REDLANDS - Children looking to master traditional Okinawa martial arts can now turn to Redlands Karate, a new dojo off Alabama Street dedicated to the discipline.

Owned and operated by Running Springs resident James Longley, Redlands Karate opened in October with the goal of establishing itself as a premier center to learn the art and creating a child-friendly environment in the city.

Longley, who has a business degree, studied karate when he was a kid and later quit. But when his son Kristian turned 11, Longley signed him up to practice the sport and decided to join his son.

"It was the best thing for me because it brought us a lot closer," Longley said, adding that his mom, Judy, also studied karate with the duo at the age of 65.

"I think (karate) is a self-challenging activity. You don't compare yourself to what the other kids are doing, but you build on what you did the last time," he said.

The Okinawa style of karate emphasizes traditional practices, Longley said.

A lot of people, he continued, Americanize their style for competitions and to win larger trophies.

"But ours is really the journey of self-development rather than beating someone in the competition," he said. "The style is developed for that purpose and self- defense. That comes in that package, and we want to stay true to our roots."

The decision to open his dojo in Redlands was an easy one for Longley. He has always admired the atmosphere and what the city has to offer, he said.

"We love Redlands, and we think it's a beautiful community," he said. "We had always come to Market Night and would love to have a house and live here one day when I can afford it."

Longley, along with Kristian and his partner, Patricia Perry, teach classes Monday through Thursday from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

The cost is $100 a month for two classes each week.

Clients who pay for three months up-front will get free uniforms.

Redlands Karate has 25 students, but he is always looking to add more.

"I want to be involved in the community and be a part of building a better future (with my students). I think martial arts creates and volunteers a need to help build a good life," he said.

"(Redlands Karate) is a place where kids can go, that they can trust. Schools are overcrowded and kids are often left at home. Here, they'll meet somebody that's there to help pick up the slack and give them some guidance to live a good life and be a good person."

Redlands Karate is at 380 Alabama St., Suite E.


Reach Kristina via email, or call her at 909-793-3221, or find her on Twitter @TheFactsKris.