Family Karate is our name and our mission. Our most important job is strengthening families,” stated Joe Caroll, karate instructor at Family Karate’s 4S Ranch location. As stated by Caroll, one of the main goals of Family Karate is to teach self-discipline, as well as self defense. “Our classes reinforce what children are taught by their parents. All of our students bring in letters of commendation from their parents and school report cards before receiving promotion to a new belt,” said Carrol.

Family Karate has more than 1,000 students in three professional schools including 4S Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos and Escondido. There are also three affiliate clubs located at the Rancho Peñasquitos YMCA, the Kearny Mesa/Toby Wells YMCA and in Solana Beach. Family Karate was founded in Escondido in 1971 by Taekwondo Master Chuck Hawkins and his wife, Fran. The Hawkins were committed to providing not only martial arts training, but also giving back to the community. Brothers Mark and Steve Truscott took ownership of the school about 25 years ago and have continued this tradition. “As martial artists, we train all of our lives to be able to help save someone’s life – someday. Through community service we can use our skills to help others right now,” explained Steve Truscott, owner and senior instructor.

Over the years, Family Karate students have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for children’s charities such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Rady Children’s Hospital. Truscott added, “Family Karate also sponsors and hosts many community education events, including women’s and teen self defense classes and parenting seminars. Our instructors have performed hundreds of Just Say No to Drugs shows in local schools and are currently teaching Life Lesson courses in several public and private schools, including four schools in 92127.”

Family Karate also partners with like-minded businesses to offer more opportunities for families to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The 4S Ranch location offers yoga classes for children and adults through Yoga with Alex, as well as workout classes designed specifically for moms through BodyBack.


For more information about Family Karate, visit