Shikishimakan Dōjō is a friendly but serious space where children and young people can safely train in martial arts. The Shikishimakan (SSK) dōjō differs from most martial arts schools in several ways.
While the physical training centres mainly around an eclectic mix of Jūjutsu-based Karate and Iaidō, students are also graded on their knowledge of Japanese language and culture. Students learn Japanese proverbs, Asian geography, society, history, religion, and philosophy as well as spoken and written Japanese.
As they move through the belt grades, students are expected to model increasing levels of self-control and respect for others. The process of apprenticeship requires students to not only learn and live respectfully, but also to become kind and caring mentors to their own juniors. Behaviour in and outside the dōjō is considered when a student approaches gradings.
We would like to think that our dōjō echoes the chants of a bygone era in terms of a warrior being a cultured individual. There is certainly a focus on social and civil responsibility. Less of a sport than a lifestyle, our training is neither aggressive nor competitive. Having said that, each student should be training to their potential. SSK offers a range of physical, academic, and social challenges.
SSK training is non-threatening but serious. Students should not expect to be entertained or that the system will be adapted to suit them. Rather, our dōjō is designed to be a rare place of discipline and order where students who have chosen the system can train without disruption. The system is rewarding but is not for all comers. It should be thought through carefully to see whether such a restrictive training suits the family expectations. We therefore encourage parents to speak with one of our staff before children seek membership.
Although a variety of personalities can be seen in our dōjō, it is an ideal environment for quieter and more introverted young people. The friendly but calm and serious atmosphere of the dōjō is valued by practitioners who are seeking a calm environment to practice amid the loudness and busyness common to modern Australian school environments.
The SSK syllabus expects students to sit theory examinations relating to Japanese history, language, geography, and culture. Proverbs must be memorised in Japanese, and the implications of each must be understood in practical terms and explained in English.
The basics of training are kumite (free fighting), kihon (fixed technique drills), and kata (choreographed fighting patterns). Kihon kumite (fixed-form sparring) is an activity that sits between the three basics.
Physical contact in kumite is kept to a minimum and students are expected to purchase their own protective equipment to ensure a higher level of safety as they progress through the higher grades. Initially, is not practised for the first few grades. As students become better able to position themselves and move with correct distancing, timing, reach, and control, they are permitted to use techniques with more freedom.
Until around brown belt, students do not use weapons at all. From brown belt, they commence training with the bokutō (wooden sword) but never fight freely with the swords. The work with swords is restricted mostly to kata (fixed forms) and choreographed pair/group work. The karate component includes throws, holds, rolls etc at higher levels but initially covers basic stances and hand strikes.
A membership fee of $240.00 covers a black uniform with patches, the first month of training, and any learning materials issued during standard classes. Classes generally run once per week for 1.5 hours per session.
An ongoing monthly cost of $70.00 is paid by the 1st of each month after the first month and this fee covers all gradings up to (but not including) black belt. There is no separate cost for gradings below black belt.
*Discounts are applicable for members of the same family.
“I look back on my time learning karate and Japanese theory with my Shikishimakan teacher with great reverence. During that time I considered myself highly timid and reserved in ways that would severely hinder my confidence to go out in the world and learn new skills. My training was highly instrumental in breaking me out of that shell and in helping me make the subsequent personal advancements I needed to make. I always say that my time in the dojo was the catalyst for many other personal ventures I’m pursuing today. I absolutely recommend Shikishimakan for all age groups who want to improve their skill sets and fluency in Japanese. For those who seek life/career coaching, GLAC (that oversees the martial arts training) will provide a safe space and a grounds for which you will discover aspects of yourself that will catapult your success.”
"Global Language and Culture developed my passion for Japanese language & culture, which I first learned from a GLAC teacher, and have now continued into my university degree. Learning a second language has always been fulfilling and has helped improve & expand my abilities, academically, mentally and even physically. As an extension of this I joined the Martial Arts program for its mix of Japanese language and sporting activity. This was extremely beneficial for my confidence whilst being enjoyable to participate in. Additionally, the atmosphere of the dojo is welcoming and inviting as well as being focused and disciplined."
Before joining GLAC our boys had little confidence or drive and only interacted with their screens. Now they’ll look at people in the eye and are learning to appreciate a culture that will open up the world for them.
I have been so fortunate to learn through GLAC. It's not just martial arts you learn but it's a whole language and cultural experience. Through GLAC I've developed my confidence, knowledge, awareness, and leadership skills. There's a great sense of community in the school and we all look out for each other. It's such a positive and supportive environment. Being involved in Shikishimakan is life enriching and the disciplines it instills will manifest itself throughout all aspects of your life.
When I was a kid, I wasn't really sporty. But when it came to martial arts, I always looked forward to training. There was always a new technique to learn or something to improve upon. Through working with my encouraging Sensei, I gained a lot of confidence and discipline. I discovered a hobby that gave me confidence to defend myself while also exercising. Without Shikishimakan martial arts, I would be a different person today.
Through Shikishimakan I have honed both my physical and mental abilities. Practicing Shikishimakan has helped me to see the importance of self-discipline which has corresponded directly into my schooling and work ethic. This is a good interactive way that has helped me to push myself in all aspects of life.
"Shikishimakan has been a great addition to our son's life, with him embracing the physicality of movement under the guidance he receives in class. He particularly enjoys the linkage with culture, which has helped embed his learning.”
I first came into contact with SHIKISHIMAKAN when I was in year 5. Japanese was my favourite subject at school, so a few years later I began marital arts training. I really enjoyed it, and got my blue belt, but was too busy to continue. In 2016 I went back to language and martial arts training, and am glad I did! The language and culture knowledge are invaluable to anyone willing to take the time and effort to engage. I am looking forward to visiting Japan again, and would recommend SHIKISHIMAKAN to anyone with an interest in Japanese language and culture.
I started training with Shikishimakan so that I could learn how to defend myself. But then, as I started to move through the belts, I realised I was learning more than just physical movements. We also learn how to speak Japanese and learn about the Japanese culture. This has really opened my mind to the different cultures and people that are in the world. I didn't think I would get into it this much. I really enjoy going and learning how to defend myself but also like learning about the culture. You will be amazed at how much you learn within the time you spend with GLAC. ... I had to do Japanese language in Year 8 but didn't enjoy it at all but then as soon as I started learning with GLAC I loved every part of it.
"My son’s sensei is not only an exceptional teacher with his wealth of knowledge in the Japanese culture, and the art of Karate, but he is also a perfect mentor to the children he takes under his wing.
The teacher has created an unrivaled positive impact on my 7-year-old son with special needs that has given James a far more enthusiastic look in life and in turn given him a passion to work towards in the form of his Karate and Language lessons given at the Shikishimakan (SSK) dojo on a weekly basis.
I cannot recommend SSK highly enough to mentor, teach and guide young minds and learn the skills patience and discipline that come with Karate."