What is the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas?
The Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas is a traditional martial arts school that practices Okinawan Shorin Ryu karate-do as taught by Eizo Shimabukuro, Grandmaster. The vast majority of yudansha (black belts) in the school have been promoted by Shimabukuro O'Sensei himself.
We also practice Shudokan karate-do as taught by the late Walter Todd, United States Shibucho for the late Kanken Toyama.
We have also added the study of Toei Jujutsu and Arnis to our curriculum.
The History of Our Dojo
The Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas, Inc. was begun in 1984 by Ilene J. Smoger Sensei with the assistance of Sean Deuby Sensei. The two karateka, then new shodans, met each other two years earlier at an apartment complex in North Dallas when Smoger Sensei saw Deuby Sensei's "Original Okinawa Karate" t-shirt while passing him in the laundry room. Since Okinawan karateka are always a minority and often find themselves without a dojo or training partner when relocating to a new town, they immediately struck up a conversation. (As in most martial arts, the conversation sounded like a discussion between a pair of geneologists: "Who was your teacher? Sensei X, who studied with Q and R. Q studied with A for 40 years until his death." "Hey, my teacher's teacher also studied with A for many years. How do you do Passai Sho?")
It turns out they both had just come down from college in Michigan, where they had studied very similar Okinawan Shorin Ryu styles in dojos 60 miles apart. Smoger Sensei was from Shimabukuro O'Sensei's school, and Deuby Sensei studied with Iha Seikichi Sensei of Miyahira Katsuya's Shidokan school. For the next two years they practiced at The Hockaday School in Dallas, where Smoger Sensei was the Chairperson of Health and Physical Education. In 1984, Smoger Sensei taught a self-defense class at Brookhaven Community College in Dallas and invited the class to continue their training in the small gymnasium at Hockaday in the evenings. Those were the first classes of the OKCD, of which Sharon Knox Deuby was a student. We stayed there until 1988.
In the intervening years, the OKCD held classes in two dance studios and an aerobics studio. After 16 years as a tenant in other people's spaces, the OKCD finally had a nice space of its own in Farmers Branch, Texas, where we stayed from 1998-2009. As of December, 2009, we moved to North Dallas, with our own space that is about twice the size of our Farmers Branch dojo. We have a fabulous space and could not be happier in our new location.
See our history video on You Tube. See a collection of photos from the archives of the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas, showing its history from 1982 to 2010.