In 2009, our family moved to Aberdeen, NJ. Our oldest child was just entering 6th grade. It wasn't long until the woes of being the new kid set in. Our daughter was being teased at school. One night, while driving home, the East Coast Karate sign caught my attention. I pulled into the parking lot and walked in to the dojo.
Shihan John was teaching an adult class. He greeted me and listened patiently as I explained the situation. He understood that I wanted to help my daughter boost her confidence so she would not be intimidated by mean kids. Shihan invited her to a trial class. We took him up on the offer....that was 10 years ago.
Today, our daughter is a strong, confident and capable young woman. We attribute this, in great part, to the mentoring, training and camaraderie that Shihan promotes in his dojo. The students have a sense of belonging and are never fearful of ridicule while they learn. Shihan and his staff promote excellence in sportsmanship and encourage their students to always give their best effort.
Our daughter continues to enjoy her time spent at the dojo, spending 5 or more hours weekly. She trains hard, but considers it time well spent, as she sees the martial arts not as just a sport - but a way of life.
One of our proudest moments as a parent was when she earned her Black Belt last winter. Whether you are considering a healthy sport for your child, or a challenging fitness regimen for yourself, we recommend Shihan John Ralph and East Coast Karate without hesitation.
"My 8 year old son has been attending East Coast MMA for over 2 years now. He enjoys going to these classes every week more than anything! From the day he started going to East Coast MMA, his confidence has grown each & every day. The dojo has a very friendly environment that makes all the students feel comfortable. The instructors are all friendly & great people to work with. Shihan John/owner & my sons instructor, is someone with whom my son looks up to & he enjoys spending time in his class. I am very happy with the progress my son is making at East Coast MMA along with the effort that everyone here puts forth every day. I have referred many people to East Coast MMA and each one of them have loved it as well!"
Mike Mackintosh 4th Degree Black Belt
"My boxing training and martial arts experience prior to coming to East Coast Karate were
fine, but where it really took off was when I started training under Ralph Shihan, because it afforded me the opportunity to take what I learned and made it better in every way. I've
seen many dojos and looked at their product, and I can say without reservation that not
only has my training reached levels way beyond what I started but there is NO place
around where a martial artist can get the type of cross-training offered at East Coast Karate
by Shihan John Ralph."
Ed Botti 4th Degree Black Belt
"I have been training at East Coast Karate and with Shihan John Ralph since 1998. The
adult classes are a combination of high energy and constant concentration. Shihan has a
staff of incredibly talented martial artists that bring a diverse background onto the dojo
floor every night. Training at East Coast Karate has been one of the best experiences I have
had and will continue to enjoy for years to come."
Neil and Andrew Wilson, former Black Belt Students
"If you want to be the Best Martial Artist that you can be, you must train with the best,
John Ralph Shihan!"
Matt Bozza, former instructor
"The ultimate purpose of Karate is said to be the perfection of one's character. Karate has
given me self-confidence, self-discipline, assertiveness, physical fitness and respect for others. Karate is outstanding for children and young people, as well as older adults."
Steven and Adrian Bond, Parents
"The best thing we could have done for our 8 year old son was to sign him up for Karate.
However, choosing a sport is not enough. The school and its instructors, the ambiance and class structure as well as the values taught are the main ingredients that ultimately culminate in a positive experience. East Coast Karate has met all these requirements.
Our son has developed into a great athlete in all his endeavors because of the guidance and dedication that John Ralph Shihan, together with his highly qualified instructors, offer to their students. He has learned discipline, respect, honor, humility and integrity. Quite an accomplishment for an eight year old boy.
The foundation that Karate brings to all ages and genders can not be surpassed, in my opinion,
by any other extracurricular activity. Karate is not just a sport. It is a way of thinking and learning important factors that will guide a student through the rest of his life. We are glad we chose East Coast Karate. Through weekly observations we have come to respect the Art that has been around for centuries. We are confidant that you will too!"