Getting Started

Karate training is much more than kicking and punching – it is the practice of mind, body, and spirit working together to improve the individual. Our training asks students of every age to step outside their comfort zone and make new discoveries about themselves, in the context of fun, high-energy classes. 

Karate is a living, breathing art-form – that’s the basis of the mantra “Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future” which led our teacher, Shihan Jim Chillemi, to found the New York Goju Karate Association in 1991 - We invite you to learn more about our school and our unique philosophy that has drawn thousands of students to NYGKA over the past two decades.

What to Expect

TRAINING FOR LIFE Whether you are interested in training as an adult student, or in enrolling a child (ages 3+), traditional martial arts training offers something for everyone. Students at the beginner levels hone basic techniques (punches, kicks, and blocks) while cultivating the focus, respect, discipline, and confidence that will not only serve as the foundation of their karate training, but also in every aspect of school, work, and personal relationships. Young students begin their training by improving their focus, control, balance, teamwork, discipline, coordination, memory, and fitness in addition to their basic karate techniques. Adult students will find that their training challenges and improves these same areas of emphasis.

GOAL-ORIENTED TRAINING For students at the beginner and intermediate levels, classes are structured based on our unique "5-Week Testing Track" method. Over a five-week period, beginner and intermediate students are introduced to new curriculum, given different drills and strategies to create meaningful repetition, and then tested on their material to earn a colored stripe on their belt. This method stresses the importance of setting short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals for our young students – a skill we hope they will take into their academic, extracurricular, and personal pursuits. Advanced students are encouraged to set their own short- and medium-term goals as their training nears the Black Belt level.

A GREAT WORKOUT Martial arts students of all ages will find training is a fantastic physical workout. Karate hones strength, flexibility, and stamina – regardless of your starting condition. You do not need to be athletic to begin karate training; each student is challenged to improve their physical fitness in ways that are appropriate to a student’s physical condition, and teachers take injuries or limitations into consideration in their instruction. Most importantly, like any great workout, you’ll be amazed to see how much progress you’ll make in only a short time!

PRACTICAL SELF-PROTECTION SKILLS Although martial arts training is about far more than punching and kicking, we take our role in self-protection training very seriously. This training includes our famous Mission BullyProof program, which equips our young students with the verbal skills to identify a bullying situation and diffuse it. It also includes a practical, no-nonsense self-defense curriculum that is designed to prepare our students for those situations we hope they never encounter.

AN AMAZING STUDENT-TEACHER RADIO Our staff of highly-qualified black belt instructors all hold the rank of 3rd Degree Black Belt or higher under Shihan Jim Chillemi. Many are tournament champions, community leaders, and career professionals. Most importantly, each instructor at NYGKA is deeply passionate about passing on the traditional and modern martial arts practice to new students of every age. All of our classes are taught by at least two of our lead instructors, and you’ll often find three or even four lead instructors teaching alongside each other in many classes! Along with our incredibly gifted assistant instructors, this creates a class environment that allows each student to get unparalleled individual attention. Even our largest classes usually still have a 5:1 student-teacher radio! Our staff takes tremendous pride in knowing each of our students and their progress in their training, and we can’t wait to get to know you or your child too.

BE OUR GUEST! Students of every age are invited to enjoy a trial class, free of charge! We also strongly encourage our younger students to start with a free 15-minute orientation with one of our lead instructors – a terrific way for Please contact our office at (914) 478-0508 or fill out the quick contact form below to take your first steps toward a world-class martial arts education!