Master Dan Schroeder

9th Degree Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate, 8th Degree Zen Okinawan Kobudo

I started my study and practice of karate in 1964 under Sensei Ken Kasianowicz at the Milwaukee Academy of Karate and Judo. This was the first karate studio in the city of Milwaukee. I achieved the rank of Ni Dan (2nd degree black belt) in Goshin Do Karate.  

In 1969, I established my first dojo in Waukesha, called Waukesha Academy of Karate and Judo. I taught karate and Arnie Klusman taught Judo. 


Later in 1969, I met Sensei Tadashi Yamashita. I attended a seminar with him in Indiana and was completely amazed with his abilities. When Sensei Kasianowicz retired in 1970, I asked Sensei Yamashita to formally accept me as his student. He accepted me and my life changed forever. We have been together ever since practicing Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate and Kobudo.


In 1981, I opened the East West Connection in Hales Corners with my wife Jan. After two years, the time constraints of trying to run both dojos caught up to me. We sold our interest in the Waukesha school to one of my Black Belts. We then devoted all of 

our time to East West Connection.


People have asked me the questions “Why did you start karate and why do you continue?”.  I was raised in kind of a rough area of the city and so to be truthful, to think that far back it was probably self-defense. Why do I continue? Because I have discovered my life’s passion. I love to learn, I love to teach and I love to see the positive changes it makes in my students lives. 


These past years I have had the pleasure to:

  • Train national and international Karate champions.
  • Sponsor the first professional full contact Karate in Milwaukee in 1975.
  • Open the first Karate dojos in Waukesha and in Hales Corners.
  • In 2 years, celebrate 50 continuous years of being in business.
  • Be the first 9th Dan to be promoted in Karate under my Sensei, Tadashi Yamashita.
  • Be the first to be promoted to 8th Dan in Kobudo.
  • Have taught or influenced most of the Shorin Ryu teachers in the area.
  • Be recognized by the State of Wisconsin as a Juvenile Martial Arts Instructor.
  • Be voted by Milwaukee A-List for Best of Martial Arts in 2017.

What I am most proud of is longevity and quality of my students both past and present. However, do not worry we are not done yet. Come and join me on my never-ending journey to seek perfection in myself through the study of what is commonly referred to as the martial arts.

Sensei Dan Schroeder Karate and Kobudo instructor

Sensei Dan Schroeder Karate and Kobudo instructor