Lesson #1: Karate is one of many styles of martial arts, but not all martial arts are karate.
Lesson #2: The word 'karate' is used today by many different styles of martial arts as a general term to describe the art; usually because it is easier to pronounce then the names of what is being taught, for example: taekwondo, ninjitsu, Kajukenbo, Danzan-Ryu, Naginatajutsu, or American Kenpo.
Lesson #3: The correct pronounciation of karate is 'kara-tay'. Karate is a distinctly Japanese form of unarmed fighting and the word karate translates to 'empty hand'. The word karate is recognized around the world as a superior form of martial art and as a result is used by many other forms of martial arts as a generalization. Those of us who do practice Japanese karate recognize this word is overused in the general sense and not being applied to the art that is actually being taught.
Lesson #4: We teach traditional Japanese-style karate at Shihan Marc's Karate Academy. What does that mean? If you are searching for a mixed martial arts program that teaches cage fighting; if you are looking to become the next Ultimate Fighter, you are looking at the wrong 'karate' school. If you are looking for a belt factory where you can buy your belt/rank and be on the 'fast track to black', this is the wrong school. If you want to learn the Japanese art of traditional Karate, delivered in English to an American audience, in a positive supportive merit-based atmosphere, search no more.
Lesson #5: Karate is built on a system of hierarchy. How can a hierarchy survive in a world where everyone wants to be the same or equal? By having a hierarchy, your commitment, your longevity, your hard work is rewarded with holding a higher rank. In a hierarchy you are required to respect those who have been training longer than you. But more importantly, this reminds you to respect yourself so you can truly respect the contributions of others.