Additional Costs for the Carbondale Park District Karate Program

In addition to the Park District’s monthly class fees that you pay when you sign up for our beginner class, you may need to purchase:


By the end of the eight-week beginner session, all students need mouthpieces to protect their teeth. The Park District has double-mouthpieces for sale for $3 that you can mold yourself. I have used these types of mouthpieces for about thirty years and found they have adequately protected my jaws and teeth. The small profit from the sales will benefit the Park District.

You, however, are certainly welcome to shop around for other styles and brands at local sporting-goods stores and online retailers. You may wish to consult your dentist, especially if you have braces; your dentist may recommend specific brands, mold them for you, and/or sell them to you.

Groin Cups and Supporters

Men need to purchase this equipment for obvious reasons. Costs and styles vary. Students will need to find equipment that best fits and protects them. Students can purchase cups and supporters at any local sporting-goods store. Some equipment is designed for baseball, not martial arts, and might not offer the best protection for karate. Feel free to talk to the instructor for guidance before purchasing.

Sparring Equipment

The Park District tries to keep a large enough supply of headgear, boots, and gloves for everyone in the class. Should you wish to purchase your own, you may shop online. (No local retailer carries the equipment we use.) You may also purchase equipment through the Park District— complete sparring sets cost about $70. The small profit from sales will benefit the Park District.


Before we recognize that students have earned the rank of Yellow Belt (Sichi Kyu), they must own and wear to class plain white kimono-style karate uniforms (not V-neck-style tae kwon do uniforms). Super-lightweight uniforms are less expensive and you’re less prone to overheat in them. Some students prefer heavier uniforms designed for jujutsu or judo—they last far longer but they’re more expensive and when working out in them you get hot fast and stay wet. You can purchase uniforms wherever you’d like, but the Park District can order super-lightweight uniforms for about $20, including shipping, and the small profit from sales will benefit the Park District.

Patches and Trim

Before students may earn recognition for having earned the rank of Yellow Belt (Roku Kyu), they will need to buy and sew Academy of Martial Arts and Isshin Shorinji Ryu patches on their jackets. Patch sets cost $15. You also need to buy and sew red trim on the cuffs of your pants. The trim costs about $3 at JoAnn Fabrics. If you’re really nice to the instructor’s mother, she might sew them on for you.

The cost for a full uniform, complete with red trim and patches, is $45.

If you outgrow your uniform, the Park District will exchange it for a new one for no additional cost—as long as your uniform is in reasonably good shape (which means no rips or obvious stains). If we have used uniforms in stock, they will sell for $7.

Should you purchase a uniform but decide at any point not to continue with the class, please donate the uniform back to the Park District. That way you can help the Park District reduce financial barriers that often prevent low-income students from fully participating in the karate program.

Buying From the Park District Is Optional

We will never obligate you to purchase martial-arts equipment or supplies through the Park District. The Park District, however, will sell equipment to you for very close to wholesale prices. Equipment that would retail for $100, the Park District can generally sell to you for about $40 to $60, and any profits will benefit Park District programs.