Master the Ancient Art of

Shotokan from Home

Learn how to protect yourself and get in the best shape of your life with the total
self-improvement-focused style of Shotokan Karate. In this course you will...

  • Learn how to defend yourself while building strong self-confidence
  • Train in an incredible total-body style, which will shred fat and build lean muscle
  • Achieve real rank at your own pace with one-on-one instructor feedback

           ...all at a fraction of the cost of traditional classes.

Take advantage of this chance to protect yourself and the ones you love with
our no-commitment FREE beginners course!

            Normally a $127 value

Charles Penoyer (student since 2017)

Featured In...

Our Students See Real Results

 or Get Their Money Back.

" I cannot say enough good things about Global Martial Arts University. I had always wanted to study Shotokan Karate, and through life's twists and turns, never had the opportunity. Two years ago, after moving to Texas and discovering that there were no local dojo’s that I could attend that would fit my schedule, I started searching online. I came across Global Martial Arts University and couldn’t have been happier. Not only am I able to train and earn real rank through GMAU, but I can train anywhere, anytime, on my own schedule! Not to mention that the guidance and one on one instruction from Sensei John and Sensei Michael, is something that is rare to find at ANY dojo."

Robert Hughes (student since 2016)

Dedicated to YOUR Shotokan Journey

Train Wherever, Whenever

With the Global Martial Arts learning platform you can train wherever you want, across your favorite devices and at times that work best for you.

Fraction of the Cost of a Tradition Studio

Traditional classes at martial-arts studios can cost hundreds of dollars a month. With GMAU you'll have everything you need to learn your favorite martial art for as little as $39/month. Save thousands on your path to black belt!

Learn Shotokan Karate from Home

We custom tailor the learning process for you to learn in the comfort of your own home. No more having to rush to get to a class or being one in a crowd. Your journey to Shotokan mastery is yours. We focus on you by providing exclusive one-on-one feedback.

Sean Robinson  (student since 2012)

Ready for a Stronger

and Safer You?

We're currently offering a FREE Shotokan Karate course so you can take your first step towards protecting yourself and the ones you love. This is a no-commitment offer -- no credit card details needed. Our hope is that you'll love learning the basics of Shotokan Karate through our proven online-teaching system so much that you'll sign up as a dedicated student.

Normally a $127 value

What Would You Like to
Learn More About?

Be sure to sign up for our FREE beginner's Shotokan Karate course!

Course Overview -
Your Path to Mastery

Our Shotokan program will give you everything you need to learn this ancient art of self-defense
through our education platform, including one-on-one feedback.

A Complete Guided Course from White

to Black Belt

20+ hours of HD video lessons teaching all material in the white to black-belt syllabus.

More than 50 follow-along classes (each 30-40 minutes long), which are just like attending a real “live” Shotokan Karate class.

Get in Shape while Learning Shotokan Karate at Home and at Your Own Pace

Shotokan Karate training is a total-body workout. The strikes, blocks, stances, and kicks engage your entire body.

Feel confident by learning real self-defense and traditional fighting concepts.

Claire (student since 2017)

Fresh Training Every Week, with New Ways to Practice and Progress

New training lessons and classes are released every month. There's always something new for you to do.

New tools are being added to the GMAU student dashboard to make training at home fun and successful.

Our Easy-to-Use Online-Learning Platform

Access the course across all your favorite devices. Screencast the classes to your television, and have your progress tracked automatically. You'll always know where you are on your journey to mastery.

Watch How the Course Works

GMAU has been teaching Martial Arts online since 2008.

Ready for a Stronger

and Safer You?

We're currently offering a FREE Shotokan Karate course so you can take your first step towards protecting yourself and the ones you love. This is a no-commitment offer -- no credit card details needed. Our hope is that you'll love learning the basics of Shotokan Karate through our proven online-teaching system so much that you'll sign up as a dedicated student.

Normally a $127 value

Course Curriculum

Learn this wonderful and mysterious Japanese martial art,

passed down directly from its founder, Gichin Funakoshi.

Includes All White to Black-Belt Kihon (Techniques), Kumite (Self Defense), Kata (Patterns), Protocol, and Traditions

The entire traditional curriculum is instructed through a common-sense, easy-to-follow method.

Learn each section of the curriculum in a building-block format, with multiple angles and ways to practice.

Follow-Along Classes and Workouts, Just Like Being in the Dojo with Your Sensei

Training with the GMAU is just like walking into the dojo and taking a full class.

All classes include warm ups, techniques instruction, a variety of drills, and stretching to keep your training fun and different.

Instructor Support With

Anytime Feedback

Ask questions, get helpful feedback, and motivation from your (real) instructor.

We're there to hold you accountable and see you succeed.

Message Your Instructor and get Your Progress Reviewed Anytime

Interact directly with your instructor whenever you need guidance.

Submit a video for review and corrections if you need some extra support.

Find a Training Partner with the Student Locator

Easily locate and connect with other GMAU students in your area.

Start a “Global Garage” and start training with friends.

Earn Accredited Rank at Home

You can test and achieve real rank in Shotokan Karate-do through our

proven video testing and feedback process.

Test and Receive Detailed Feedback and Corrections from Your Instructor

Submit your video tests and get personalized feedback from your instructor through personalized guidance videos.

There's never any negativity or anxiety -- we use testing as a way to support your improvement and progress.

Once You Pass You'll Receive an Official Certificate of Rank.

After all of that hard work, you deserve officially accredited certification.

Certificates issued are the same as those awarded to students who train with us locally.

Ready to Get Access to Your Free
Shotokan Beginner's Course?

Normally a $127 value

Commonly Asked Questions

Please feel free to reach out to us if you don't see your question below!

What is the style background?

From Okinawa, a wonderful and mysterious martial art has passed down to us from the past. It is often said that one who masters the techniques can defend himself readily without weapons and can perform remarkable feats of power and skill. The essence of the martial art style taught by Master Hodge has defensive abilities and goes beyond mere physical defensive feats into the realm of mastery of mind, body and spirit. Practicing Shotokan Karate Do with intensity and focus over time creates a powerful warrior spirit. Using this spirit to serve others with, in and through peace and cooperation will create balance and harmony within the student.

Shotokan Karate Do has its origins in Okinawa and can be traced back into China where many earliest masters studied. For the past thousand years the study and practice of masters and experts through which Shotokan Karate Do was nurtured and perfected took place in Okinawa. In the last century, Shotokan Karate Do has made its way to western lands where many different derivations of martial arts have been made from the original martial art as seen in Okinawa, Korea and China. Any practitioner today must understand that any representation of martial art has been modified and changes to fit for public consumption. The fundamental concepts as presented by Master Hodge are in alignment with Shotokan Karate Do and the original Okinawa Karate Do of Gichin Funakoshi. The fundamental study of GMAU Shotokan Karate Do, through first degree black belt is in alignment with Master Funakoshi. The lineage of Shotokan Karate as taught by Master Hodge is also linked through several Korean masters however, the fundamental style through first degree practiced by all these masters is in alignment with Master Funakoshi.

What is the instructor lineage tree?

1. Gichin Funakoshi, established Shotokan Karate Do in 1939. Master Funakoshi studied from about eleven years old under Azato Anko and Itosu Anko. He practiced diligently and in 1912 became the president of the Okinawan Shobukai. In May 1922, he relocated to Tokyo and became a professional teacher of karate-do. He devoted his entire life to the development of karate-do. He lived out his eighty-eight years of life and left this world on April 26, 1957.

2. Won Kuk Lee, In 1926 Won Kuk Lee travelled to Tokyo, where he attended high school and later attended the Central University of Tokyo (Chuo University) specializing in Law. During his school years, he started training in the martial arts currently known as Karate-Do Shotokan style, under the tutelage of Gichin Funakoshi and his son, Gigō Funakoshi, who was the instructor in charge of the karate club of the Central University of Tokyo. It was there that Won Kuk became one of the first students of karate in Japan, obtaining the highest rank for a person who was not a Japanese national. After his graduation in Chuo University, he traveled Japan, visiting Okinawa and many other cities in China, including centers where Chuan Fa (kung-fu) was taught.

3. Nam Tae Hi, started training in 1946 and received his first degree under Master Won Kuk Lee. After receiving his first degree in Shotokan Karate Do went on to create Oh Do Kwan with Master H.H. Choi.

4. Grand Master Jhoon Goo Rhee – introduced his mixture of Shotokan and Tae Kown Do martial arts to the United States of America since arriving in the 1950s.

5. Allen Steen – was the first american to receive a first degree black belt in 1962 from Jhoon Rhee. Steen also recognized that his first degree was Shotokan Karate Do and subsequent black belt degrees were Tae Kwon Do oriented. In Dallas, Texas he created his Dojo that was American Karate and Tae Kwon Do.

6. Mickey Fisher – Received his black belt from Allen Steen in the mid 1960’s and was an instructor with Allen Steen at American Karate and Tae Kwon Do.

7. P. D. Hale – Received his black belt from Mickey Fisher in late 1960’s in American Karate and Tae Kwon Do. In the 1970’s Master Hale studied under Jae Won Park of Korea and was awarded another certification under Song Moo Kwan. Currently Mr. Hale is a Grand Master with the rank of 10th degree black belt.

8. Rick Williams – Received his black belt from Grand Master P. D. Hale and created Kaufman Karate in the early 1970’s. Currently Master Williams 9th degree black belt owns and operates Crandall Family Martial Arts in Crandall, Texas and he and his wife are managing the Kaufman County Children’s shelter in Kaufman Texas.

9. Jon Hodge – Started training in the early 1990’s under Rick Williams and was subsequently promoted to black belt and became an instructor for Kaufman Karate through 2003. In 2003 Master Hodge opened a school of his own in Crandall and later Seagoville, Texas where he and his son operated the schools until 2012. Currently Master Hodge, a 6th degree black belt, works with his home study students and teaches at seminars. Over the years Master Hodge has studied many different forms of martial arts and is also a Master Chi Kung and Tai Chi instructor.

How does testing work?

  1. Train with the lessons and classes. Once you have logged the minimum training hours required, you are eligible to submit your test.
  2. Next, simply follow the instructions on the testing page, to film and submit your video exam.
  3. Your instructor will do a detailed grading of your exam, and will also film a personalized feedback video with corrections and guidance.
  4. Once you pass, you will receive your official certificate of rank. If you do not pass the first time, you will be given corrections, and can resubmit without paying another fee.

Do I need a partner to participate in the GMAU Shotokan Karate program?

Although it is not a complete necessity, it can be very beneficial to have a training partner. The techniques can be practiced solo (preferably with a mirror). In the rank exam video, the kumite can be demonstrated solo or with a partner. If a partner is not available for self defense and one step demonstrations, a hanging bag or realistic dummy can be useful. You will need a partner in the kumite section of the brown belt – black belt rank exams, this can be a friend, training partner, or family member.

Can my partner (or family members) also take a level exam and become certified?

Yes! Your can easily add family members to your account, or link a training partner’s account to your own, so that you can train together. Each student will be graded individually and can track their own progress.

Do you offer a discount for additional family members?

Yes! Each additional family member receives a 50% discount on their tuition. It is simple to add new family members from your own account.

Can I cancel at anytime?

Yes, there are no contracts or annoying cancellation processes. If you just don’t like the course, you can cancel. But, if you fall to hard times and want to freeze your membership, we can do that for you too.

Does a portion of my monthly tuition go toward changing the world for the better?

Yes it does! We donate a good portion of our proceeds every month to people and projects that are making the world a better place. From planting organic gardens to feed the homeless, to a martial arts school teaching underprivileged kids, to good people who have fallen under hard times and illnesses, schools in Africa, people combating ailments with natural herbs, and more - we are working on helping others and spreading abundance.

Do I have to do the testing and ranking?

This is simply an option that is available to you. We have a lot of students who just like training and learning the material on their own, without the goal of earning rank through us. That is just fine. If you ever need anything, you can still get help through our Instructor Support.

Is your course aligned with a particular organization or association?

Yes, all rank awarded is recognized and accredited through the Global Martial Arts Association, Ultimate Training Martial Arts Association, the Association of Martial Artists World Wide, as well as various local and national training centers. If you are looking to receive a certification or ranking through a specific group – then you must contact them directly. If you are purely interested in mastering the art itself, improving yourself, and earning accredited rank as you progress – then our course will be a good fit.

Is there a minimum wait between level certification exams?

There are no “forced waits” in our program. But, we do require students to document their training/practice sessions in the Student Journal.

We require for you to train a minimum number of hours and to document each practice session in your student journal before you take an exam.

We do this for a few reasons:

  • It allows us to keep tabs on your progress, practice schedule, and training time. As your instructors, we are more in the loop, just as we would be if you attended physical classes with us.
  • The minimum training hours are designed so that you get enough repetitions; create real muscle memory, and instinctual reactions. It is not enough to just “know how to do a technique” – but be able to execute it instantaneously with an attack, without having to think. Sufficient, documented practice will get you there.
  • We want to maintain high standards of excellence and expectations, so that your training, progress, and ranking is up to par to a Krav Maga student from a physical facility.
  • Will my certificate state that it was earned “online” or through “home study”?

    No. Certificates issued are the same as those awarded to physical training students. This is because we have the same syllabus, testing requirements, and student standards in our online course. Since you are not physically attending classes, you will need to put in extra work and have a much higher level of self-discipline in order to advance.

    Is there a cost for testing? What does the test fee include?

    Yes. Rank exams are $60 each for yellow – brown belt. The fee covers the time and energy that your instructor takes out working with you and grading your exam. Your instructor will take out a good chunk of time to study your exam, grade it, make detailed notes, and work back and forth with you in communication. Your instructor will also film a personalized feedback video for you! Your instructor will demonstrate some of your errors, go over tips, corrections, guidance, and anything that will help you improve. The fee also covers your official certificate of rank.

    What if I have previous martial arts rank and experience?

    Great! You are an even better candidate for studying at home, since you have trained in the past. If you hold rank in shotokan, then you can follow our rank transfer procedure. Otherwise, you will need to start at the beginning.

    How can I transfer my current rank into the Global Martial Arts University?

    We currently allow for rank transfers in our Shotokan course. If you hold a rank in shotokan karate (not another style of karate), then you are eligible. Here is the process for transferring rank:

    1. You will first need to enroll into the course as a full student. Choose a payment option and enroll.
    2. Scan and email a copy of your highest rank certificate via our Support tab from within your GMAU account.
    3. Pay the $85 rank transfer fee (use this payment link). This covers the instructors time in reviewing your rank transfer video and for our administrative time getting you transferred into the rank.
    4. For Shotokan: Film yourself demonstrating all of our syllabus's katas from white to your current rank. Upload as a Youtube unlisted video, and send a message to Sensei Jon with this URL.

    Your instructor will do a detailed review of your transfer rank video. If you are up to our standards of rank equivalency, we will honor your current rank, and you can keep training toward your black belt and beyond.

    Will I get access to the full course on Day 1?

    Yes. Upon enrolling, from day one you can access all levels of lessons, classes, and extras. You are not required to do the grading/testing component of your membership; but it is an option that you can take advantage of at any time!

    Can I enroll my child into the course? What is the minimum age?

    Yes, a child aged 6 years and up can be enrolled in the course. We recommend that all children under 10 years old train with the GMAU under the supervision of an adult. We'll be offering a Kid's Karate program sometime in the future, but that course is not yet available.


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    Hear from Our


    The online format is comparable to many online colleges and universities. It is easy to navigate and very detailed. Sensei Jon does an excellent job speaking to the beginner and the Black Belt. He breaks it down in an easy, enjoyable practice. Don’t get me wrong, the curriculum is not easy and it does take hard work, time, and energy. But…that is because it’s the real deal. Students can earn accredited rank and an increased skill base regardless of their prior knowledge.

    Pastor Shaun Whitt
    Shotokan Karate Student

    I absolutely love being at GMAU! The Senseis are down to earth and the courses are easy to follow along with. It is a well designed program and you even get personal feedback via video from your instructors. It is inexpensive and you can do it at your own pace in your own home. I would highly recommend GMAU to anyone! It is a lot of fun and a wise investment!

    Randy Brown
    Shotokan Student

    The training material is good, the exams aren’t easy…you really need to earn a rank/belt. It is no fake MCdojo :). I can train where and whenever I have the time. I just took the yellow belt exam and received a 25 minute long personal video from Sensei Jon reviewing my material.

    Laurens van der Sande
    Shotokan Karate Student

    The training material is good, the exams aren’t easy…you really need to earn a rank/belt. It is no fake MCdojo :). I can train where and whenever I have the time. I just took the yellow belt exam and received a 25 minute long personal video from Sensei Jon reviewing my material.

    Laurens van der Sande
    Shotokan Karate Student

    I have been enrolled into Shotokan Karate for the last month or so, and it has completely changed my entire outlook on life. I am a former Combat Veteran and this has helped tremendously with my PTSD. I am more focused and have less anxiety. The course is perfect for my schedule with a wife and two sons, full-time job, and working on a Master's degree. I love the fact that I can review lessons whenever and wherever on my mobile phone. I have taken and passed my first belt test, and the feedback was very helpful. I am currently working towards my 8th Kyu Yellow Belt. Everyone has been very helpful and encouraging.

    Al Roucher
    Shotokan Karate Student

    Ready for a Stronger

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    Normally a $127 value

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