Isshinryu Karate of Madison and Bernardsville started as the Chatham Karate Academy on September 19, 1998. At the end of the year we were 13 students strong, some of whom are still active in the dojo today! We were (and are) constantly looking for ways to advance the knowledge of our students and teachers and to that end Mr. and Mrs. Whiteley sought out Arcenio J. Advincula, a world renowned Martial Artist and one of the (if not THE) foremost experts in Isshinryu Karatedo. Master Advincula agreed to take us on as students, and Mr. Dan Whiteley also became his student several years later. All three of the Whiteleys have been tested and certified by Advincula Sensei to teach Isshinryu Karatedo. We continue to train with Advincula Sensei and we bring Sensei to our dojo annually so our students can also have the opportunity to learn from this exceptional teacher.
Our growth continued and in 2005 the opportunity to open a second dojo in Mendham arose, and the Mendham Karate Academy was established on December 1, 2005. Since that time we have relocated both schools to more advantageous locations in the nearby communities of Madison and Bernardsville. On October 1, 2015 we changed our name to Isshinryu Karate of Madison and Bernardsville to better reflect who we are.
Our basic philosophy is that the Martial Arts are a path to self improvement, in the sense that we strive to instill self-discipline, self-respect, self-confidence and self defense in our students. We are not a tournament school, and the students don't compete against each other for awards or rank. Each student is evaluated on his or her improvement over time. This is a process that goes on throughout one's lifetime, and our instructors are responsible for each student's progress. We teach life skills that are necessary in today's complex and changing world.
We do not hire instructors from outside our schools. All of our sensei have been students at our dojo from the white belt (beginner) level through Black Belt. They train continuously in the dojo and are constantly learning themselves. This ensures that the quality of our instruction remains at the highest level possible.
You are always welcome to come by and see us in action! If you have any questions please feel free to call or email.