BIZNOTE: West Seattle Karate Academy closing after 25 years

West Seattle Karate Academy (35th/Roxbury) is closing. One student’s saddened parent told WSB that they got the news at classes on Monday. We contacted the academy’s owner/lead instructor Kris Wilder to confirm. Here’s the announcement:

After 25 years, the West Seattle Karate Academy is closing its dojo doors. Owner and head instructor Kris Wilder said, “A combination of events has put the dojo in the same situation many people and businesses have found themselves. It’s not unique, nor is the sting.”

Kris said, “For the last 25 or so years, I have taught karate in the West Seattle/White Center area. I have met fascinating people, colorful stories, and people with extraordinary potential, gifts, and stories.

“Karate brought us together. Without karate the chances of our crossing paths were low. That is one of the greatest values of Karate, and martial arts, in general, bring people together under one common goal – to better oneself. It has been my greatest pleasure to have been part of this most special community, to participate in your stories and lives. A simple, ‘Thank you.’ Thank you for everything.”

Kris is leaving Seattle, relocating to Eastern Washington. He will continue teaching and writing (he has 22 books) and traveling to teach at his international seminars.

Three years ago, he was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame. The parent who contacted us said West Seattle Karate Academy will be missed: “My son made many friends there, learned a great deal about dedication and focus, and really loved this sport.”

10 Replies to "BIZNOTE: West Seattle Karate Academy closing after 25 years"

  • Ocean May 4, 2021 (10:40 am)

    Nooooooo!       Kris, we will miss you – you have given so much to the families as well as to this community.   All the best to you.         

  • John McNally May 4, 2021 (12:19 pm)

    Next chapter. You are the man. Was a pleasure and privilige to get training from you. Life long mental conditioning and memories.Be the water.John

  • Niko May 4, 2021 (1:58 pm)

    Thanks Inslee!! 

  • Michelle S May 4, 2021 (2:29 pm)

    Kris was a tenant of mine before he was in the space he is now, Great man!!!  We wish you well GOOD LUCK!!!

  • Blaine May 4, 2021 (2:38 pm)

    That’s a drag.  Our daughter trained there for years until she earned her black belt. 

  • J May 4, 2021 (5:03 pm)

    Welp, was going to sign up my kids this summer there. That’s a shame. 

    • Nitro May 4, 2021 (6:30 pm)

      Me too. I had heard such good things from a friend whose son has gone there for years!  Any suggestions from anyone else on where to go instead?  Looking to enroll a 6 year old once school is out. Best wishes to Kris on his new adventure!

      • mok4315 May 4, 2021 (8:01 pm)

        Seattle Wushu! Sifu DeJesus and Sifu Kat are awesome and both have an extensive history in martial arts. Plus, it’s right by C&P!

  • Darin May 5, 2021 (9:22 am)

    This is definitely heartbreaking.  My son went there for over 5 years up until the lockdown.  Kris was such an amazing teacher.  I really appreciated his extensive knowledge of karate, his valuable life lessons, and his wonderful sense of humor.  I am also a martial arts instructor and I really loved watching his classes and learning from him.  You will be missed Sensei Wilder!

  • WENDY A LIND May 16, 2021 (10:01 pm)

    Saw the lease sign up tonight….very sad.  Our son loved lessons there and we had hopes of returning without masks.  Best of luck in Eastern Washington, maybe our paths will cross in Oroville. ;)

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