Shorin Ryu Karate Do Club of Portland, OR
I've been training here for 3.5 years. I'm a brown belt (3rd kyu). This club has been rooted in Portland, OR for over 30 years. This club taught Karate classes as curriculum at the local community colleges for many years. Now we train Monday & Wednesday evenings in the Linnton Community Center. The instructors are 4th and 6th Dan.
It's a club, (not for profit) so dues are next to nothing. There are no children here, and belts take some time to get. So, a McDojo, we are not.
The aliveness was dismal when I got here in 2010. Katas and ippon ruled the day. Basically; we had a lot of experts who hadn't taken very many punches. The culture is shifting. It's a comfortable atmosphere and you're welcome to train here without sparring, but the newer students are generally happy to trade leather. The 4th Dan instructor is on board, his class is Monday where we usually spar pretty hard almost weekly. We wear: headgear, mouthpiece, cup and muay thai gloves.
Katas and ippon are still a big part of the program. Your rank is basically determined by your time in, and the Kata you know. This will never change, so if you can't stand Kata; this isn't going to work out for you.
Facilities: We work out in a big open gym (heated). The hardwood floors are mopped before we get there. Free parking. The club doesn't generate any real money so the club gear and equipment is pretty weak. We have a couple of crappy heavy bags, muay thai pads, low end gloves. Bring your own stuff if you have it, but if you come with nothing you can find something.
Attitudes are largely alright. A few pansies in the mix. Slight rift between members who welcome contact and those who never put it on the line. Instructors are cool.
Striking Instruction: I think it's pretty good. It's classic Shorin Ryu style. The techniques are no-nonsense. It's a good arsenal of effective strikes that we work repeatedly. I've mixed it up with guys from different schools, and I don't feel down about our striking pedigree at all.
Grappling: We are perpetually waiting on a grant to supply us with mats. Our 6th Dan instructor wrestled in high school and college. Getting mats would certainly boost our grappling credentials. For now; we practice a couple holds and throws/sweeps but we don't offer much in the way of grappling.
Weapons: OK Star Trek. If you show up with a bo enough times, someone will probably teach you a bo kata. Don't ask me about it though.
In summary: The Shorin Ryu Karate Do Club of Portland, OR is a good, practical place to train for cheap. We are harder core than most of the local karate schools, but this isn't an MMA gym either. To train here; you will spend time learning the traditional forms & styling's of Shorin Ryu, but you also get to put your stuff up against some pretty game partners. This club works good for me. I've tried to be as honest as possible in this review. We are welcoming of new members.
I can't post a link because I'm new and might be a spammer or something. To contact us look for rosecitykarate as a URL.