Shihan Koji Sugimoto

8th degree Black Belt
44 years in Miami

Shihan Koji Sugimoto has 8th dan. He was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1947. At the age of fourteen he began karate under Tomosaburo Okano, one of the original students of Gichin Funakoshi. Sugimoto continues to expand his knowledge and skills of the art of karate.



6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Students come to karate for various reasons – self-defense, weight control, physical training, the status of a black belt, etc. But karate is more than sport and physical training. True karate knows no barriers; it knows no color, no creed, no nationality, no size, and no gender. It is a catalyst; a seed that yields according to the soil it finds. It gives to each according to the depth of his commitment and openness.

In some it may bear strength and stamina; in others it may include patience and perseverance, and yet in others it may include strength of character and respect. In the testing of our bodies, our minds are tested; in the testing of our minds, our spirits are tested, as we face our limitations – self-imposed or imposed by others.

In this testing of our bodies, minds and spirits we learn to break through limitations; we learn to strengthen our roots and stand up to the storms that inevitably beat against our branches every day. We learn to disarm the storms, and how a simple thing like respect can bridge great chasms between people: we learn about Budo.

Too often teaching and training seem to abandon the ways of Budo for the mere sport of fighting, and winning the competition becomes the sole purpose and goal. But the true spirit of Budo is a spirit of peace and honor; with power, knowledge and strength comes responsibility. A true martial artist understands this and endeavors to reflect this in his living, and he realizes that there is a winning that transcends the fleeting moment of the competition and comes in a longer lasting form of health, mental and spiritual benefits: true winning.

Budo is about working together in harmony, helping one another; not about aggression for the sake of sport and status. As we grow to understand this we find that Karate can encourage, challenge and test us to be better men and women, and collectively a better society.