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Reviews of Palo Alto Goshukan

This page shows Reviews & Testimonials of Palo Alto Goshukan in Palo Alto, CA. 19 Reviewer rated Palo Alto Goshukan as Excellent. Read detailed reviews below.

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Average Rating: Excellent (19 Reviews)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent

19 out of 19 Reviewer recommended Palo Alto Goshukan.

Unique, wholesome place to train

Jun 03 2020 by Dmitry Ratner (Former Student with 5 - 10 Years Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

Des is a phenomenal teacher and mentor, who introduced me to the world of martial arts and created a unique training environment at his dojo. I trained with Sensei Des for several years through high school and college, and graded to a first-degree black belt under him. As a teacher, Des is exceptionally patient, attentive, and full of good-spirited humor. He cares about his students and is invested in their progress and success. He devotes plenty of one-on-one time, and tailors his teaching to each student's individual level. He encourages students to apply their full effort, and leads by example. As a mentor, he is a truly inspiring individual and a very high ranking master in his art. Despite his high rank, Des did not charge for karate lessons - he simply continued to train himself, and as a public service he also trained interested kids and teenagers. Coming from a low-income household, this was an exceptional gift and opened an opportunity that would not otherwise be available to me. The training was rigorous and emphasized a practical approach with kumite practice. There were times in my life when I had to draw upon these learned combat skills to defend myself against attackers.

I eventually moved out of California to pursue my medical career, and it has been almost a decade since I last trained with Sensei Des. I explored other dojos and martial arts styles including Judo and BJJ. I had many great experiences, but never found another dojo that provided the same wholesome sense of integrity or exceptional teaching as from Sensei Des.


(1 of 2 People found this review helpful)

Best Traditional Goju Ryu Karate-do on the Peninsula

Jul 23 2019 by Shihan Rob (Familiar with the School , No Personal Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

I have known Des Tuck for more than a decade and have been fortunate to develop a friendship where we exchange ideas and train together. I can therefore say, without reservation, that Des is one of the finest and most knowledgeable instructors of Gojuryu in Northern California. Des has been fortunate to train with some of the legends of Goju Ryu in Japan, Europe and the US, and he freely passes his wealth of knowledge and experience to his students. His students are a great reflection of Des, exhibiting good, solid Gojuryu karate and good-naturedness as people. I wholeheartedly recommend Des to anyone who is looking for authentic, traditional karate-do. Des is the real deal.

The bottom line: Were I not to have trained my own children myself and wanted a karate instructor for them, Des would be at the top of my list.

Roberto Alvelais, Shihan 5th Dan Hokushin Shito Ryu


(0 of 1 People found this review helpful)

Best Guju Ryu School in the silicon valley

Feb 04 2019 by rafi durst (Active Student with 3 - 5 Years Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

Moving from a different country I was looking for a Guju Ryu style karate dojo to continue my studies in the same school. I came across Seiwakai in palo alto and joined the club some three years ago even though it is a bit of a distance from my residence. I am so glad I made this decision. The real difference in this dojo is the instructor - Desmond Tuck. With his wealth of knowledge and experience you really learn and understand the fundamentals of the system and you improve continuously. The group itself is comprised of excellent and motivated students. This make the whole package very appealing and I highly recommend those who are interested in this style to join the group.


Great Traditional Karate

Oct 18 2018 by Zak (Active Student with 6 Months - 1 Year Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Very Good
Recommended:
Yes

This year, I decided I wanted to return to traditional karate and train in Okinawan Goju Ryu. Unfortunately, there are no such schools anywhere within 20 miles of me. So, with great trepidation, I decided to try Japanese/Seiwakai Goju Ryu with Tuck Sensei. You see, I am something of a karate bigot. It has been my observation (which is limited and, like all bigotry, probably completely wrong and misinformed), that as karate moved to mainland Japan and developed there, it lost its soul and exists as an empty shell, focused on forms competition and competitive sparring that bares zero resemblance to a true self defense or combat art.

In the first class, it became very clear to me that Sensei Tuck teaches karate as a martial art, not a sport. Much time is spent on drilling the basics and working on applying them. The beauty of this approach (at least to me) is that when practicing kata, the applications within the kata are much more readily apparent. So, the kata becomes alive and not just a series of rehearsed movements the student may or may not understand. It should also be mentioned that Tuck Sensei has been doing this a very long time and has probably forgotten more about karate than I will ever know.

Finally, and just as important, despite being a lawyer, Tuck Sensei is a really great guy (at least in the dojo. .. for all I know in his private life he tortures penguins) and an amazing teacher. Likewise, there are a great group of students to train with, all of whom are welcoming, friendly, and really help each other improve.


Excellent school for Martial Arts

Apr 19 2018 by David (Active Student with 3 - 6 Months Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

I previously trained in Martial Arts in another Dojo for Shodokan. After several year hiatus I decided to train again with Sensai in Gojuru. I have found the level of instruction to be much better than my previous Dojo. There are many subtle differences in motion between the two schools. Sensai rakes the time to explain and demonstrate different techniques which I find very helpful. I would recommend this school to anyone who wants to try martial arts and at any level of experience.


The highest quality traditional karate instruction in a relaxed atmosphere.

Jan 23 2018 by Jaime (Active Student with 3 - 6 Months Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

I’ve been told that there’s a saying in martial arts: “it’s better to spend seven years searching for a good teacher than to spend seven years learning from a bad one. ” This was my frame of mind when I decided to return to the martial arts after a break of several years. In my search for a place to train, I had visited a half dozen schools in the area by the time I visited Palo Alto Seiwakai. After watching a class, I knew right away that I had found my dojo.

Desmond Tuck Sensei’s teaching focuses on the basics of karate and building a way of moving that maximizes the body’s potential and can be easily applied in practical self-defense. He is incredibly insightful and perceptive as a teacher and has the ability to instantly see what each student needs to work on. Classes are relatively small so each student is given personal attention to help us improve. The other students in the class are friendly and there is a nice spirit of camaraderie.

In one of my first classes, Desmond Sensei told me “I can’t teach you karate, but I can give you the tools to teach karate to yourself”. That was the moment when I knew that I had met a true martial arts teacher. In today’s world where everyone wants instant gratification, I feel lucky to have found a teacher with the courage to admit that karate is the result of hard work over a long period of time under the watchful eye of a skilled teacher. Now that I’ve found the teacher, it’s up to me to put in the work.


Thank you from Vancouver, Des

Oct 20 2017 by Jan (Familiar with the School , No Personal Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

Des shihan is one of the highest ranked Goju Ryu masters around the world.

Excellent teacher, great and entertaining friend, superior human been.

His students are truly blessed to have him as a karate teacher!

Thank you from Vancouver, Des shihan!

Jan


A great teacher that encourages excellence!

Oct 20 2017 by Lee (Active Student with 3 - 6 Months Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

Desmond (the sensei/teacher of the class) leads by example in his attention to detail and work ethic. However, not all experts are good teachers. Not the case for Desmond. He gives the right mental training as well as physical. He is a caring and humorous teacher that holds a high standard for his students but also very respectful of each student's lifestyle/situation.

I'm just starting out in martial arts but feel very welcome and Desmond may have converted me to someone who can appreciate this training for the long-term!


Greatest thing I am doing in the Bay area

Jun 14 2017 by Sergey (Active Student with 3 - 6 Months Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

I have moved to the Bay area from Australia where I started learning karate-do using Go-Kan-Ryu system. I really regretted that I had to leave that school because of the relocation. After moving to the Bay Area I decided to find a good school. I was just lucky that the second school I tried was simply outstanding. First and foremost I felt that Sensei Desmond and other students welcomed me. From the lesson number one I got completely involved to it. Great spiral model of teaching - we learn new things, we work on improving known techniques, combinations. The pace is very active, you have to sweat a lot. Explanations are really clear with real life examples and scenarios. I realised that it was definitely an upgrade with few levels up for me after Australia and I started to attend it twice a week whereas I did karate once a week in Australia. After three months here I can see the progress, I enjoy the art of karate, katas. Great to do kumite with such experienced Sensei and other well trained students. I see the practical application of this learning. It is always a good workout. Great to talk to Sensei Desmond and other students after the class in a great facility of Oshman family centre.

At one stage I was considering moving to Fremont, but the crucial thing was to stay close to Palo Alto Seiwakai, so I eventually got something close to this dojo.

Going to this dojo is one of the greatest things have ever done.


One of the best Dojos to learn Karate

Nov 15 2016 by Hari (Active Student with 1 - 3 Years Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

I have been training at Palo Alto Seiwakai under Tuck Sensei for a over a year now. I was an absolute beginner when I first started & these are some major highlights of training with him -

1. Great practitioners don't always make Great teachers. Tuck Sensei is a true exception in this regard. He has taught people of all ages and levels over the years, and consequently has a highly tuned pedagogical approach. He understands how different bodies work & all the feedback you receive are very specific to you. He is patient & understanding in teaching to an adult beginner.

2. Learning a new art/skill could be intimidating. Tuck Sensei makes it a point to set a comfortable "learning environment", in which you could ask questions without being judged. This is something that I am immensely appreciative of as a beginner.

3. Each class is wholesome and it covers all aspects of Karate . The class starts with standing and moving basics, followed by Interactive practice, light sparring(Kumite) and Katas. However, no two classes are the same. You are constantly challenged with new lessons and combinations. Body Mechanics plays a key part in all of the lessons & the class is occasionally sprinkled with elements from Shotokan or kyokushin that do not conflict with Goju-ryu principles.

4. The attention to detail is terrific, you receive constant feedback about small but important details.

5. Application: There is sound emphasis on understanding the meaning and application of each move rather than mindless repetition.

He remains constantly updated with his annual trainings in Japan, and encourages students to participate in all national seminars. Lastly, Tuck Sensei has deep understanding of Karate and is passionate about imparting the knowledge to others. Despite being a very senior practitioner, he is down to earth, approachable & very dedicated. If you looking to learn Karate, this is one of the best Dojos in the US to learn Goju-ryu at.


Great dojo with excellent attention to details

Jan 19 2016 by NM (Active Student with 6 Months - 1 Year Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

This is a great dojo that will help refine your skills in the art of Goju Ryu karate. Des Sensei has a great eye for fine details. He really enforces that learning the basics is key to becoming a great practitioner. It is difficult to relearn a skill the right way, so Des Sensei makes an effort to teach his students correct stances and forms to ensure that when they advance, the katas are easier to perform.

Des Sensei is a very compassionate, caring and knowledgeable teacher. He has taught for many decades and is great at passing as much knowledge as he can to his students. He is very approachable and only wants the best for his students. In addition, he is very patient and works very hard with you. He knows that it takes time to get some things perfect and he reassures us that in time, one will retain his words. He is really passionate about teaching and wants everyone to continue moving forward and doing their best.

Classes are a mixture of basic stances, kata practice, and light sparring. Des Sensei makes a point to use your body correctly so that you can use it for a long time. There aren't any moves or exercises that will leave you wondering if you are hurting yourself in the long run.

If you are a stickler for details, very eager and a disciplined student, this dojo is the right place for you. Des Sensei will leave you feeling more confident about your form and ability to continue training in Goju Ryu karate.


(2 of 2 People found this review helpful)

Dojo develops deep understanding of Goju Ryu

Jul 01 2015 by Rebecca K. (Active Student with 1 - 3 Months Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

Palo Alto Gojuryu Karatedo Seiwakai is a truly great place to learn Karate and develop deep understanding of techniques and applications. Desmond (formally Tuck Shihan) REALLY knows his stuff as a martial artist and educator. The class also has a senior student of 20+ years who attends regularly and is a great teacher. The result is a class culture in which advanced practitioners pass on what they have learned over several decades and all are welcome. Classes are fresh and interesting, combining kata practice, interactive drills, and light sparring, and they are interconnected. I can't say enough good things about this dojo. I've been a students of many arts in many places over many years and this one of the best dojo I have seen.


(2 of 3 People found this review helpful)

Authentic and high quality Goju ryu karate

Feb 03 2015 by Kyle (Active Student with 3 - 5 Years Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

I've trained in Goju ryu karate for many years and have always been fortunate to have top quality instructors. Palo Alto seiwakai is no exception. They don't come much more experienced and authentic than Tuck Sensei. He is passionate about the style and does a great job imparting his knowledge on beginners and experts alike. Classes very nicely balance conditioning, kata, and practice sparring to keep practitioners in shape and always improving their skills. If you're looking for high quality karate, Palo Alto Seiwakai is an excellent choice.


(2 of 3 People found this review helpful)

A traditional high quality dojo to train at. The best around the Bay Area!

Jan 06 2015 by S. Mandal (Active Student with 3 - 5 Years Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

I have known Sensei Desmond for more than a decade and currently train with him. After moving up from Los Angeles and trying various dojos in the Bay Area I make time to drive about 2 hours to train with him. He embraces the essence of karatedo, and that is something I have not been able to find at other dojos. Sensei Desmond helps me with small tweaks that have had a profound influence in my karate. I have been training for over 25 years and I highly recommend this dojo to anyone who wants to train in traditional karate.


(1 of 1 People found this review helpful)

Exceptional Teaching and Overall Dojo Quality

Dec 05 2014 by sae (Active Student with 3 - 6 Months Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

Des Sensei is an exceptional instructor and martial artist. One of the highest-ranking Goju-Ryu instructors around and within the International SeiwaKai Goju-Ryu Karate Association, Des teaches holisticallly, with great attention to detail and proper conditioning in the traditional Japanese way. As a martial artist with fifteen years of experience, I train at this dojo whenever I am in the Bay Area and would highly recommend it to any martial artist seeking quality training and instruction in traditional Goju-Ryu karate.


(1 of 1 People found this review helpful)

This School & This Instructor Are The Bay Area's Best!

Nov 22 2014 by -pdt (Familiar with the School , No Personal Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

I have had the honor of training at this school many times and with this instructor for several years. Des Tuck Sensei is one of the foremost authorities (internationally) in the art of Gojuryu Karatedo. His teaching style is perceptive (on his part) as well as easy for the student to understand. His attention to detail is unsurpassed. Students attending his classes will learn self-defense in a manner that is applicable to modern-life situations rather than those taught from a sport-oriented curriculum. Additionally, they will learn valuable character-building virtues, that are only taught by an instructor of traditional Japanese Budo. His passion for promoting the traditional Karatedo lifestyle is second to none. The school's central bay area location is convenient for all living in that area. I heartily recommend this school to all who have previous training and to all who are considering beginning training.


(1 of 1 People found this review helpful)

Great instruction, very nice facility

Nov 21 2014 by tal (Active Student with 3 - 5 Years Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

Great instruction. this instruction is self defense oriented. it is not point sparring. Not Olympic style. Not teaching for tournament.

The warm ups and exercises are a very good workout.

There is as little or as much contact to the body as you would like, we are all working professionals and have to use our brains to make a living.


(1 of 1 People found this review helpful)

Great and authentic Gojyu-ryu Karate

Nov 21 2014 by M (Active Student with 1 - 3 Months Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

Des sensei is a more than 40 years of experienced Karate master and his technique and enthusiasm are second to none. I know what it is like authentic Japanese Karate-do when I lived in Japan and I am particular about it. Nevertheless, I can assure Des sensei offers real Karate lesson.


(1 of 2 People found this review helpful)

Very nice school! Very convenient location, and safe area.

Nov 21 2014 by S Luis (Active Student with 1 - 3 Months Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Excellent
Other aspects:
Excellent
Recommended:
Yes

I highly recommend Palo Alto Gojuryu Karatedo Seiwakai.

The instructor Mr. Tuck is very patient with his teachings. He really explains things well.

I really enjoy going to class, time really goes fast in class.

There are all levels of skill in this class. It makes it very easy to train.

The building is very nice. There is also a fitness center and nice locker rooms if needed.

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