Northern Karate Schools-The Sum of Many Parts

NKS is composed of three primary elements: facility (shell); students and teachers (soul); and martial syllabus (content).

With respect to the third component, while many martial artists seek the exclusivity and reassurance of a distinct classification, the NKS system is inclusive and diverse. We invest a significant amount of time and thought into pedagogy (teaching methodologies) and technical content is weighed carefully.

NKS’ curriculum is derived from three ideological divisions:

Koryū 古流 or Ancient – battlefield tested

Dento 伝統 or Classical – codified school that is based on generational transmission

Gendai 現代 or Modern – often referred to as mixed martial arts


Within these three divisions are subsets:

Koryu (spirit-based) – cultivation of a warrior spirit

Dento (mind-based) – adherence to a system of principles and manners

Genzai (body-based) – development of physical skills

At NKS, we offer a holistic martial experience that blends these three aspects though a systematic approach where disciplines and ideas intersect.

A popular educational and martial maxim attributed to Sir Isaac Newton is “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” An older, albeit less politically correct version, “nanos gigantum humeris insidentes”, or dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, was coined by Bernard of Chartres in the 12th century.

Essentially, both mean realizing truth by building on previous discoveries, or “standing” on the lessons of our predecessors – and NKS celebrates and exemplifies this concept.

For more than forty-five years, we have had the privilege of training with and learning from Budo’s best and brightest.  We proudly view our organization as the sum of these interactions and hope to honour and preserve the teachings, ideas and concepts of these martial luminaries in perpetuity. ‘A great teacher affects eternity; the influence never stops.’

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