UT Martial Arts Club

A Classical Approach to Traditional Karate Training …

Isshin-ryu Karate is a relatively modern style of karate formally recognized in Okinawa in 1956. Founded by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, “Isshin-ryu” translates to “One Heart Way.” Tatsuo Shimabuku, beginning at age eight, studied with three highly respected Okinawan karate pioneers; Chotoku Kyan, Chojun Miyagi, and Choki Motobu. As an innovator, he combined what he thought was the best from all three instructors. While today karate is typically practiced as a sport, traditional Isshin-ryu Karate is, at its core, an effective self-defense system employing aggressive counter-striking combined with low kicks. The study of karate develops strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, confidence, and self-discipline. The focus of this class is traditional Isshin-ryu Karate.

Schedule and Location

Spring 2023 Class Schedule

For Spring 2023, the class meets in TRECS Studio 7
Monday, 8:15 to 10 PM & Wednesday, 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM

The schedule and location can vary from semester to semester.


The instructors are not paid for their time; club dues are collected to provide for items such as mats and travel expenses. Dues are $45 per semester (Fall and Spring) and are due at the beginning of each semester. Payment of dues entitles you to participate in all other UT Martial Arts Club classes at no additional charge. The club suspends activities over the summer break.

Participants in the karate class will be required to purchase a gi (the standard karate uniform). Cost varies depending on the size and style of the gi you choose to purchase.

Guests may attend two classes before paying fees and buying a gi. Club membership is open to students, faculty, and staff.

About the instructor

Sensei Darren GIlbert is a 5th Degree Black Belt and a second-generation student of Isshin-ryu Karate. He is a student of the late Sensei Sherman Harrill and a founding member of the American Self-Defense Federation. Gilbert’s approach to karate focuses on the traditional view of karate as self-defense with a traditional approach to training that includes mastery of the basics, kata, bunkai, and makiwara.