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About Us

Mission Statement

As a non-profit organization, the Ottawa JKA dojo maintains the quality and values of traditional Shotokan Karate. Our goal is to enhance personal development and provide an equal opportunity for individuals who want to learn and improve. We believe that through arduous training one can develop control over their mind and body. We encourage every student to push themselves to the best of their ability and discover their true potential so that they can become better equipped to overcome challenges and obstacles in real life and become positive contributors to the society.

Dojo History

Ottawa JKA was founded by Minoru Saeki upon his arrival to Canada in 1973. The father of modern Shotokan Karate that we know today, the late Masatoshi Nakayama Sensei himself, was present at the opening of the dojo at Cambridge St. South. Master Nakayama, the Chief Instructor of JKA at that time, visited Canada to present an honorary black belt along with Saeki Sensei to the Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Throughout its history Ottawa JKA received recognition from federal, provincial and municipal government representatives for its contributions to the community.

Saeki Sensei later started an annual summer training camp, where he would invite instructors from Japan and gather with students for a week of intensive training. This camp grew to become one of the biggest Karate camps in North America (known today as the CJKF Summer Camp). Masahiko Tanaka Sensei was a big contributor in the development of Karate in Canada with his fall “Koyo Camp” often held in Ottawa which attracted participants from all over the country and abroad. Ottawa JKA has hosted many events over the years and created opportunities for the dojos across North America to exchange knowledge and experience.

In September 2013, Seiji Saeki, started his training in Japan at the Chiba Institute of Technology University Club under the mentorship of Keisuke Nemoto Sensei and became the Kanto Champion in 2014.  This accomplishment granted him admission as a Foreign Trainee at the JKA Headquarters in Tokyo. He graduated in April 2016, and is among the very few foreigners to have completed this instructor's training program. He met his wife Yulia Saeki, who was completing her Master's Degree in the Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences at the University of Tsukuba.  Together, they continue to cultivate a close relationship with dojos from all over Canada and Japan in order to create opportunities for cultural exchange and development of Shotokan Karate in North America. In the future, we wish to organize memorable events, where participants can push themselves to the best of their ability and make lasting friendships.

Minoru Saeki

7th Dan

Minoru Saeki is the founder of Ottawa JKA and the Canada JKA Karate Federation. He is licensed by the JKA headquarters to conduct examinations up to 3rd Dan and is an A-level judge and examiner. Saeki Sensei has been dedicated to the development of traditional Karate in Canada for more than fourty years. As a member of the JKA Masters Committee in Tokyo,  his technical knowledge and experience is at the forefront of Shotokan karate development internationally.


Saeki Sensei is currently a Technical Advisor at Ottawa JKA, conducting instructors’ seminars and examinations, traveling frequently to teach around the country.

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Seiji Saeki

4th Dan

Seiji Saeki is the Head Instructor of the Ottawa JKA, teaching the Adult and Youth programs. He graduated from Instructor’s Training at the JKA Headquarters (HQ) in Tokyo as a Foreign Trainee in 2016. During his time in Japan he qualified for the JKA All Japan Championships four times from 2014-2017 and has judged at university level competitions.

Major Tournament Wins

2014 JKA Kanto Region Championship, 1st Place Kumite
2016 JKA Canada National Championship, 1st Place Kumite
2017 JKA World Championship, 3rd Place Team Kata


Yulia Saeki

2nd Dan

Yulia Saeki is the Club Manager of the Ottawa JKA and Instructor of the Kids program.  Having received the MEXT Scholarship from the Japanese government, she moved to Japan as a research student and completed her Master’s degree from the University of Tsukuba at the faculty of Health and Sports Sciences.  During her four years in Japan, she was a member of the Tsukuba University Med-Karatedo Club and trained at the Ishige Dojo under the Chief Instructor of Ibaraki Prefecture Masashi Nakajima.



Terms & Instructions

Ranking and Testing Requirements

As we are affiliated with the Canada JKA Karate Federation (CJKF) and the Japan Karate Association (JKA), we follow the testing requirements of the JKA and CJKF (click here for CJKF testing details). 


The nine ranks of colour belts (kyu) are: white, yellow, orange, green, purple (2 levels) , brown (3 levels).


Black belt levels (dan) follow the ranking system established by the Japan Karate Association (JKA). Please click here for the JKA Dan ranking description.


In the Dojo, several Japanese terms are used throughout the class. For beginners, it is not necessary to memories these, though it may help you to familiarize yourselves with them, as they will come up often. Please see the list on the left for basic terms. Scroll down for other info such as Dojo Kun, Kata, and testing requirements.

Basic Dojo Terms
  • Dojo = Practice room (or hall of discipline)

  • Dojo kun = Dojo rules

  • Dogi = Uniform

  • Sensei = Instructor

  • Sempai = Senior student

  • Seiza = Sit straight

  • Mokuso = Meditation

  • Mokuso yame = End the meditation

  • Shomen ni rei = Bow to the front

  • Sensei ni rei = Bow to the instructor

  • Otagai ni rei = Bow to each other

  • Seiretsu = Line up

  • Kiritsu = Stand up

  • Yoi = Get ready

  • Hajime = Begin

  • Yame = Stop

  • Naore = Recover

  • Mawatte  = Turn

  • Kihon = Basic technique

  • Kata = Form

  • Bunkai  =  Detail of a movement

  • Kumite  = Sparring

  • Gohon kumite = Five steps sparring

  • Tsuki = Punch

  • Keri = Kick

  • Uke = Block

  • Dachi = Stance

  • Jodan = Upper level

  • Chudan = Middle level

  • Gedan = Lower level

  • Uchi = Inside

  • Soto = Outside


Kihon Terms
  • Oi tsuki = Step forward punch

  • Gyaku tsuki = Reverse punch

  • Age uke = Upper block

  • Soto uke = Outside chest block

  • Uchi uke = Inside chest block

  • Shuto uke = Sword-hand block

  • Gedan barai = Lower block

  • Mae geri = Front kick

  • Kekomi = Side thrust kick

  • Keage = Side snap kick

  • Mawashi geri = Roundhouse kick

Dojo Kun

At the end of each class, five rules are recited as follows:



hitotsu, jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto

(Translation: Seek perfection of character)



hitotsu, makoto no michi o mamoru koto

(Be faithful)



hitotsu, doryōku no seishin o yashinau koto

(Endeavor in all training)



hitotsu, reigi o omonzuru koto

(Be respectful)



hitotsu, kekki no yū o imashimuru koto

(Refrain from violent behavior)



Kata Movements

Heian Shodan   21

Heian Nidan      26

Heian Sandan   20

Heian Yondan   27

Heian Godan     23

Tekki Shodan     29

Tekki Nidan        24

Tekki Sandan     36

Bassai Dai          42

Kanku Dai          65

Jitte                     24

Hangetsu           41

Empi                    37

Gankaku             42

Jion                      47

Bassai Sho         27

Kanku Sho         48

Chintei                32

Unsu                    48

Sochin                 41

Nijushiho           34

Gojushiho Dai   67

Gojushiho Sho  65

Meikyo                33

Wankan              24


Testing Requirements
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