When people think about karate in Peoria they think about the Academy of Okinawan Karate. Founded in 1979, we have grown to become the largest Peoria karate school and have also become one of the most honored Karate schools in Central Illinois. The A.O.K. has won numerous awards, including being chosen one of the top 200 Martial Arts Schools in North America (at the time, there were 18,000 in the U.S. alone).
We offer classes to both adults and children and we also include Judo and Sword classes at no extra cost! Our classes are fun, help the students channel aggression and teach self discipline. We offer classes in Peoria, Morton, and Eureka. Please call us at (309) 692-2499 to attend a trial class!
Our Tiny Tigers (Age 6 and under class) and Youth class (6-15) students are taught to be respectful and polite toward parents, siblings, teachers, and elders. They are also taught the importance of doing their best in school. In addition, stranger awareness is taught in all our Karate classes.
Our Teenage and Adult students are taught to set challenging, yet achievable goals and that hard work does have its rewards. Through our Martial Arts Program, our students become more confident and develop an attitude of self-reliance. This increase in confidence enables them to better cope with issues of peer pressure and helps them make correct choices.
The founder and director of the Academy of Okinawan Karate is Shihan Joseph Walker. Mr. Walker began his training at the young age of 8. He began his study in Judo (the gentle way) which is a form of Japanese wrestling. As a teenager he added Karate (empty hand) to his life. In his 60+ years of experience, Mr. Walker has accomplished much including being promoted to 9th degree black belt, 5 time world karate champion, training throughout the USA and Asia and running 4 karate dojo. Mr. Walker moved to Texas and has left the Joseph Johnston as the head instructor of the Academy of Okinawan Karate.
Our Head Instructor, Sensei Joseph Johnston, began training in 1990. He was a quick study and earned his 1st degree Black Belt by 2000 under the Head Instructor at that time, Shihan Joseph Walker. In that time, he won numerous world championships and was one of the best instructors at the Academy of Okinawan Karate. Joseph Johnston was the instructor of both our satellite schools in Eureka and Morton (2005 and 2006, respectively) before taking over the Peoria school in 2015. He is currently a Chief Instructor of our martial arts style, Shuri-Ryu, and a 5th degree Black Belt.