Our Instructors

All of our Downingtown karate instructors have graduated from or are enrolled in the ISKF instructor training program, which entails monthly classes with Master Okazaki, essay requirements, and exams.
The standards of instruction and level of competency found throughout the ISKF and JKA are widely known in the martial arts world. In compliance with these standards, all of the CCSKC instructors have either completed or are in the process of completing the very stringent instructors training program. This program includes years of special instructor training classes, nearly 50 research papers on subjects like biomechanics, first aid, psychology, and of course, technical research. Required seminars and demonstrations, written and oral exams from Shotokan masters from around the world are also part of the instructors training program.
We try to adhere to the traditional ways of teaching martial arts. Within this framework, we attempt to develop the philosophical as well as the physical aspects of our students. Therefore, we discourage children to begin before the age of six, so that they are more capable of understanding all that is available to them. This is guideline, not a rule.

Because of the high quality of instructor training and the years of dedication by each individual, we feel that our instruction is exceptional.

7th Dan Downingtown Karate Instructor

Sensei Bob Hoffman, Chief Instructor, 8th Dan

Has trained under Okazaki Sensei (10th dan and chief instructor of the ISKF) since 1970. He also has had the good fortune to train under some of the best Shotokan Masters in the world: Masters Nakayama, Asai, and Kanazawa from Japan, Enoeda from England, Ochi from Germany, Miura from Italy, and Nishiyama and Yaguchi from the US, to name a few. All have given him great experience and an in-depth view of Shotokan Karate over the past 40 years.

Sensei Hoffman has owned and operated CCSKC since its beginning as Downingtown Shotokan Karate Club 30 years ago.

He is well respected throughout the ISKF as an experienced instructor and judge, and as a dedicated karate-ka.

He graduated from the JKA/ISKF instructors program 2000, and has earned the top level instructors and judges rank.

Sensei Todd Kentzel, 6th Dan

Sensei Todd began training in 1983. He graduated the JKA/ISKF Instructor’s Program in 2012.

He is an active contributor to both CCSKC and the ISKF as an instructor and judge, as well as having dedicated many years to his personal training by attending camps and competing as a member of the East Coast Team.

6th Dan Downingtown Karate Instructor
6th Dan Downingtown Karate Instructor

Sensei Karen Caporale, 6th Dan

Sensei Karen’s (or Caporale’s) martial arts training spans nearly her entire life.

She came to Chester County Shotokan in the early 80’s with previous experience and has held nearly all of theofficer positions during the club’s forming years.  Participating in many tournaments and attending numerous camps and seminars, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the teaching staff.

Sensei Kristen Hoffman, 5th Dan

Sensei Kristen began training in 1989 and joined the instructors program in 2006. She was a member of both the US Kata and Kumite Team for many years. Her dedication earned her the title of US Female Kata Champion for three consecutive years. She has been fortunate enough to train under the many great Shotokan Masters that have provided her with the knowledge she now offers to the students.
5th Dan Downingtown Karate Instructor
5th Dan Downingtown Karate Instructor

Sensei Manohar Ballakur, 5th Dan

Sensei Manohar began his training with CCSKC in 1999. His etiquette and training commitment is that of a true karate-ka. He shares the technical expertise he has gained through extensive training, tournaments and camps with his students. He joined the instructor trainee program in 2016.

Sensei Justin Hartz, 3rd Dan

Sensei Justin began his training in 2002.  He works with our youth motivating them through challenging workouts and positive reinforcement.  He trains hard and is committed to promoting the same hard work from our junior students. He joined the Instructor Trainee program in 2016
5th Dan Downingtown Karate Instructor