The Rancho Bernardo Karate Center was established in 1997 and is a proud member of the International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-do Federation (IOGKF), an organization created by the world-renowned Master Morio Higaonna. The IOGKF teaches traditional Okinawan karate and allows students the opportunity to travel and train among a family of dojos all over the world!
Upon earning their first belt, students are presented with a badge of the dojo crest to be worn on the left side of one’s gi (uniform) top. The crest is the symbol of the IOGKF and represents a high set of international standards which the bearer ought to take pride in and uphold.
Our dojo offers classes for both children and adults in a friendly and supportive environment. We place a strong emphasis on teaching children core values that will help them succeed in life, encouraging the philosophy of “serious training for fun.” Though we use the belt system, we understand that a belt only signifies the amount of time a person has been training. Ability and skill, on the other hand, must realistically be a measure of the amount of dedication a person puts into their studies. What you put into your training is truly what you get back.
Sensei Steve Duz
The RB Karate Center has been under the instruction of Sensei Steve Duz since 2000. All classes are taught and/or supervised by him.
Sensei Steve holds a 5th degree black belt in the IOGKF. His training began in 1980 while he was a student at Michigan State University. Relocating to San Diego in 1991, he continued to train under Sensei Miko Peled, who was the USA Chief Instructor at the time. Apart from karate, Sensei Steve has a passion for animals. He spends his free time at his house in Fallbrook with his 3 dogs, 4 cats, and many birds.
A few words from Sensei Steve:
Over the last 30 years, I have had the opportunity to train with many world famous instructors from different martial arts styles. I have taken classes in Aikido, Jiu-Jitsu, Shotokan, Kung Fu, Wushu, Judo, and Okinawan weapons. I have chosen to keep my core training in Goju-Ryu because it is truly a very versatile style that already integrates elements of all of the above styles. The concept of “Jack of all trades, master of none” often becomes a reality when instructors choose to mix their martial arts styles, watering them down. I truly believe Goju-Ryu (and the IOGKF in particular) encompasses so many aspects of martial arts that my time is best spent deeply studying only this one style. I have many friends in other styles, however, and love training with them. In fact, I believe that it helps me to better understand Goju-Ryu in doing so.
I have competed in tournaments in Canada, Mexico, China, Okinawa and many cities throughout the USA. In 1993 I was honored to be part of a small group to travel to China with Sensei Higaonna for three weeks. We participated in a tournament and demonstrations at the tenth annual Wushu convention in Fuzhou. We also traveled the country, visiting many temples including a Shoalin temple, where we were treated to many fantastic Shoalin and Wushu demonstrations. Then in 1995 I was one of seven participants, invited by Sensei Higaonna, to be part of the USA team at the world tournament in Okinawa.
I grew up in Rochester, Michigan, but martial arts training was not available to me until I went to college at Michigan State University. I enjoyed a fantastic youth. I have nine brothers and sisters and we spent most of our playtime outdoors. We were adventuresome and maybe a little wild. My parents, however, were nurturing and held us to high expectations. I began working at the age of twelve, doing farm work and odd jobs. By fifteen I was balancing a full-time job, good grades, and rigorous workouts with the Rochester High School Marine Fitness Team, coached by former Green Beret, Max Hasse. The workouts took place before school and during our fourth period. At year-end, the final 6-man team was chosen to compete in the national finals held in Washington, DC. That was my first airplane trip, ultimately leading me to a life filled with adventure.
At the age of 30, I moved to San Diego and began my Goju-Ryu training with Sensei Peled. The workouts were 2-3 hours long, usually 4-5 days a week. We had a great core of very dedicated students, along with many great role models. I was daily taught valuable skills. It was then that I discovered this was to be my path. It was so great to be with so many others that were striving to perfect their karate and personal character. As a result, I dedicated myself to the art and over the years, I have watched karate transform the lives of both adults and children countless times.