Age Range: 4-18 years
Dates: Classes year-round; summer session begins in June
Cost: $80-$130 a month
Phone: (718) 389-6873
Address: 546 Meeker Avenue
Since its opening, Greenpoint Shotokan Karate has taught thousands of eager students the art of self-defense. “We’ve been in the neighborhood since 1990, and we’re one of Brooklyn’s longest-running karate schools,” owner and chief instructor Sensei Steve Borkowsky declared.
They are a traditional karate dojo (training place) that teaches the Japan Karate Association style of Shotokan Karate. Children learn self-control, striking, defense and submission. They practice moves such as punching, kicking and blocking. They’re also taught to stand silently at attention on command—a useful skill to teach any child! Younger children also get to compete in obstacle courses.
“We have plenty of classes that run during the summer,” said Borkowsky. “Summer classes start at the end of June, but we also offer classes year round.” Children can enroll for one month, three months, six months, or twelve months. Prices are determined by how many times a week they practice (from 1 to 3 times per week). They also offer family discount rate.
The atmosphere of the school is regimented, but fun. During class, children are allowed to goof off and play around only during designated times. For example, at one point in class, Pee Wee students get to “throw” their teacher to the ground, and get flipped upside down by the teacher. All the students squeal in delight during this session. But when goofing off time is over, the instructors help the kids get down to business and act like true karateka (karate students).
Greenpoint Shotokan Karate also follows the belt system. “We start them off as a white belt, and then it progresses to yellow belt, orange belt, then green belt. It takes approximately four months of training to go from one belt to the other. And every month, we give them a stripe towards their new belt. So it gives kids an incentive and gets them excited,” Borkowsky explained. Children are filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment as they progress towards becoming black belts.
At Greenpoint Shotokan Karate, children gain confidence and become more focused and balanced, skills they can carry over into their daily lives.