Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation


Main content start

About Our Dojo

Our first dojo space was a humble store front. It began in the early 1970s, when the Japan Karate Association in Tokyo, Japan, sent pioneering karate instructors from Japan to San Francisco. One of those instructors was our founding Sensei Mr. Kenichi Haramoto, Shichidan (7th degree black belt). 

Sensei Haramoto

Haramoto sensei began his training in Tokyo, Japan in 1962. In 1966, he led the Aoyama Gakuin University Karate team to first place in the All Japan Collegiate Karate Championship. Later, while earning his MBA at Aoyama Gakuin Graduate School, he taught JKA Shotokan karate at the university. Sensei Haramoto came to the United States in 1970, establishing the JKA of Northern California, headquartered in San Francisco. In 1975, Sensei Haramoto was appointed judge at the World Karate-Do Championship Tournament. 

He served as the Chief Instructor of the JKA of Stanford and taught karate at Stanford University and other venues in the Bay Area for over forty years. Several of Sensei Haramoto's former students continue to teach his way at five dojos in the Bay Area: JKA of USF (University of San Francisco) (Mark Morodomi), JKA of California at San Francisco (UCSF Mission Bay) (Mervin Dixon), JKA of Stanford and JKA of Palo Alto (Bryan Choo), and JKA of Oracle (Raffi Manoukian). Today, he teaches at the George Washington University Dojo in Washington, DC. 

Our dojo (JKA of California) is a Member Organization of the North American Region of the Japan Karate Association World Federation. This means our instruction is based on the teachings of the first pioneers of karate in Japan supplemented by the scientific analysis of later masters at the main dojo, honbu dojo. Your JKA belt rank is recognized in hundreds of dojos all over the United States and the world should you wish to travel and train or move to another city.

JKA of Stanford is currently a Stanford Club Sport and meets regularly during the school year. We compete in tournaments and take exams in every quarter. Our instructors are Stanford alumni. We are grateful to continue the karate tradition at Stanford.