Listen to what our students and parents (and some grandparents) have to say:

"….. Master Rifkin’s teaching does not only pertain to karate classes and training only! In order to succeed one must apply the rules in every day life! This will make you not only a comprehensively physically strong person, but also mentally. One must conquer himself first, conquer his/her mind and then the physical conquest will become possible. Such conquest must first target the weaknesses of the mind, doubts and fears. One step toward this goal is when you step on the karate floor for the first time. We all have seen the difference. Being a positive psychologist and employing many rules in every day life, I nevertheless needed to hear that support, enthusiasm and encouragement from someone else. And this person was and undoubtfully is Master Rifkin."
-Yana (2014)

"It's always nice you see you come back. You bring some kind of indescribable magic when you come back to crazy old California. We all miss you here. Thank you for all the love and support that you have given since I started. I never thought I would be good at martial arts and now I see how far I have come I am grateful I have never given up even when I get frustrated."
-Rachel S.(Sept.'13)

"I shopped around before landing at RPKC. Master Rifkin's attention to MY every detail are what sets him apart from other schools in town - there is zero comparison - all while making me feel 100% comfortable. If you just want to sweat, I'd say get a gym membership. If you want self-defense, exercise and self-discipline, you've found the right place!"
-J. Conroy (August '13)

"Not one day goes that I don't smile knowing that my granddaughter is on you page with you like this. You are great Master Rifkin........ I love her more then life and I am so glad that you are teaching her to protect herself, I always want her safe and you (bless you) are making that happen. Not always is mommy, uncle mike or grandma going to be there to protect her, but her karate will."
-Teresa M. (June '13)

"In nearly every educational experience I have witnessed as my child has grown from kindergarten to teen, with the definite exception of your martial arts program, my child and his peers in public school, community services and even enrichment programs have not only NOT been encouraged to achieve personal greatness, they have been impressed with mediocrity -- even by their teachers --and oftentimes halted at that point from going too much further, presumably to prevent others for whom medocrity is the norm, from feeling less than equal. Lowest common denominator thinking is the death of excellence. I enrolled my boy in your school because of its standards of excellence. He stays there because of the availability to aim even higher."
-Shawna (2013)

"Master Rifkin, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you what a great joy it is watching (my son) begin Karate as your student. You have shown a great deal of patience and commitment in training younger students - Thanks! He seems to really be progressing and what you say sticks with him. I especially enjoyed the "simon says" training tonight. Again, thanks for your commitment, time, and approach to training." -D.W.(2013)

"One of the most inspirational places I have ever been, highly motivating and excellence all around!" - Jennifer (2013)

"If there is anyone in the Columbia area that is interested starting Martial Arts training ....I have been training there for the last month and Master Rifkin is the real deal!" -Ronnie (2013)

"I have been vainly searching for a good karate instructor in columbia for a long time. I'm Incredibly happy Master Rifkin moved to this area. One of the first keys in professional martial arts is integrity. JD Rifkin has it in his possession. He is a man who has attained mastery of this art and reveals it in his every action." -Yana (2013)

"I understand that obtaining my Black Belt is a great accomplishment, but it is merely another step in my experience in martial arts. I will continue to learn and to always try to better myself, as well as help others. I have finally found something that I am truly passionate about" -Mr. Jonah Green (Black Belt 2013)

"My son has been training for a couple of years now and started with RPKC in Columbia since its opening this spring. I could not express how pleased we are with the experience. the training and instruction is first class, and we feel lucky to have RPKC in the Columbia area. A completely new level of martial arts training and all around good people, would strongly recomend to anyone."- Parker C. (2012)

"JD Rifkin just opened a new gym in Columbia, Mo. and it is as professional as it gets. My family and I have been involved in TKD for over twenty years with another organization. It was time to find a new gym and I joined Rifkin Professional after a private lesson with Master Rifkin. We are completely impressed. Rifkin is a complete martial artist with an exceptional skill-set. He is on the mats every day and teaches his own classes, beginner through advanced - he is an excellent instructor. Because of Rifkin's own athletic abilities and martial arts knowledge, this gym offers the "next-level" experience. You will be challenged regardless of your current skills. If you are looking for the first time as a beginning student or shopping around for a new gym, Rifkin is a great choice." -D.B.(2012)

"This is the first martial arts center I've been to in quite some time that doesn't pride itself in how many black belts they turn out in a given period of time, but are rather interested in the quality of the students and material covered. RPKC is definitely not a 'pay money for your belt' kind of school; you pay for your belt with hard work and dedication. Master Rifkin and his training staff are very knowledgable in all that they teach, and being a practitioner of martial arts for most of my life, I feel very comfortable in recommending RPKC as a school to give a look at." (2012)

"My 8 year old son has been going to Rifkin Karate Center for the last couple of years. We are very happy with the professionalism and positive values Master Rifkin provides in training his students.

What I like the most about Rifkin Karate Center among other things is that students have to really earn their belts unlike the other karate centers where belts are easily attainable.

The belt exam is all one has to watch to see the seriousness and professionalism of this center. This was the first and last place I checked out when I was looking for Karate for my son and feel very fortunate to have found Master Rifkin to train my son." - Mita N. (2010)

"This is one of the best schools around if you are interested in learning martial arts. Whether you are wanting to get fit or just learn for self defense, you cannot find a better place than Rifkin Professional Karate.

I have been with the studio for a little over 5 years and continue to find the classes challenging and fun. The teachers are knowledgeable, patient and always encourage you to do your best. The students are also very supportive and there is always someone to ask for help or clarification on a technique. I myself have lost 30 lbs since starting at this school and feel like a new person.

This is so much more than a just a gym membership. It is truly an extended family. It's completely changed my outlook on exercise and life and it can do the same for you too!"-SJ M (2009)

"This is a wonderful martial arts school where respect, fitness and technique come together beautifully." (2009)- Christina W.

"Can I just tell you that I have never seen (our son) so passionate about martial arts before? He enjoys being a part of your karate family. I have seen drastic changes in him. Before we enrolled him to your studio, he had the worst attitude. Part of it was boredom and just "growing pains" of being a teenager.

Now, he is much more calm, smiles alot more, and the attitude has changed for the better. I can't say, he's fully cured, after all he is a teenager (lol) but he's better. I just want to say THANK YOU so much for everything that you do! (We) are glad we have found your karate center. You guys are AWESOME!"- Anna (2008)

"Dearest Master Rifkin,
I cannot tell you how much you and your teachings have influenced my life. After the 9-11 attacks, I felt helpless. I imagined myself under a situation where my life would be put into someone else's hands and I had no way to defend myself. Uncomfortable with this helpless feeling, I met you at Starbucks a few months later and my martial arts training began.

Training with wonderful, good people. All of the students and families watched each other, supported each other, and helped each other become better. The giggles of learning something new or laughing at oneself, are simply priceless.

I hoped it was obvious that I loved our forms. They are beautiful, artistic, and skillful. Whenever I practice them people always ask me what they are and where I learned them, or even to perform them again. When performing our forms-I not only think of the skills, precision, and tactics you have instilled-I envision how you, Mr. Bosque, Mr. Dang and Ms. Nagayama gracefully and whole-heartedly demonstrate how the forms are supposed to be.....flawless.

I am proud to have been a student at our school and am proud to have learned from instructors who truly cared about my attendance and progress. I realize and know that I am only as great as my instructors. Whether I am waiting in a line at a store or restaurant or sitting at work or have a few free moments, I catch myself thinking of forms and self-defense techniques. At first glance I think I am going crazy because for no apparent reason, I want to kick, I want to punch and I want to show my skills. And in all reality I acknowledge the fact that martial arts are indefinitely a part of my life, and a part of me." -Rose C.

"Rifkin Pro Karate has been life changing to me. I have been hear since i was about 6 1/2 or 7 years old. It is so fun and it gives you a great work out. Master Rifkin has inspired me to work harder in life and so did the other teachers but Master Rifkin did the best of them all. All the teachers in this studio are the best of the best.

You can also make a bunch of friends in this karate school. Its amazing when people just come here and they barely know anyone, then a few days later they know everyone in the whole studio! I have learned so much from Master Rifkin. He has taught me to be dedicated and to not slack off because it will get you no where. He has taught me to be respectful and have honor in what you do and discipline because life is not a joke all the time and neither is karate.

So make sure to go to Rifkin Pro Karate Center in Canoga Park CA because this place can change your life in a snap!- Michelle L.

"Rifkin Pro Karate is a truly inspiring place. My son just recently started his Martial Arts training there and the difference I have seen in him already is truly amazing! Master Rifkin and his staff are all amazing instructors and really take the time to actually teach not just go through the motions.

Every belt at Rifkin is earned no one is just given a belt just because they have been in one level long enough. This is a great way to teach children that you don't just get things for the sake of getting them you have to earn it. If you are looking for a place for your children or yourself Rifkin Pro Karate is the place to go." -Sara V.

"My daughter's Mother and I started looking for a studio for our daughter to learn self-defense. My daughter was studying at the Rifkin Professional Karate studio for 6 months and during her classes I would work out in the weight room...then I took a free private lesson with Master Rifkin. I was completely sold! I've always been curious about martial arts and Master Rifkin and all the instructors at the school were extremely helpful and supportive. I'm 47 and in the best shape of my life and I owe it to the studio.

I challenge anyone to find an instructor in the southland--heck, the entire state of California-- who is as dedicated to Martial Arts and physical fitness than JD Rifkin. Go in there any day before class and he is training on the weights or on the mat. This guy's got game!

If I was to select one thing about the school that was truly rewarding, I would say that when a student earns his/her next belt, you have no doubt that you have reached the skill level that allows you the honor of wearing that belt. I makes you want to work harder to achieve the next level in your training. That's the amazing thing. You work really hard, but you WANT to work hard to you can reach your goals. So if your goal is to be a black belt, when you reach that goal you know without a doubt that you are a true black belt.

The studio is beautiful with a gorgeous lobby, two full studios, a warm up and stretching room and a complete weight room. If you are thinking about the martial arts, shop around then stop by this studio and watch a class, talk to the students. I can assure you that you've found your new home for martial arts training. I don't write recommendations, but I had to take some time to write one for Master Rifkin and his Karate studio. Highest recommendation!" -Jerry

"Hi Master Rifkin,

It's good hearing from you. Heather and I had always wanted to come back to your school, however, we have moved back to Illinois after our son was born. We have tried a few different martial arts schools here but none of them compared to your school. Truthfully, there are only a few things I miss about living in California and your school is one of them. From the information that I can gleam from your email newsletters, it looks like the school is doing great! Congrats on your on going success!

Hope all is well with you and your family.

Take care" -Mike

"In just a couple short months, this place has become my safe-place and these people a second family. When all else is changing, this is my epicenter. I know that here the focus is narrow, and the focus is me. Everything I am asked to do by everyone here is meant to better me and my situation. I am blessed to appreciate that. It is not often in our adult life that we discover new talents or brave new boundaries nor find an audience of loyal fans both cheering our successes and encouraging us along the challenging journey. I admire, respect and adore my teachers. I work to make us all very proud."-Kimberli

"I ended up at RPKC practically bound and gagged by my best friend. I was reluctant to give martial arts a try. I didn't want to join and then quit, as I did at the gym. I think I was afraid of what I didn't know, or what I imagined I might have to do. Because my best friend knew me better than I know myself, she never stopped impressing on me the benefits of martial arts and the fun and satisfaction of studying. Finally, the universe aligned, and I had the opportunity to give it a try. I jumped in. Seven months later, I am a martial artist. That's what Master Rifkin told us at white belt. You come to class; you keep trying; persevere, that makes you a martial artist. I smile as I write this, because I never imagined I would feel so good saying that about myself! I'm still getting used to that concept, that idea of myself. I'm grateful for that confidence. I'm grateful to my friend. :)"-Lynn

"When my husband, grandson and I entered Master Rifkin's school of Karate, we were taken back. Beautiful hardwood flooring, the rock and waterfall art in the main area. We could see the dedication and hard work to create the ambience of peace, tranquility and energy. As an observer, watching the workouts and routines, meeting Master Rifkin and the other instructors, this was the place for our grandson.

Also, I realized how little I knew about Karate. Respect, attitude, never give up, character building and harmony of body and mind. You're never too old or young for the power of positive thinking.

Master Rifkin knows the strengths and weaknesses of each individual student. He never discourages but encourages each person. We see a change in our grandson's demeanor, he is more confident, he is focusing, and his grades have improved. The pride I see in all the students as they receive their stripes, next belt or trophy for the most-improved, is heartfelt.

We all want what is best for our children, grandchildren and ourselves. This is as good as it gets. Last but not least, we have met many nice families here.

Our sincere thanks to Master Rifkin, Ms. Smith, Mr. Dang and other individuals for their dedication and efforts in making this the fine school that it is." -Roxanne & Thom Allston

"I want to tell you how much we appreciate you and what you do for your school; for the excellence you demand and accomplish with all of us...even those of us us on the sidelines. Although the students on the mat do the hard work, there's a quality standard you have set us for us all--this may not be a "team sport" like soccer or basketball but "Team RPKC" takes all of us to a level of higher achievement. You make me a better mom because you make my kid a superb Martial Artist. This became quite clear to me at the tournament yesterday. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart..." -Shawna S.

"I listen to Dr. Laura every weekday on the radio. She says, "Put your child in martial arts." She says it to parents of children that act out, that are too shy, that get picked on at school, and those that bully. Children that are immature, children that are mischievous, children that are fearful of being mischievous are all prime candidates for martial arts. We had come to understand that in the world of Dr. Laura, every child had something to gain by getting into martial arts.

So when Kenneth came home from a karate-themed birthday party, I asked him, "Wasn't that fun? Wouldn't you like to take karate?" He was eight, and he simply said no. I asked him again when he was nine, and then when he was ten. Each time the answer was the same. He was not at all interested in karate. But that was a part of Kenneth. He wasn't ambitious and he would fall apart when we pushed him. He was a good student, but we knew that he was only doing enough to keep his teachers and his family off his back.

So on Kenneth's eleventh birthday, I told him, "You are going to karate. You are going to try it - I will check in with you a lot. But you are going to try it." I "auditioned" five different dojos before speaking with Master Rifkin, and I knew immediately that Rifkin Professional Karate Center was exactly what Kenneth needed.

Kenneth is raised by his grandfather, and various aunties, and because his grandfather is a singer and tours extensively, we all felt that Kenneth needed a strong male figure that he could look up to outside of the family. Master Rifkin has stepped in and filled the role beyond our dreams. He is so real with Kenneth, and Kenneth's respect and gratitude to Master Rifkin is obvious. When Master Rifkin invited Kenneth into the Black Belt Club, Kenneth told me that the coolest part was that Master Rifkin personally sponsored him.

Kenneth has been studying karate since January, 2008, and it is a part of his life that I think he can't imagine missing. This child, who rarely expressed his feelings, looked at me after testing for his yellow belt last year and said, "Thank you for making me start karate. I really love it." As Kenneth said in his recent essay, not every day in the study of karate is Christmas, but he seems to thrive in the process and understand that a part of the lesson is the discipline of continuing. The community at RPKC is the extended "village" that we were looking for to support, encourage and expect great things from Kenneth. There are other parents who cheer him on, and his classmates genuinely care about him... they have taught him to care about them as well.

Kenneth has done all the things that Dr. Laura promised he would do: Kenneth is happier, more expressive, more confident and compassionate. Kenneth no longer tells little lies, he looks us in the eye when he speaks to us, he takes on more responsibility and expects more of himself. At age 12 ½, Kenneth knows that he should have dreams and then work hard to achieve them. Finally, the OK student who only did what he had to do, became the child that is moving from the regular classroom to the SAS program at his middle school. There was a moment of "What if I fail?" before he agreed to go into the more challenging curriculum. He knows though, that if he never fails, he has not pushed himself hard enough, and that he will be ok. I know that all of the wonderful qualities that are coming out in Kenneth are due to his participation in karate and the devotion that Master Rifkin, Mr. Dang, Mr. Layton and Ms. Smith have shown him.

I don't know if Dr. Laura knew about RPKC, but after I finish this, I may just write to her too!"

"I have been with this studio now for well over 3 years. Having trained at another studio, I have decided to make this place my home. Master Rifkin is a dedicated instructor who personally instructs virtually all his classes. The curriculum, in my opinion, is unrivaled. The focus is on technique, proper form, and strengthening. We work on strikes, self-defense, sparring, and traditional forms (kata). The quality of the training becomes apparent when many of our students compete in tournaments. Keep in mind, this studio is not a "black belt factory". All belts are earned and not freely given out. This give a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement when progression is made.

The studio itself is clean and the atmosphere is family oriented. For many students, it is like second home with a second family. There are two giant studio floors on which class is held, a separate smaller mat for person workouts, and well stocked weight room.

If you are looking into starting an activity that inspires confidence, provides a great workout, and relieves stress, this is the activity for you. With dojos on virtually every block, choosing the right school is a tough decision, but it is one of the most important decisions in starting a martial art. This place is certainly worth taking a look!" -Brian F.

To everyone at RPKC,
I would like to thank you for all the support over the years. Some of the best memories I have are in this studio, along with some of the most painful as well. I cannot wait to be back training with you all again.

...the studio has been a second home for me and everyone there a second family and I am missing you already.
Love, Brittany (Ms. Thacker, 1st Degree Black Belt, RPKC)