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 and build strong self-confidence
  • Train in an incredible total-body focused 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.

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)

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 to Master Karate from Home?

Course Curriculum

Learn this wonderful and mysterious Japanese martial art,

passed down directly from its founder, Gichin Funakoshi.

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, We will Mail you the 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.


Choose Your Plan

At a fraction of the cost of a traditional studio, with our unparalleled guarantee.



Simple and flexible plan where you
pay month-to-month

110+ Follow Along Classes

100+ Technique Lessons

Connect & Train With Other Students
in the Course

Accredited Rank Testing &


Instructor Support, Feedback

& Guidance

Fresh Training Material

Added Monthly

Cancel Anytime

Monthly Payments



Most Popular

Pay for 6 months at a time
to save even more

110+ Follow Along Classes

100+ Technique Lessons

Fresh Training Material

Added Monthly

Accredited Rank Testing &


Instructor Support, Feedback

& Guidance

Pay $179.70 Every 6 Months

(Save 25%)

Cancel Anytime

Pay Every 6 Months

3 Payments of


Path to Black Belt

Most Value

Get your blackbelt with a 3-year
membership in 3 installments

110+ Follow Along Classes

100+ Technique Lessons

Fresh Training Material

Added Monthly

Accredited Rank Testing &


Instructor Support, Feedback

& Guidance

Access to a 3-year membership!

Save Over $850 on Your Journey to Black Belt

3 Consecutive
Monthly Payments

Hear from Our


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

I love GMAU Shotokan Karate! It's online and I like the flexibility of practicing it anywhere and anytime.

Sitara Inaganti
Shotokan Student

Global Martial Arts University's Shotokan Karate course has been nothing but a positive experience in all aspects of the program since I began. First, the program is incredibly accessible. I am in my 30's, have a child and work full time. I have always wanted to study Karate but have never had enough time to do so. GMAU's program makes learning accessible to when you can fit it in your schedule. For me, the most convenient time is in the evenings after I put the kid to bed. Also, it takes as much time as you want it to take. Classes range from 30-40 minutes and provide a full body workout while practicing technique. If I do not feel I have the energy for a full class I can either participate in the lessons, which are shorter, or I can practice at my own pace and record the time in my journal.

Wes Robertson
Shotokan Karate Student

GMAU has a wonderful team of dedicated instructors! I am very thankful to be a part of the GMAU community.

Jeremy Stone
Shotokan Student

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

The course is excellently presented and easy to follow. There are great breakdowns for all the individual techniques. Lots of classes at the lower belt levels - not so many after blue belt. More classes through blue, purple, brown would help. Also, a bit more focus on the fighting/self defence aspects of Shotokan would make the course more awesome. Overall, highly recommended!

Marcus Regan
Shotokan Karate Student

I would like to start by saying I have no affiliation with the GMAU other than as a student. It's hard to believe that it's been more than a year that I have been training with the GMAU. This has been an awesome experience for me and I can't imagine not having this format to train with especially during the pandemic. The GMAU and Shotokan Karate are now a very important part of my life and I enjoy the training more now after more than a year than I ever have. Senseis Jon, Michael, Sarah & Jonas have been amazing throughout with their honest feedback when I submit a video for review and I find their "high fives” motivational. I truly believe they want to see me succeed. The format of the GMAU is exceptional, no other on-line martial arts instruction comes close, the videos for each level are easy to find, follow and understand, the content is exactly what you need to progress through that level and we can watch the videos as many times as we need or want to and the lower belt level videos are always there to go back and review any time. The belt level assignments and test videos are very simple to submit but in no means a "walk in the park" to achieve, I've looked at the belt level rank requirements for other Karate schools and as far as rank requirements I think the GMAU is much more thorough than any I have seen, I would match a GMAU student of any belt level with a student of the same belt level that trained in a in person school any time. I am proud to say I am a GMAU student and I look forward to continuing my journey in Shotokan Karate. I should probably mention that I was 57 years old when I started GMAU in November 2019 and 58+ now and have achieved the rank of 4th kyu purple belt working towards my 3rd kyu brown belt.

Darryl Hughes
Shotokan 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

I am enjoying this course a lot. It covers techniques in fine detail which my old brick and motor Shotokan school didn't do. Sensei's Jon and Jonas's teaching approach's are great. I wish there was more review video classes to follow along too. I know it's important to practice on my own, but I am only half way's through my yellow belt curriculum and have completed all the required training videos already.

Vincent Dean Jarema
Shotokan Karate Student

This course is perfect for people with busy schedules. The instruction of sensei Jon is superb and very easy to understand. It's perfect for a beginning student or a black belt.

Leo Grant
Shotokan Karate Student

As a husband and father, finding the time to train at a dojo had been very difficult. When I found GMAU, I was beyond excited to be able to train at my convenience, in my own home. What I didn't expect was the AMAZING Senseis and training programs that came along with GMAU. Aside from actual dojo level training, being able to speak with your Senseis 1-on-1, and have individual questions answered is something that many physical dojos may not have the time to address ... I can’t recommend this great organization enough!

Robert Hughes
Shotokan Student

I totally enjoy GMAU and my study of Shotokan Karate. I am able to practice at my own pace at the time that is convenient for me. The training is no joke. The fact that I am able to ask my Sensei questions at any time is great.

James LaForge
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

If you’re on this page and you want to learn Shotokan Karate and finally start your martial arts journey, this is the community you need. Yeah, I know this is an online course but let me explain...

At this time we're living in, I believe that online courses are a legitimate way to learn new skills and that includes Shotokan Karate. GMAU looks after its own students and helps you progress one step at a time. Even sending you a video answering your questions (they actually did that when I had a question) and I appreciate that.

So, look no further and just join this great community of martial artists.

Javier Velazquez
Shotokan Student

I discovered the GMAU in 2016. At the time, I had a full-time job, a part-time job, a household to run, and a 1 year old daughter. Needless to say, my days were full. I also realized that I was not in the best shape I could be in nor did I have a healthy outlet to allow myself to get away from the burdens of work and just have something that I could work on myself with. I had thought about getting back into martial arts since dropping out as a young teenager, but the time involved outside of the home was just not going to work with my situation at the time.

Through a search for learning martial arts at home I discovered the GMAU Shotokan Karate program. I'll admit that at first I was skeptical of whether or not an online program like this could work. I am more than pleased to report that it can if the right people are in charge. Sensei John and Sensei Michael created something amazing. They have a talent for understanding that not everyone lives a lifestyle that allows them to find an hour a day outside of the home to train. Their program allows even the busiest person to get up early, use their lunch, or put dinner in the oven and train. The videos are top notch. The techniques at each belt level are clearly demonstrated with patience and a true desire to pass on their knowledge.

The instructor feedback is amazing. There is nothing "cookie cutter" in the responses you get from the various instructors. Everything is tailored to the individual student which, given the size of the platform, is beyond impressive. The addition of instructors that have gone through the program was a stroke of genius. They could have gone out and hired any black belts to be associate instructors. Instead, they chose people from within the program. That allows a whole new depth of instruction to be introduced because, as former students, they know the challenges, limitations, and coping strategies for learning a martial art outside of a traditional dojo. It allows for these instructors to also have a personal stake and great interaction with the students.

Finally, the sense of community and support the GMAU has created is phenomenal. Students from all over the world can support, motivate, and train with one another in a way that truly gives you a sense that you aren't alone in your endeavors to better yourself while having a full schedule. That sense of community is vital to a program like this and offers an additional depth that closes the gap between home training and traditional dojos.

I can't recommend the GMAU enough and I believe that it is worth more than the price paid. They even offer a free trial membership to decide whether or not their program will work for you. There is nothing to lose with them, except all of your excuses.

Brian Schulz
Shotokan Student

The website works well. The videos are well done and Sensei Hodge is a very good teacher. Not only is he good at explaining how techniques work but he understands how to motivate people and help them to be patient, doing one thing at a time.
If you always wanted to try karate, this is the place to do it (and at a reasonable price).

Jeremy Royaux
Shotokan Student

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.

    Ready to Master Karate from Home?