Welcome to the Carbondale Park District’s Karate Program

In the Carbondale Park District’s karate program, we cultivate a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere where you can fulfill your potential through hard work, dedication, and attention to detail—attributes that will build the skills needed for self-defense and that enrich every other area of your life, from work and school to relationships and other activities.

Our instructors and your fellow students will never judge you for who you are, but by your attitude in class, your work ethic, and the progress you make.

Our approach has produced students with extraordinary skills and moral character. They have distinguished themselves in our class with promotions they worked hard to earn, and in regional tournaments, where they have proven their excellence against tough competition.

Please come join us in the rewarding way of life we pursue in the Carbondale Park District’s karate program.

What Can the Carbondale Park District’s Karate Program Do for Me?

Do you or your children want to learn how to defend against physical threats? The Carbondale Park District’s karate program can provide comprehensive, long-term solutions.

By learning karate, an art of self-defense that originated on the island of Okinawa, our students develop:

The strategic thinking
needed to employ
Practical, effective self-defense skills
through
Culturally traditional martial arts
combined with
Modern innovations
that hone
Physical attributes
including speed, strength, balance, endurance, coordination, flexibility,
and overall health and fitness

Karate not only instills everything you need to defend yourself from physical danger, but the qualities you need to confront the challenges we face in everyday life.

Want to Defend Yourself but Don’t Want to Take Karate?

Call us. We love to hold self-defense seminars for groups large or small.

We do, however, caution that ongoing classes will far more effectively prepare you to face physical threats.

Should karate not appeal to you, you may explore our two outstanding sister programs at the Carbondale Park District.

Sensei Mark Hurling, an almost 60-year martial arts veteran and long-time law-enforcement professional, teaches our jujitsu program.

Senseis Karen and Rob Gallegly, the top active aikido instructors in Southern Illinois, also teach classes for the Carbondale Park District.

Our sister programs allow students to find a teaching style and martial art in the Carbondale Park District that best suits their personalities, physical gifts, and self-defense needs.

Students, of course, can cross-train in more than one martial art, acquiring a broader range of knowledge and skills.

We Keep Prices Affordable

While the Park District needs to cover the costs of its programs, we recognize that many people in our community have trouble meeting their basic needs, so we do our best to reduce the economic barriers to our classes.

Our karate program only charges $40 per eight-class session for district residents and $50 for non-residents.

We provide most of the equipment that students will need to participate in our classes, but students must bear a few small additional costs. We keep them as low as possible. The Park District sells all required items, like uniforms and mouthpieces, for as close to the wholesale price as possible.

Where and When Do Classes Take Place?

The Carbondale Park District’s karate program holds beginner classes Mondays at 5:30 p.m. at the LIFE Community Center. Students need no experience—we designed the class to introduce students to karate fundamentals and build a foundation for further learning.

Advanced classes take place Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. at the LIFE Community Center. Here, students develop and expand on what they learned in the beginner class.

Who Can Join?

We accept students ages 10 and older. (Younger children have rarely developed the focus and sense of responsibility needed to safely learn martial arts.)

Our class is not just for youth—we welcome adults in our class, too.

How Do I Join?

To sign up, or for more information, call the LIFE Community Center at (618) 549-4222, or stop by and register in person at 2500 West Sunset Drive in Carbondale.

We post information about upcoming events and other progam news on our Facebook page.

You can also register for the Carbondale Park District’s karate classes through the Active Communities website.

For more about other Carbondale Park District programs, click here.

Our Student Privacy Policy

One thing that might make looking at our website a lot more pleasant? Pictures.

We are justifiably thrilled with our students’ accomplishments and take a lot of photos and videos to commemorate special occasions and important milestones. We hang those photos on the wall of the LIFE Community Center where we train.

Here’s why we don’t post them here or elsewhere online.

We respect our students’ privacy rights and do not exploit their images to promote our program. Placing their photos online could complicate their lives and interfere with their training.

Most of our students are minors. We’ve had students in the foster system. Students may find other people challenging them before they’ve developed the skills to effectively defend themselves.

Our students and their families have the right to share photos or other information about their participation in the Carbondale Park District karate program. We leave that decision to them and do not make it for them.

Perhaps someday we’ll change our no-photos policy. Perhaps it’s hopelessly quaint. For now, however, when we do post original photos of our students, we will strive to ensure they do not show them in any recognizable way.