Welcome to Rivonia Karate

Karate For The Whole Family


Rivonia Budo Karate Academy believes that a true karate-ka is a holistic being and aims to maximise the physical, cognitive, emotional value-system and life-skills of our member

The academy was founded in 2015 and is run by instructor Lars Niehaus (5th Dan). Our dojo is based in Johannesburg, South Africa at the Rivonia Recreation Club in Paulshof.

Our Sevices

Click on an icon below for the time of our next class.

Children’s Karate

Fitness fun and discipline all in one class. We  teach confidence, concentration and responsibility.

Youth Karate

Start your child on their greatest journey where success is certain.

Adult Karate

Where Fitness, Fun and Focus are all part of you enjoying the life you deserve.

Contact Us

email: lars@rivoniakarate.co.za

“Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better.”


Friends of Rivonia Budo Karate


Gichin  Funakoshi  is  known  as  the  person  who  introduced  Karate  to  Japan  and  to  the  World.  He  was  born  in  1868  in 

Naha  City , Okinawa.  He  was  the  son of a Samurai  who  started  training  in  the  Martial  Arts  as  a  young  man  to  help  overcome  his  frailness.

In  1930 , Funakoshi introduced the word ‘Kara’, meaning ‘Empty’ thereafter he  added  ‘do’ meaning  ‘The hand’ and  completed the name  with  ‘do’, meaning ‘Way’. Thus  the  name “Karate-do” was  born, and  means ‘ Empty  Hand  Way’.

Funakoshi  was  a school teacher, and  poet who  introduced Karate  to  the  Okinawan  Public  School  System.  Thereafter  the Japanese  Ministry  of  Education  held  a  Martial  Arts  demonstration  in  Tokyo , where  Funakoshi  was  asked  to   introduce  Karate  to  Japan. Funakoshi  had  made  such  a  powerful  impact  that  he  never  returned  to  Okinawa.  He  was  asked  to  further  demonstrate  and  teach  this  art. 

Eventually  Funakoshi  had  enough  students  in  Japan  to  open  his  own  Dojo, which  was  called  “Shotokan” which  was also  Funakoshi’s  pen  name,  which  he  used  when  signing  poems.

His  pen name “Shoto” literally  means “pine waves”, and today is synonymous with  the  tiger  symbol and  the  Shotokan  Karate-do. The  tiger  which  is  commonly  used  symbol  for  Shotokan  Karate  is  a  Traditional  Chinese  sign  which  implies  the  ‘tiger  never  sleeps’; and  symbolises  it’s keen  alertness  of  a  wakeful  tiger  as  well  as  the  peaceful  mind  of  which  Gichin  Funakoshi  experienced  when  he  was  a young  man  walking  in  the  solitude  of  Mount  Torao, a narrow heavily  wooded  mountain  which  surrounded  his  home  town  of  Shuri. The  mountain  which  when  viewed  from  a  distance resembles a  tiger’s  tail  and  the name Torao in  fact  means  ‘tiger’s tail’. Funakoshi  also  spoke of  the  cool  breezes which  blew  amongst  the  pine and  made  the  trees  whisper  like  waves  breaking  on  a  shore which  he  gained  inspiration  from  and  of  which  he  chose  his  pen  name – ‘Shoto” – pine waves. 

In   1955  Funakoshi  established  the  Japanese  Karate  Association, which  he  served  as  Chairman  until  his  death  in  1957.

Masatoshi  Nakayama, who  was  born  in  1913  in  Yamaguchi  Prefecture, was  one  of  Funakoshi’s  greatest  dedicated  students, and  helped him  develop the  Japanese  Karate  Association where  he  served  as  Chief  Instructor from  1955  until  his  death  in  1987.

Since  then  his  students  have  continued  his  spirit  and  teachings  in  Shotokan  Karate. Today  there  are  four  main  types  of  Karate  in  Japan ; Shotokan ; Goju – ryu ; Shito – ryu and  Wado – ryu , each  with  their  own  styles  and  techniques.

Today  karate  is  a  universal  sport  which  anyone can  begin  and  practice, including  the  physically  challenged  individual, as  it  also  aids  character  development.

“The mystery existing between an open moment and a person’s preparedness reveals the truth.”
― Masatoshi Nakayama