Kids Karate


With 37 years of traditional Japanese karate study and instruction, Sensei John “Jess” Jessum, is bringing this ancient art to the Highlands in partnership with Pure 8 Hot Yoga. A 6th degree black belt, Sensei Jessum studied 7 years in Japan under the leading Karate Masters and has a direct link to the founder of Shito-ryu , Kenwa Mabuni. Join Sensei Jessum for weekly karate classes to learn compassion, strength and discipline along side of balance, flexibility and power!

Karate FAQ

Q: What is the style of Karate being taught at Pure 8?
A: The style of karate is Shito-Ryu, one of the four main styles coming out of Japan. This style of karate was founded by Kenwa Mabuni in the early 1920’s. John “jess” Jessum was awarded the rank sixth degree black belt by the founders son, Kenzo Mabuni and given the designation of “Shihan,” which means “teacher of teachers.”

Q: What is the cost?
A: Depending on the option chosen, classes run at $80 a month for once a week and $120 for children seven years and older who opt for twice a week.

Q: When are the classes and what time?
A: Classes are held Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:20.

Q: What experience does John Jessum have?
A: Jess has practiced and taught karate for over 37 years, seven of which were in Japan and he was sent specifically to Washington State in 1986 by Japanese Karate Master Teruo Hayashi to teach karate here. Jess finished in the top 8 in a Las Vegas open tournament and won the Washington State kumite black belt division in 1988. He placed in both kumite and forms in multiple tournaments both in the States and Japan. He has led his students to national medals in 1987, 1988 and 1989.

Q: Is karate violent? Is there risk of injury? What are the benefits?
A: Jess teaches karate as a self-realization art, which comes with numerous benefits. Increased strength, balance, posture, confidence and concentration are just a few . The skills learned in karate will spill into every area of your child’s life affecting positively the way they interact with others, family and society. While one can never reduce the risk of injury to zero, classes are highly disciplined and controlled with injury rare. Like any physical exercise, strained muscles and some soreness may be expected in the early going. Karate is not violent and the way of karate is always resolution of problems without force. The use of karate is reserved for life threatening situations only and the lesson of the skills NEVER being used except as a last resort are continually kept in the forefront.

Q: Are there contracts? Additional fees we need to be aware of? How about equipment?
A: While I understand some studios charge a lot for martial arts lessons with the addition of monies needed for testing fees and the like, at Pure 8 we aim to keep it simple and affordable. The only “equipment” needed is a karate uniform called a “gi” and at some point fist protectors. Both of these items I like to have the students earn. Both the gi and fist protectors are relatively inexpensive. Testing fees will be kept VERY low.

Q: When can my child achieve a color belt?
A: This is a standard question often asked by students and parents alike. I like to slow this process down. While a belt signifying achievement is something to work for and be proud of, I do not want the emphasis to move to an “external.” There are many people in our area who have black belts who would have never achieved that ranking had they attended classes in Japan. It’s not the color surrounding your waist that determines skill, it is the time and effort put in that makes the difference.

Q: What happens when my child tires of karate?
A: In the many years I have been instructing, this is very typical. Stage one, your child or children are EXTREMELY excited! Karate IS fun and we work hard…but a point will come when your child gets restless and the realization that material is repetitive and challenging. It is critical, and I cannot emphasize this enough, that you work with and encourage your child to make it over that hump. Explain this is a commitment and help your child see through the invariable rough spots. The rewards are WELL worth it, I promise! My first karate teacher whom I maintain a close relationship to even today would say, “If it were easy, everyone would have a black belt.” Unfortunately, many schools do exactly that…make it easy and award black belts at incredibly high dollar amounts. We are going to avoid that at Pure8.

Q: If I have concerns or questions, are you available to talk outside of class times?
A: Absolutely! Feel free to call me anytime! My number is 206-334-8464 and you can e mail questions to: