Karate for Teens

Dedicated classes to focus on bringing out the best in teenagers

For teens 13-18 years old

Teens do best in a group of their own. We treat them like adults but never forget that they’re still developing. The training in the teens’ classes is more physically demanding than for the younger kids, but not as long nor quite as serious as the adults’ classes.

Karate is great exercise for teens, giving them an aerobic workout while helping fine tune their balance, coordination and strength. It can be a great stress-reliever!

And it can be a tremendous help with developing self-defense strategies, self-control, discipline, concentration and awareness — all things they can carry with them a lifetime.

Authentic Japanese Karate

Since martial arts first became popular in the United States five+ decades ago, the variety has exploded. It can be hard to make sense of all the different styles from so many different countries. It can be harder to know how any one dojo or club interprets their style.

We teach authentic Shotokan karate, following the same traditions taught in Japan. That connection to Japanese tradition makes us very popular with Japanese families.

For teens who want to experience what it’s like to train in Japan… SVSK is the place! A couple of our teen students actually did Karate in Japan while on vacation there, at the dojo where Sensei Keeling trained and taught for many years.

Basic Curriculum

The curriculum for teens is very similar to the adults’ classes. In the first couple of months, teens can expect to learn:

  • the most important kihon (basic) techniques and begin to apply them
  • the first kata (form; pre-arrange set of 20+ movements)
  • basic kumite (sparring) (no-contact, very controlled and very safe)

More about the basic curriculum >

Teens’ classes are one hour in length. Teens are also welcome at the kids classes, which are 45 minutes, and the adult classes, which are 90+ minutes. Currently, we have one class each week (Tuesdays and Thursday, 5-6pm) dedicated to teens only. There is also a teens+adults class on Mondays, 6-7pm. And those 15 and older are welcome to attend the adult classes (7pm Tue/Wed/Thu). More advanced teens are welcome to attend “Advanced Youth” classes and special kata classes on Saturday mornings.

For All Levels

Training is open to all levels. Teens with prior experience doing karate are always welcome. Please note that adult Karate and self-defense classes are open to those 15 years and older.

High Expectations

Each teen has the potential to achieve excellence in karate, and our standards for guiding them are very high. We welcome students with all kinds of previous experience, but we make decisions about rank and grading independent of any rank a student may bring with them to our dojo. Parents and teens thank us for the honesty and for the challenge.

A few words from one of our instructors who started in the kids’ classes and progressed through to black belt as a teenager and is now one of the best instructors around (and an exceptional student who graduated from UC Berkeley):
When I started doing karate over nine years ago, I was not a naturally athletic person. I found PE classes too tiring, but I found karate to be the right level of exercise that is both challenging and fun. Due to the friendly competition at Silicon Valley Karate, I enjoy pushing myself in challenges like the kickathon and kangeiko, as well as in the everyday classes. Attending classes at Silicon Valley Karate has also increased my confidence. Sensei Keeling often asks the class difficult questions, and students are encouraged to think critically and share their ideas without worrying about whether the answer is right or wrong. Sensei Keeling encourages us to answer these questions confidently, and I have used this skill outside of the dojo as well, such as in job interviews.

Japan Trained Instructor

SVSK Chief Instructor Jon Keeling teaches most of the teens’ classes and has been teaching Shotokan karate for three decades. He lived and trained in Japan for 8 years and is one of the most highly qualified instructors of Shotokan anywhere. Read more about Sensei Keeling here.


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