It wasn't just any karate class.

In Aurora, July 29, 2013 black belt students had a chance to be taught by some of the best karate masters in the world.

Steve Armes, from Shoshinkan Martial Arts, organized a seminar bringing four of the top international karate masters to Canada. It’s a rare thing to have them all together in a place other than the birthplace of karate: Okinawa, Japan.

The masters came from Japan, Alaska, and other parts of the United States. Students and teachers say this kind of event is incredibly unique. 

“It's a nice cultural exchange for us sometimes,” says Toronto resident Jeff Barrett. “Some of these groups are very insular so it's nice to kind of go out and be international both within Toronto and internationally as well.”

“You want to learn French cuisine, you go to France,” says Markham resident Perry Fan. “We want to learn Okinawan karate, you go to Okinawa or, like today, we are fortunate for us they are coming to us.”

“This is only my second time that in the 10 years that I have been training to train with someone that's come right from japan,” says Janice Deal, a Picton resident. “And that's a really, really big deal.”

About 100 students will attend the seminars this week. Monday’s was just for black belts. Colour belts will have a separate session tonight. Instructors say it will be great for teachers as well.

“It's almost like a visiting professor,” says Cezar Borkowski, head instructor with Northern Karate Schools. “We will be covering some aspects that are not usually covered day to day so it's a treat for us to train with very high ranking individuals.”

Even the masters say these kinds of events help them learn too. For them, competing against each other is the best measure of success. And each of the masters has been teaching around the world for more than 40 years. Organizers say this is the only time this year that these masters will be together to teach.