World Oyama Karate

The Solution

Oyama Stands for Full-Contact Karate

Oyama Karate is tough. Every class is a sparring class—no gloves, no helmets. While full contact isn't for everyone, it's what sets Oyama apart. Instead of burying this unique approach, the website redesign embraces it.


Social Listening

On subreddits like r/karate and r/martial arts, prospective students are largely unguarded as they share their questions, worries, and hopes. To inform the copy and layout, I cataloged these in Google Sheets.

Oyama Karate - using social listening for design research
Oyama Karate - screenshot of the website's student testimonials section

Design Principle

Evoke a Feeling of Pride

When people look for a dojo, they look for more than physical results. They're looking for "a place with involved people." They're hoping to build "self awareness and fortitude." That's why I rooted the copy in the pride Oyama students feel each time they step out of the dojo.

Design Principle

Demystify the First Class

For prospective students, the first class is a major hurdle. Those who've trained before "don't want to look like a complete beginner," while new students are worried about looking like an "a complete awkward bump on a log." Helping everyone understand what to expect was a key goal for this project.

Oyama Karate - screenshot of the website's 'What to Expect' section