The Golden Tiger Dojo is a traditional martial arts school offering quality instruction in the art of Shotokan Karate-Do, related weapons and self defense run by Chief Instructor Nathan Balakrishnan.

Why Karate?

Actually there are many and various reasons why someone would learn a martial art like karate. The primary reason of course, is self-defense. In our rapidly changing society, violent crimes are on the rise. Many targets of such crimes are victims because they lack preparation in dealing with such situations. Since carrying a weapon is illegal, we need some method of defending ourselves, and our love ones in case of attack. By learning to become proficient in self-defense, we could adequately protect ourselves or someone else.

The techniques of karate can help prepare an individual to deal with various situations both mentally and physically. Karate is not only an effective means of self-defense but also an excellent form of exercise. In addition, there are many other important benefits to learning a martial art:

  • Development of motor skills
  • Hand-Eye coordination
  • Balance and gravity related skills
  • Sharpening of reflexes
  • Honing of reflexive defensive skills
  • Greater focus and concentration
  • Greater self-confidence
  • Understanding of the importance of etiquette and hierarchy
  • Goal setting and achievement
  • Spirit of friendly competition without malice
  • Understanding the bio-mechanics of one's own body

We have programs specifically designed for children and adults. Classes are designed to excite and motivate the student, while at the same time introducing them to a variety of martial arts training methods, techniques, and courtesy. The emphasis in the children's classes is toward social development, coordination, improvement in academic and scholastic development, self-esteem, integration within a family unit, and of course self-defense.

Classes will make students safer, but we focus on much, much more than just self-defense. Each level is progressively more challenging than the last. The idea is to have a long-term goal (Black Belt) that is achieved by attaining short-term goals (the different color belts along the way). For those individuals aspiring to become a black belt; this program is a 504 hour course designed to take students to 1st degree black belt and beyond. This training is to prepare not only future black belts, but also future karate instructors. The program concentrates on understanding the application of techniques (bunkai).

Where Do I Begin

Classes are open year round. Please call ahead to sign up or to watch a class in action. See our schedule for class times. Membership rates can be found on the policies and fees page. For more information please call or visit the Golden Tiger Dojo.


2114 A South Center Street (Route 159)
Maryville, IL 62062
(314) 474-0071