UCD Karate Club was formed in 1977 and has since then enjoyed success as one of the college’s largest and most popular clubs. The club has won the UCD Club of the Year award a number of times and is currently the reigning Intervarsity Champion. The club's primary aim is to provide an enjoyable and safe environment to equip all of its members with the skills necessary to progress in Shotokan Karate. UCD Karate Club has close ties with many national and international organisations and members get the opportunity to train with not only the club’s own team of highly qualified instructors, but also some of the foremost karate masters in the world.

UCD Karate club is affiliated to the Japan Karate Association Headquarters in Tokyo Japan through JKA Shotokan Ireland. The JKA Shotokan Ireland Technical Director is Sensei Masao Kawasoe, 7th Dan. Together with our senior Irish JKA instructors, Kawasoe Sensei has overseen the technical development of our association for over 20 years. JKA Shotokan Ireland is also a member of Kawasoe Sensei’s JKA Afro Eurasia group within the JKA.

Traditional Shotokan Karate, founded by Sensei Gichin Funakoshi in the early 1900s, has its origins deep in ancient Okinawa. Further information is available here. Shotokan has developed over time and as a living art continues to expand and advance under the direction of the modern day masters mentioned above. In essence Shotokan is a beautiful, ancient art of self-defence. Its holistic approach is based on using the energy generated by the whole body through the synchronization of breath, muscle contraction and relaxation and body dynamics, rather than relying merely on the muscular strength of the arms and legs. By studying Karate one learns to sense and follow the opponent, eventually controlling him, and to use the open space in his actions rather than resisting his movements. In the practice of karate the mind and body are inseparable: they harmonise with each other.

While karate training will improve all aspects of your physical condition, such as muscular strength, flexibility, speed, agility, coordination and cardiovascular condition, it also develops self-confidence, stable emotions and clear judgment so the body will respond naturally under any circumstances. By using all the tools that Shotokan gives, the size and physical strength of the opponent becomes irrelevant. If you are diligent and train regularly, when your time in university comes to an end, you could be leaving UCD not only with your academic qualification but also with a Black Belt in Karate and the ability to join any martial arts club in the world with the confidence that your level of understanding and skill is of the highest standard.

While that may sound like a lot of hard work, we rarely miss an opportunity to have some fun. Every year the committee has a tightly-packed schedule of sporting and non-sporting events on the agenda, which include training courses, competitions, outings, weekends away and many other events, which are publicised on our website and on notice boards. All members, particularly beginners, are encouraged to come to our many events.

You can join our club at any of our training sessions throughout the year. Just turn up in a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms. Beginners are always welcome!