Pages Navigation Menu


Martial Arts in Chapel Hill. Community-Minded, Family-Oriented, Behavior Based.

And We’re a Nonprofit!

You benefit, and so does your community. Your rates are cheaper, and your dues help support young people in the community who can’t afford to pay. We’re a nonprofit, so we’re able to emphasize authentic karate, rather than on taking as much of your money as possible. This online presentation of our nonprofit work can be found on four separate pages. After reading this first one, please read about our Young Warriors Program, see the Articles, Awards, Accolades page, and then finally read about How You Can Help. All four sections can be found below the “Nonprofit Org” tab above. 


The children are the leaders of the future. It’s up to us to determine what kind of character they will have.

Ligo Dojo of Budo Karate and Ligo Ink are DBA (doing business as) names for the Society for the Betterment of the Human Condition through the Training, Instruction and Propagation of Budo Karate which has Public Charity Status under IRS code 501.c.3. It was founded in February of 1999 by Nathan Ligo with the intention of working with an initial group of young men to make them into instructors of Budo Karate so that they might influence other young people in America on a much wider scale in the future towards ideals of physical, mental and spiritual strength.


Tons and tons of kids in Durham and Chapel Hill have had their lives influenced in positive ways over the past six years.


Our Mission


Nathan Ligo founded “The Society for the Betterment of the Human Condition through the Training, Instruction and Propagation of Budo Karate” in 1999.  Ligo Dojo of Budo Karate (a d.b.a. name for the same 501.c.3 nonprofit) opened its first dojo (karate school) in Durham in 2006 and a second one in Chapel Hill in 2011. Our dojos are open to the general public and membership fees are on a sliding scale. We utilize grant funds to support our general mission and youth outreach.  A cornerstone of our programming is The Young Warriors Program which accepts referrals of disadvantaged youth from over a dozen agencies (including, but not limited to, the Department of Juvenile Justice (court-involved youth), El Centro Hispano, Center for Child and Family Health, Carolina Outreach, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Carolina’s, Easter Seals UCP, and Exchange Club Family Center).  This program seeks to instill self-discipline, self-esteem, and physical and mental health in these children and their families from among one of North Carolina’s most challenged populations.

The organization’s mission is:

1. To strengthen the minds, bodies and hearts of young people through karate training, because hard physical training leads to increased spiritual strength and patience, which in turn leads to the ability to make better life decisions. 2. To deepen relationships between people of diverse backgrounds through hard training, an inherent ‘equalizer’ between people. 3. To strengthen American communities (starting in North Carolina, especially Durham) by thus strengthening individuals who might then serve as role models for other members of the community. 4. To create individuals who are ‘community minded’ and open minded people who VALUE works for the sake of community rather than merely for personal economic and social advancement. 5. To preserve, develop and propagate Mas Oyama’s Budo Karate throughout North America as an art form founded on principles of community and individual improvement.