About us
It’s Martial arts or is it a sport?
North America Goju Karate has been in the Central New York, Utica area since 1980. 

Kyoshi Shihan Efren Reyes founded the style and has taught countless students his self-defense and karate. All ages have benefited from their martial arts training with us by becoming better individuals. Men, women, and children do good in the world when applying their martial arts training. Courtesy, compassion, understanding, and empathy to name a few tenets of our school’s culture. What’s moral and just is taught. In our modern age it appears at times we have very little sense of morality or justice. This is only a perception because as human beings we are very dynamic. Our behaviors are not absolute. We must practice patience with others and instead of being upset or frustrated with difficult people and situations take it as a blessing that you are fortunate to learn and become better because of life’s challenges.

Karate class in utica, ny

Goju karate
is a style that brings hard and soft principles and techniques together in a balanced way. At the core of Goju this must be taken seriously. The words Go-Ju mean “The way of the hard and soft fist”.

We have a high expectation of students to work diligently and consistently towards their best. Martial arts training for any given style requires you to strive to your highest ability. The ability to have pride in hard work, sacrifice and investing in oneself will deliver positive results for the student’s life.

By extension, your martial arts training benefits your loved ones as well. As a result of your karate classes, you become Confident and more controlled in challenging situations. Your peers will start to look to you as a natural leader.   

Make the most of yourself for that is all there is of you. – Emerson

Practical self-defense and not sport karate is what we choose to pursue. Trophies and ego boosting events that don’t really move your life forward it not how we like to spend our time. We enjoy the camaraderie of sport karate but we don’t believe it’s “world champion” and “Best school titles” which equal participation trophies in grade school.

We believe this is misleading and does a disservice to the martial arts community. The belt around your waist does little for the world, it’s what you can do on the mat that proves your skill.

The practice and pursuit of karate is a pass time for many. Some of our students have searched for Krav maga, Tae kwon do, MMA or Aikido. They have found what they were truly searching for in a self-defense class when they joined our karate class. They are exposed to how
situational awareness
is super important to your self-defense, more so than a fast punch or powerful kick.

Martial arts training is a way of life. Perfecting ourselves and our students through dedicated training in the North American Goju Karate system. A greater understanding of one’s abilities and facing our darker nature takes commitment and trust in the process.

When you come into our school you will find a positive environment with an ethical foundation that won’t be shaken. We are like family and you will be as well.

It’s our experience when students maintain an open mind will find they have more success and better interactions in all activities. We promote equality, respect, self-control, honoring of one’s family, integrity in all actions and courtesy for everyone. Be dependable and reliable to do what’s good for oneself and community. Give to others, when possible, and appropriate. Take responsibility for your own affairs before asking for help. Be available to help and support others more often than seeking it from others.

Be of service.

If you would not be forgotten, do things worth remembering. –
Benjamin Franklin