes in some programs.
Grading: NINJA students advance in rank by meeting milestones in effort and behavior. SAMURAI students advance by testing and performing select IKGA core techniques (blocks, hand strikes, kicks, and stances) that were selected for the rank; they test quarterly.
LICENSED IKGA RENSHI SHIHAN (MASTER Instructor) - GODAN
Michael Buttermark-Shihan is the founder OF both Traditional Karate Center locations: Staten Island, NY (1994 TO 2010) and Matawan, NJ (2008 TO present). He has been continuously involved in Goju-Ryu Karate-Do since 1982 (30 years).
Buttermark-Shihan has had the great fortune of being taught & accredited by some of the top Goju masters. IN FACT, IKGA founder & KARATEDO legend Gogen (THE CAT) Yamaguchi-Hanshi signed TWO of HIs rank diplomas personally. THE PRESIDENT OF IKGA - Goshi Yamaguchi-Saiko Shihan, is direct instructor OF Buttermark-Shihan.
Coached and/OR competed in 4 IKGA World Championships;
USA-National Karatedo Federation Competitor (retired): 1993 National Champion IN Team Kumite: Gold Medal; 2007 National Champion IN Kata: Gold Medal; AND USA KARATE TEAM 1993 FOR THE North American Cup, Kumite: Bronze Medal;
US Armed Forces Far East Karate Champion: 1988, 1989 & 1990;
USA-Karate Federation STATE CHAMPION OF TEXAS (1992) & New York (1993-98) IN Kata, Kumite, & Weapons: Gold Medals;
International Friendship Tournament (Tokyo, Japan), Kumite: 2nd Place & Named Outstanding International Competitor.
TORSTEN (TJ) JOHNSON
LICENSED IKGA INSTRUCTOR - SANDAN - SHIDOIN
Torsten (TJ) Johnson-Sensei has been continuously involved in Goju-Ryu Karate-Do since 1995 (17 years). His rank & CREDENTIALS ARE FROM IKGA HOMBU IN TOKYO, JAPAN.
TJ-Sensei is a TKC senior instructor who works extensively with OUR Junior & Senior STUDENTS.
FOR the USA-National Karatedo Federation, he has been both a competitor and a licensed official. HE HAS EARNED THESE NATIONAL LEVEL LICENSES: A-KUMITE REFEREE & B-KATA JUDGE. HE HAS WON NATIONAL TITLES IN BOTH KATA & KUMITE.
TJ-Sensei competed and officiated at several IKGA World Championships:
1997 - Sao Paulo, Brazil: Competitor; 2001 - Perth, Australia: Kata & Kumite Judge; 2005 - Rotterdam, Holland: Kata & Kumite Judge.
LICENSED IKGA INSTRUCTOR - SANDAN - SHIDOIN
Konstantin-Sensei has been continuously involved in Goju-Ryu Karate-Do since 1999 (13 years). His rank & CREDENTIALS ARE FROM IKGA HOMBU IN TOKYO, JAPAN.
Konstantin-Sensei is a TKC senior instructor and role model for others based on his incredible work ethic and attention to details. He achieves great success with all age groups and in one-to-one instruction.
HE is a very humble person preferring to focus his training on a lifelong pursuit of karatedo KNOWLEDGE BUT not COMPETITIVE KARATE; ALTHOUGH, ON ONE OF THE FEW OCCASSIONS THAT WE CONVINCED HIM TO COMPETE, HE BECAME THE New York State KARATE CHAMPION.
IN 2008 & 2012, HE attended IKGA NORTH AMERICAN BLOCK Technical CampS in VancouveR AND CALGARY, CANADA RESPECTIVELY.
BELLYDANCE ARTIST & INSTRUCTOR
THIS KNOWLEDGABLE AND TALENTED ARTIST AND INSTRUCTOR TEACHES WOMEN OF ALL ABILITIES ON MONDAY EVENINGS FROM 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM. YOUR FIRST CLASS IS FREE - BRING A FRIEND.
AMONGST THE ALLURE OF THE ART OF BELLY DANCE, THIS IS A PROGRAM THAT HELPS BUILD AND SCULPT THE BODY CORE. ADDITIONALLY, THE LOW-TO-NO-IMPACT MAKES THIS A REGIMEN THAT MOST WOMEN CAN ENGAGE EVEN THOSE WITH PRIOR INJURIES, THE ELDERLY, OR NON-ATHLETIC INDIVIDUALS. ALL SIZES AND SHAPES CELEBRATED!
SUMMER 2012 9:30
Mon ELITE TEAM KICKBOX BELLY DANCE Tue NINJA SAMURAI JUNIOR SENIOR JUNIOR SENIOR SENIOR STAFF WED ELITE TEAM KICKBOX THUR NINJA SAMURAI JUNIOR SENIOR JUNIOR SENIOR SENIOR STAFF FRI ELITE TEAM KICKBOX sat NINJA SAMURAI JUNIOR SENIOR BDAY PARTIES SUn INDIAN DANCE 1 INDIAN DANCE 2 INDIAN DANCE 3
NinjaNINJA TEXT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
SamuraiSAMURAI TEXT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
JuniorJUNIOR TEXT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
SeniorSENIOR TEXT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
SamuraiSAMURAI TEXT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
KokyuhoKOKYUHO TEXT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Elite TeamELITE TEAM TEXT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Kick BoxingKICK BOXING TEXT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Belly DancingBELLY DANCING TEXT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
stay in touch
TRADITIONAL KARATE CENTER
TOWN SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER
347-G MATAWAN ROAD
MATAWAN, NEW JERSEY
MOBILE Phone:+1 732 888 4852
DOJO PHONE:+1 732 888 4852
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Thousands of martial art styles are taught and studied on every continent spanning a plethora of geographic origins. Although they have morphed into many different names, influences and ideologies, the core is similar � they are martial arts. Martial art is a western term actually. It refers to the art of Mars � the god of war in Roman mythology. In fact, any fighting training � blocking, striking/hitting, kicking, grappling, throwing, chokes/submissions, pinning, or other actions either with or without a weapon (other than the human body itself) are study of the martial arts. The term is global and not exclusive to Asian counties like China, Japan and Korea. The term is also independent of uniforms, goals (applied knowledge or just fitness), structural formalities like organizations, associations and/or grade ranking. Any fighting or pugilistic training applies to the definition of martial arts � even boxing, wrestling, and fencing.
The sad, growing trend in many places, including the USA, is toward self-gratification, egotistical self-promotion, and profiteering in the martial arts; it�s becoming an industry. In fact, there are business-based associations that are selling do-it-yourself, mom & pop style martial art school franchise opportunities to anyone. Following their schedules, scripts, lesson plans, etc. and you are in the martial art school �business� with little or no experience.
More times than not, martial art schools are non-traditional in structure � becoming hybrid, and their credentials are muddied and/or made up. In the case of sport martial arts such as MMA, they often teach a variety of required skill sets and increase athleticism but there are no ranks and credentialing is difficult to verify. Even MMA credentials may be bought and sold to appear legitimate. Without criminal background check requirements, and with absolutely no legal or governing body licensing or policing, the martial arts �industry� can be either a blessing or a curse. While you are seeking a quality learning environment for a teen, adult and especially a child� a buyers beware mindset is absolutely required! Our school is proud to be an active, registered and certified IKGA dojo. TKC�s teachers are all IKGA rank certified to teaching grades and legitimately credentialed as official IKGA instructors. All of these credentials were accomplished through IKGA Hombu (headquarters school) in Tokyo, Japan.
Previously mentioned, many modern martial art programs lack authenticity but not our parent organization - IKGA. Karatedo, more often called �, was founded in Okinawa from various roots dating back to the early 1800s. Most of today�s formalized karate systems became systemized in the early 1900s; the four major schools were: Goju-ryu, Wado-ryu, Shito-ryu and Shotokan. Many newer styles and organizations had been born of these roots systems after their founders died and others formed when students ventured off to pioneer their own models of karate instruction and notoriety.
Karatedo has many organizations around the world; sport karate variations do too. The traditional, root karatedo systems & their close successors do have status as an International Federation (IF) within the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC recognized the World Karatedo Federation (WKF) as the IF in which Japanese karatedo is contested and judged by standardized rules and performance criteria.
In the United States of America, our US Olympic Committee (USOC) selected the USA-National Karatedo Federation (USA-NKF) as the sole, national governing body for the sport of karate. The USA-NKF hosts annual National Championships and US Team Trials. At present, only Judo and Taekwondo are Olympic sports and Karate has been unsuccessful, but very close, to gaining Olympic status. Efforts are ongoing to have Karate gain Olympic inclusion by 2020. For a majority of years since 1995, Traditional Karate Center was active within the USA-NKF (and its predecessor the USAKF), and held certified dojo membership.
The Goju-ryu system was originally founded by Chojun Miyagi � the real Mr. Miyagi of the Karate Kid lore. [The movie screenplay was written by a Goju black belt who paid homage to the founder by inserting his name are the protagonist played by the actor � Pat Morita.] Miyagi traveled and studies various Chinese Kung Fu disciplines and Naha-te in Okinawa from Master Kanro Higashionna. Based on those influences, the name Goju � meaning hard and soft (opposing forces existing/working harmoniously together), is most fitting. Higashionna�s karate was greatly influenced by a kung fu Sifu (master) named Ryu-Ryu Ko. Two Okinawan masters, Miyagi (Goju), along with the renowned Shotokan founder � Gichin Funakoshi, were instrumental in systemizing the study of karatedo, incorporating it into the Okinawan education system to stimulate mental, physical, and moral development; and bringing it into the realm of a budo, warrior art form recognized by the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai establishment. Karate became recognized as a budo or martial/warrior art that adheres to the time-honored codes of bushido from samurai of feudal Japan.
Chojun Miyagi had many great students over the decades that he instructed. The individual that he hand-selected to lead and promote the growth of the Goju system in mainland Japan was Master Jitsumi (Gogen) Yamaguchi who is also renown in the karate world as The Cat. Master Yamaguchi formed his organization called the Gojukai.
Gogen Yamaguchi was a man of tremendous physical skills, mental strength, indomitable spirit and charisma. He was also an innovator � he, amongst the other karate great pioneers, was the individual credited (1934) with the organizing of karate fighting which became present day karate �sparring� and/or fighting in dojo (school) and tournament settings. In prior times, karate was a mental and physical building process that was systemized yet individual in practice � people worked on their own training exercises and not so much jointly � like in fighting practice. A fight was a brutal event that ended abruptly, oftentimes, with dire consequences. Yamaguchi�s method had students engaged in lighter battle circumstances to learn from trial/error and study the science of fighting.
Gogen Yamaguchi founded his organization � All-Japan Karatedo Gojukai Association (JKGA in 1935) and International Karatedo Gojukai Association (IKGA in 1950). Amongst his many titles and accolades, personally and professionally, are: Guinness Book of World Records highest karate ranked individual; prestigious Blue Ribbon award for a citizen by the Japanese Emperor; lawyer; yoga master; Shinto priest and artist. Master Yamaguchi drew the IKGA logo in the early 1930s � the clenched right fist in homage to the impressiveness and power of his teacher�s (Miyagi) dominant hand.
Yamaguchi�s legacy, his beloved IKGA organization, was initially a force to lift the spirits of his Japanese people in their national despair in the years following WWII. After his IKGA began to grow and heal the Japanese spirit, Yamaguchi looked to affect a global positivity, potential for mutual acceptance, and promotion of global peace through karatedo principles and practice. He felt the most fertile ground to make such a bold statement would be to work with the innocence of the youth of the world. His message of brotherhood and sisterhood is amplified in his many students and schools worldwide who adhere to his IKGA standards of teaching and its inherent philosophies.
Gogen Yamaguchi passed his legacy on to his extraordinary five children; four of whom became highly accomplish karatedo masters. The youngest of his sons has lived and advanced his father�s goals beyond what one would normally expect of a person who was following in the footsteps of a giant. Goshi Yamaguchi succeeded his father as IKGA President and Grandmaster in 1990. He leads both major Gojukai groups: IKGA (international) and JKGA (All-Japan) as a living karatedo legend, a true Renaissance man, and modern day samurai.
Saiko Shihan (Grandmaster) Goshi Yamaguchi travels to teach his IKGA family of leaders, teachers and students located on six continents. At 70 years of age, he warmly accepts the hard work and dedication of his students. Without fail, he inspires them toward growth and greatness with his seemingly endless spirit, deep commitment, and great wealth of knowledge. His accolades include: 60+ years of training, teaching and system development; an epic kumite (fighting) competitor in the early days of Japan�s karate tournament circuit; international demonstrator, author of books and videos; retired international referee for sport karate fighting and forms.
Goshi Yamaguchi�s message to the world is, �Karatedo offers something for everyone.� The statement may imply that the physical, technical and philosophical gains from a focused training system offer personally rewarding and illuminating experiences to each individual. Training in karatedo can offer a lifelong journey on a path to self-enlightenment by establishing a learned history of goals, efforts, and attained knowledge from their experiences and observations. Rewards, goals, and results are personal to each individual; therefore, anyone, regardless of age, ability, handicap, race, gender, creed, et al can reap positive gains from these experiences if they have a focused idea what they hope to attain.
Amongst numerous international students who attend seminars taught by Grandmaster Yamaguchi, Traditional Karate Center founder � Shihan (Master) Michael Buttermark, spent nearly four years living, studying, and teaching Goju karate in Tokyo under direct instruction and guidance of the IKGA President. Shihan Buttermark was most fortunate enough to receive promotions from the both the present and late IKGA Grandmasters � Goshi and Gogen Yamaguchi, and from both of their IKGA and JKGA organizations. Buttermark-Shihan inherited the Yokota Kichi Gojukan (Yokota Air Base Goju Club) from Master Yukio Ohira in 1988, developed it, and continued teaching there until he left the military, and Japan, in 1991. With 25 years� tenure in IKGA and a total of 30 years of continuous Goju practice, Michael Buttermark is Renshi Shihan (master instructor) Godan (5th degree black belt) and a member of the IKGA North American Block�s Technical Committee and founding leadership.
Inspired by his legendary teachers� examples of excellence, Buttermark-Shihan held the title of Far East Armed Forces karate champion from 1988 � 1991. Upon returning to the United States, he was a formidable national-level kata and kumite competitor. Additional highlights included: a bronze in kumite at the 1993 North American Cup between USA, Canada and Mexico, and 5th place advanced kata at the 4th IKGA World Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil � 1997. After the Brazil championship, competition retirement meant focusing on student development inside his dojo and support of his competitor-students. A single year of �un-retirement� in 2005 proved successful; Buttermark became USA-National Karatedo Federation�s 2005 Gold medal - National Champion in master�s kata division. In 2005, 10 of his TKC students represented the USA in Rotterdam, Holland and the 4th IKGA World Championships. These novice and intermediate-level kids from New York advanced to quarter-final contention in 60% of their divisions; one TKC student won a bronze medal, the USA�s first, at this large, prestigious event. Historically, TKC staff and students have earned over 50 international, 197 National, and more than 2,000 state or local awards and medals primarily due to their excellent standards.