About Us

About Us

About Our School

We use the platform of Shotokan Karate to train leaders of the future who will solve the world’s problems.

We awaken the extraordinary leader in you. The leader who can dream, think, tell his story and lead. Historically martial artists have been called upon to defend the communities they lived in during times of war and lead in times of peace. The defensive training systems were developed long ago and available to all, but leadership training was provided to only a select few. In our proprietary Black Belt Shoka Leader Program adults and children learn not only how to defend themselves but also how to lead. We are a powerhouse of Shotokan Karate Martial Arts Leadership throughout the world. This leadership program was developed under the guidance of Marty Callahan, in Santa Rosa, California to be used worldwide.

Marty Callahan

Chief Instructor

Marty Callahan has spent his life understanding and improving the lives of students both young and old. His passion led to the founding of the Shotokan Karate Leadership School® in Santa Rosa, CA in 1981 with a dream to awaken the extraordinary leader in his students. Having inspired, taught, coached, supported and trained over 15,000 students in 40,000 classes in Santa Rosa, Marty has become Sonoma County’s preeminent martial arts leadership instructor. His students, hundreds of whom have gone on to become leaders in their chosen fields, appreciate his engaging, student-centered approach to teaching and they believe you will too. He is an 8th Degree Black Belt and a graduate of the prestigious Japan Karate Association Instructor Training Program.

Why Choose Shotokan Karate Leadership School®?

Unshakeable Confidence

CONFIDENCE is the BELIEF you have in yourself that you CAN DO something. LACK OF CONFIDENCE is the FEAR that you CAN’T DO it. Your child will develop ordinary confidence as they practice something their learning. But to develop UNSHAKEABLE CONFIDENCE they must OVERCOME THEIR FEARS.

This is where SHOTOKAN KARATE LEADERSHIP SCHOOL comes in. There’s nothing better you can give your child than the gift of UNSHAKEABLE CONFIDENCE.

Laser Sharp Focus

If your child can’t FOCUS they CAN’T LEARN. And if they can’t learn they’ll fall behind in school and that can lead to giving up. With all the distractions kids have today this is fast becoming a SERIOUS PROBLEM.

This is where SHOTOKAN KARATE LEADERSHIP SCHOOL comes in. As your child gains confidence addressing mock life and death experiences their focus will be honed to a laser sharpness. With this laser sharpness distractions will be a thing of the past.

Give your child the gift of Laser Sharp Focus.

happy parent with child


  • People have been telling us how amazed they are with the difference they see in Jordan since he started taking karate at Shotokan Karate Leadership School. Before he used to be quiet and hidden, he kept to himself and now he's a chatter monster! It's unbelievable; he's so much more confident and sure of himself. We are so happy, thank you so much, Sensei Callahan.

  • It all started when our concern was the lack of physical exercise our child might have. So when we met Sensei Callahan to talk about goals, we simply hoped that our child would spend some time here doing physical exercise.
    Then in the past almost four years, we’ve witnessed the dramatic progress and achievements our kid has been making, not only in Karate techniques, but in dedication, confidence, communication, teamwork, courage, courtesy, and leadership skills, just name a few.
    A great example is leadership skills. our child used to be a quiet girl. But through karate practice, leadership training and instructor program, she becomes assistant instructor, she demonstrates the ability to lead and to teach, and can confidently give orders and train lower level students.
    In April 2021, she made black belt achievement, now we are very confident that our child will continuously make great progress. We sincerely thank Sensei Callahan and his staff, for excellent guidance, training, and support!

  • Dear Shotokan Families,
    Although many of you do not know my face, you may know my name and voice.
    For just over a year now, I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to have been brought onto the SKLS team during one of the most difficult times our city, nation, and world has faced. Sensei Callahan took me on and employed me with one goal for the school, and that is to see it survive this pandemic. His drive to continue to be a place where children can grow in strength of character and become prepared to face the new world we seemed to have been given, with leadership, integrity, and a leader’s voice, has never wavered.
    Being a vested part of what happens behind the scenes at the school has been very eye opening. The daily grit, effort, devotion, and sacrifice that was and is shown by Sensei, and the servitude of Billy, Sam, and Josh during this time, were evidence of the care for humanity we strive to exemplify in our school.
    They never gave up on the school, they never gave up on you, and during my short time here, neither did I.
    If this year has taught us anything, it’s that the only thing in life that is always the same is that everything always changes. Which leads me to the purpose behind this letter.
    With a humble and grateful heart, my family and I have been given the incredible opportunity to own a business in the field of expertise my husband has been gifted. While our family leaving the school is necessary for the future success of this new journey in our lives, it is with a heavy heart that we must say good-bye. Shotokan Karate Leadership School will always hold a special place in our hearts, as we witnessed our three teenagers train here for more than two years. Being some of the oldest on the floor with nary a martial arts skill initially, they were welcomed, encouraged, and when necessary, appropriately pushed to stretch beyond their comfort zones and rise to the caliber their senseis saw in them. In turn, they’ve had the opportunity to help instruct many of your children and I will remember fondly witnessing them grow into this special and coveted role as assistant instructors.
    It is my hope that each of your children find within themselves their own gift to offer the world as they strive to find what that is, barefoot on the mat, with joy and determination.
    We know we will hear much of what Shotokan Karate Leadership School will continue to do in the community and will always feel blessed that we held a small part of that legacy.
    Our family’s last day is July 25th. I look forward to serving you all until then.
    Sincerest Regards,
    Caitlin Clary (Roger, Chase, Aislinn, and Brooklyn)
    Communications Director
    Shotokan Karate Leadership School

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