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The goal of every ministry is to reach the lost and then to equip Christians and to build up the church, bringing honor and glory to God. The term church is used to encompass the entire body of Christian believers. As a student or leadership member within CKA these are now your goals also. This karate ministry is an awesome opportunity to reach unbelievers, minister to Christian families as an entire unit, and build up new instructors to continue this program in new areas.


As a ministry, CKA focuses on the full spectrum of possible students. Unlike a Wednesday night program that caters only to school age children, or a Saturday morning breakfast that focuses on men’s prayer, CKA has an impact on young children, older siblings, parents and grandparents, singles and teens. Karate has become a popular sport in the world in the last several decades. Almost every small town has a karate school. But not every town has a karate program like ours. CKA has removed any remnants of eastern religion and has included Bible reading, Christian character quality memorization while students learn high quality karate, increase their physical fitness and are exposed to the gospel or encouraged to grow deeper in Christ.


CKA has chosen to utilize the desire for physical fitness, self defense, martial arts and goal orientated activities and developed a program that focuses on the complete person, spirit, mind and body. Our goal is to help families, youths and mature adults to connect in a positive Christian atmosphere that encourages goal setting and personal growth.


Being involved in a ministry with CKA opens many doors for you to evangelize and disciple that may not have been available before. In addition to the Christian aspect of the World Christian Karate Association, there is also the opportunity to impact the secular karate world. By attending local tournaments and letting the Light of Christ shine through us and by training excellent karate we have a way of witnessing in an area that is not available to most Christians. Participating in CKA can also give a goal driven, talented student or instructor the possibility of becoming a member of an Olympic team.


All of our programs have been developed with these considerations in mind. God created us in His image to be creative and to face challenges. The programs included in CKA help develop God given talents, whether it is in personal goals, evangelism, discipleship or leadership. Every student will have an opportunity to meet their goals and be challenged to be a part of this exciting ministry.

wcka ministry


The World Christian Karate Association began with very humble beginnings. Shihan Wilson enjoyed karate and had a desire to teach. The concept of Christian Karate was formed during his early teaching experiences. In fact, some of the first classes he offered were from his backyard. The backyard teaching became the realization that “if you teach it, they will come." This started Shihan Wilson on his path to incorporating Christian character qualities and disciplines that many sought to find in a martial arts program.


With the support of family and pastors, Shihan Wilson has developed a program like no other. A martial arts program that is true to the Shotokan style of Karate, but also a program that encourages Christian disciplines and brings friends, families, and non-believers together in training, fellowship and memorization of the Bible.


Shihan Wilson felt a call to ministry early on in his life. He studied theology and attended seminary preparing himself for the ministry God would place him in. In Ephesians 4:11-12 it says, “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church; the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”

Equipping God’s people and building up the church are key attributes to the program of CKA. This is where the focus on ministry comes from. As people join CKA to learn the sport of Karate, the leaders have the chance to evangelize, to disciple and in general to build up the Church.


In the past, CKA has tried numerous approaches to presenting this ministry program. Through trial after trial CKA has discovered that the best method is by “letting our light shine.” Students are most receptive when the gospel is shown through behavior and examples in an instructor’s life, rather than through a straight “preaching” method.


Another key to the success of this ministry was the focus Shihan Wilson put into his karate training. His goal was to learn the most he could and to be the best he could be, not for the glory of this world, but to the Glory of God.


Students want to learn karate, and when the class teaches excellent karate the students are more likely to stay. It sends the message of excellence in all things. Excellence in Karate. Excellence in Ministry. Excellence in Equipping. Excellence in the Christian walk.


The program that has developed, is not untested. This program is an active, viable ministry that is daily seeing results for the Kingdom of God.

our history


We believe that Christians can study the martial arts and do so in holiness as unto the Lord. We do, however, recognize the strong occult powers entrenched in Asian practice and academics. We also understand that the martial arts predate the oriental martial arts and our goal is to reclaim the martial arts for Christ.


It is commonly held by scholars of the martial arts that these arts were likely formalized as early as the Chou Dynasty in China (1122- 205 BC.). However, the World Christian Karate Association takes the position that “martial” practices existed long before this period. In brief, it is recorded in the paintings and inscriptions of Egyptian tombs that fighting arts were being practiced in Egypt as early as 3000 BC. Likewise, the Old Testament and other documents of that time indicate that there were also fighting arts practiced in Mesopotamia and the surrounding areas (3000 BC to 2000 BC.). India and Pakistan also have an ancient history of martial arts such as yuddha, niyuddah, and marma-adi. In fact, it is virtually impossible to trace the history of martial arts back to a single origin. Yet, based on a Christian word view of Earth’s history (creationism) it is possible to theorize a likely development.


The Christian world view of self-defense is based on the fact that when humankind (Adam & Eve) sinned, the whole of God’s creation was perverted, becoming evil at the heart of it’s nature. The peace within God’s creation began to decay - animals began praying upon each other, thorns and thistles became part of the flora and the Earth became a dangerous place. As the human race began to reproduce, differences of opinion, greed and anger arose and led to fighting and eventually to warfare. Unlike the flora, the fauna and the animals, humans have virtually no natural protection from the dangers of an evil world. People, therefore, used their intellect, which God had given to them and began to develop means of self- protection.


On the most basic level, people likely protected themselves by merely swinging a stick at a danger. However, it is fair to assume that through trial and error people quickly learned what worked best and what did not.


It is also fair to assume that some individuals were better at self-preservation than others, and that these individuals likely began to teach their families, friends and community. It is upon this basis that the Christian martial artist believes that martial arts (organized system of self-defense) were first brought into being.


The Christian Karate Association believes that self-defense is something that God necessarily allowed in His Creation because of sin. The God who put the quills in the porcupine, scent in the skunk, and venom in the viper, caused King David to say in Psalms 144:1 “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.” The Christian martial arts are not just about physical self-defense, but about spiritual graces and character such as, “A wise man is mightier than a strong man. Wisdom is mightier than strength.” (Proverbs 24:5), and “A soft tongue can break hard bones.” (Proverbs 25:15).

historical position


Martial arts is simply defined as the art of combat. These arts were used in military actions and as self defense. The term mainly originated from Japan and refers to several sports. In Japan, the primary forms of martial arts are karate, judo and kendo. Oriental martial arts, such as Tae kwon do or Kung fu are similar in many aspects to karate, but greatly differ in focus and language. Tae kwon do is from Korea and has an emphasis on kicks. China is the origin for Kung fu, and practitioners of Kung fu focus on smooth, circular movements.


Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed partially from indigenous fighting methods called te (癎, literally “hand”; Tii in Okinawan) and from Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks, restraints, throws, and vital point strikes are taught in some styles. A karate practitioner is called a karateka (왕癎소).


Karate was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom prior to its 19th-century annexation by Japan. It was brought to the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century during a time of cultural exchanges between the Japanese and the Ryukyuans. In 1922 the Japanese Ministry of Education invited Gichin Funakoshi to Tokyo to give a karate demonstration. In 1924 Keio University established the first university karate club in Japan and by 1932, major Japanese universities had karate clubs. In this era of escalating Japanese militarism, the name was changed from 鉗癎 (“Chinese hand” or “Tang hand” verbatim, as the name of the Tang dynasty was a synonym to China in Okinawa) to 왕 癎 (“empty hand”) – both of which are pronounced karate – to indicate that the Japanese wished to develop the combat form in Japanese style. After the Second World War, Okinawa became an important United States military site and karate became popular among servicemen stationed there.


The martial arts movies of the 1960s and 1970s served to greatly increase its popularity and the word karate began to be used in a generic way to refer to all striking-based Oriental martial arts. Karate schools began appearing across the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the art.

what is karate

The Christian Karate Association has roots in Shotokan Karate-Do. Below you will find a brief history of Shotokan Karate-Do:






Many historians believe that the Traditional Karate-do practiced today stems from martial arts developed in China several thousand years ago. The exact root cannot be traced since there are no reliable written records. There is a well known legend that a monk introduced a form of martial arts for health and self defense. From there the Chinese martial arts developed into numerous “external” and “internal” styles.


Due to active commerce and trade between the Ryukyu kingdom (Okinawa) and China, the arts eventually spread to Okinawa where it underwent further development and changes. This is believed to have started during the peak of the Ryukyu kingdom, around the 1500’s.


Master Gichin Funakoshi formally introduced a style of Okinawan fighting arts, known as Okinawa-Te (later known as Karate) to mainland Japan in 1917 where the art of Karate soon became popular. Master Hidetaka Nishiyama in his book KARATE THE ART OF EMPTY HAND FIGHTING claims, “At the same time, the ancient native Japanese hand-to-hand fighting techniques jujitsu and kendo (sword fighting) were being widely practiced, and modern sports imported from the West were rapidly becoming popular. Karate soon took over many elements of both of these, and the basis was laid for the modern Japanese style karate”.


Master Nakayama was a senior student of Master Funakoshi and in 1948 they formed the Japan Karate Association. The JKA organized an instructor-training program that began sending Karate teachers throughout the world. Since then, the JKA style of karate typically known as Shotokan Karate has grown tremendously with millions of practitioners worldwide. After Master Nakayama’s death, the JKA split and has continued to split into ever smaller factions, with many senior instructors leaving to form their own associations. Some of these factions are Japan Shotokan Karate Association, Japan Karate Shotokai and Karatenomichi.




The founder of our system, Gichin Funakoshi, believed that all styles should be generically termed Karate-do, so he never claimed a name for his style. However, due to popularization of Karate outside Japan and his students’ desire to distinguish his system from others, many adapted Master Funakoshi’s dojo (school) name, Shotokan, to identify the style.


Master Funakoshi would sign his poems and calligraphy works with a pen name “Shoto” or “the pine wave”, which symbolized the soothing sound of wind moving through the pine forest in his native Okinawa. The suffix “kan”, refers to “hall” and used to designate training hall or gathering place. Thus combined Shotokan means, “pine wave hall” or “Shoto’s hall”. It’s pronounced, shoh-toe-kah’n.


history of shotokan
japanese terminology


Karate is traditionally taught using the original Japanese terms. CKA with a goal for excellence in karate has incorporated these traditional terms. These terms are universally known in many styles of Karate. This page lists the most important terms, their definition and a pronunciation guide. You may find Japanese expressions that you are not familiar with, and this glossary will help to explain how we use each term in the World Christian Karate Association.

Please note that the English spelling of Japanese terms is far from standardized, and you many find that different sources choose a different spelling from the ones included.


Do not let this concern you, more important than the spelling is the phonetic sound of the term, so that it can be recognized in training within our Association and in training with other traditional karate schools.

General Terms:

Shihan (she-han) - Chief Instructor

Sensei (sen-say) - Instructor

Senpai (sem-p-eye) - Assistant Instructor

Kohai (koh-hi) - Senior Student

Dojo (doh-joh) - Training Hall

Obi (o-bee) - Belt


Kihon (kee-hone) - Basics

Kata (kah-tah) - Forms

Kumite (koo-ma-tay) - Sparring

Ki o Tsuke (kee-yohs-keh) - Attention

Rei (ray) - Bow

Yoi (yohee) - Ready

Naote (na-o-tay) - Relax

Hajime (hah-jee-meh) - Begin

Yame (yah-mey) - Stop


Kiai (kee-a) - Shout

Mae (my) - Forward

Ushiro (oo-she-row) - Back

Hidari (he-da-ree) - Left

Migi (mee-gee) - Right

Mawatte (ma-wa-tay) - Turn Around


Jodan (joe-don) - Upper

Chudan (chew-don) - Middle

Gedan (ge-don) - Lower


Dachi (da-chee) - Stance

Zuki (zoo-key) - Punch

Uchi (oo-chee) - Strike

Uke (oo-kay) - Block

Geri (ger-ee) - Kick



Ich (itch) - One

Ni (nee) - Two

San (san) - Three

Shi (she) - Four

Go (go) - Five

Rok (rook) - Six

Shich (sitch) - Seven

Hach (hatch) - Eight

Ku (koo) - Nine

Ju (joo) - Ten


Choku Zuki (chak-oo zoo-key) - Standing Punch

Oi Zuki (oi zoo-key) - Stepping Punch


Jodan Age Uke (joe-don ahh-geh oo-kay) - High Block

Gedan Barai (ge-don ba-rye) - Low Block


Kiba Dachi (key-ba da-chee) - Horse Stance

Zenkutsu Dachi (zen-koo-t-sue da-chee) - Front Stance


“Migi Ushiro Zenkustu Dachi Gedan Barai”

- Step back with right foot into front stance with a low block and Kia!


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