When the Marcus Garvey Karate Club was established in 1986, the desire was to train students to approach karate as a total way of life and not as a sport or mere physical activity. We further believed that our students should be taught to draw strength and inspiration from the unique experiences, challenges and accomplishments of African Americans and to embrace positive values and behaviors.
When deciding who the karate club would be named after, there were many heroes and heroines from the African American experience from which to choose. We were inspired by the work of Marcus Garvey because of his emphasis on self-help, reconnecting with the African continent and world citizenship. So we took his early 20th century concepts and reinterpreted them for the 21st century. For example, his:
Self-help philosophy continues to encourage African Americans to develop and support life styles, businesses and services that respect, preserve and strengthen family and community life.
“Back to Africa” movement invites African Americans to continue making significant contributions to the development of world civilization as did the ancient inhabitants of Africa and to advocate for U.S. investments in Sub-Saharan Africa that are beneficial to the U.S., the African continent, its people and descendants here in the U.S.
International perspective invites African Americans to conduct business as “world citizens” working constantly on behalf of all human beings to: improve the quality of life; end all forms of human oppression; respect and celebrate racial/ethnic and cultural differences; and protect and preserve the environment.
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The Marcus Garvey Karate Club is an official member of the World Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do Association (WMKA).