Philadelphia's First Karate School



On Sunday, April 15, 2007, amid a driving rainstorm, Flournoy, Sensei lead a four person contingent from Phoenixville to Bethlehem, PA for the 10th Annual Alliance of Shoto Karate-do Invitational Tournament. It marked the first time that the Shuto Karate Club was represented in a tournament in over thirty years. Rabouin was one of the two Guests of Honor at the tournament. He was overwhelmed with pride when Flournoy, sensei won first place in black belt weapons competition with a series of iaido kata, and first place in black belt kata. Peggy Sue Keller won first place in the adult intermediate ranks kata and Ed Wimble won second place in the same division.

[2007] Peggy Sue & Ed
[2007] Flournoy, Sensei

Karate turns 50 in Philadelphia

From as far away as Montenegro, martial arts masters gathered in North-East Philadelphia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Philadelphia area’s first karate school.

On the afternoon of Sunday, November 21, 2010 fifty martial artists met for dinner at Tiffany’s Restaurant, 9010 Roosevelt Blvd. to celebrate Philadelphia area karate’s 50th birthday.

Overshadowing the event was the fact that 84 year old Louis Rabouin had to be rushed to Aria Frankford Hospital early Sunday morning. However, concerned that his guests enjoy the celebration, Rabouin, sensei issued an uplifting recorded message from his hospital bed to the attendees. In a clear, strong voice he told them to never stop their martial arts training because it builds people strong in body and mind.


Three students from the original Shuto Club attended. Larry L. Flournoy (8th degree black belt) current chief instructor for the Shuto Karate Clubs; Norman Smith (Grand Master) Northern Shaolin Academy, Audubon, PA; and Andrew Sedlack (2kyu karate) who had to stop training because of roller skating accident in 1969.

Among the other notable attendees were: C. Bruce Heilman (9th dan) Okinawa Kenpo Karate and Kobudo, Reading, PA; Jamal El (Tien Shan Pai) House of Martial Balance, Phila., PA; Floyd Smith (4th dan student of Kazuo Sakura), one of the first to bring Wado-Ryu karate to America; Robert Trotta (7th dan) Vice-President of the American Self Defense Karate Association. Khalid C. Newton (8th dan Seito Goju-Ryu karate-Do) House of Martial Balance, Phila.; Glenn Daly (5th dan Tae Kwon Do) Premiere Martial Arts, Plymouth Twp., PA; Bejar Fazaliu (5th dan Shotokan karate) Traditional Shotokan Karate Do Center; Gregory Goodwin (5th dan Wado Ryu karate); Angel Rosario (3rd dan Shotokan karate) Bushikatagi Dojo, Easton, PA.; Elisa Hendry (3rd dan, Shotokan Karate) Sound Beach, NY; Eron Ahmeti (4th dan, Shotokan Karate)

Seated: Norman Smith, Larry Flournoy, Robert Trotta Standing: C. Bruce Heilman, Bejar Fazliu, Jamal El, Khalid Newton, Gregory Goodwin, Glenn Daly, Floyd Smith, Angle Rosario, Elisa Hendry

On August 15, 2011 Louis Rabouin Sensei passed away quietly in his sleep. But, the Shuto Karate Club lives on ...

Hoping that you will join us and be a part of the next 50 years of our story.

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