Learn Japanese Calligraphy

Are you looking for a meditative activity to help you focus, find calmness, and discover your inner spirit? Then give Japanese Calligraphy a try!


The World has sped up!

We live our lives at a hundred miles an hour with no plans to stop. Living life on the fast lane negatively impacts our quality of life in many ways. Many people feel scattered, overwhelmed, and stressed when the ever-increasing demands of life outweigh their resources.   

The practice of Japanese Calligraphy demands patience, undivided attention, and full concentration, therefore it can become a great resource for releasing the pressures of daily life. 

After the daily challenges and responsibilities of my job and raising a family, I spend about an hour practicing Japanese Calligraphy. Immediately my mind and body become one with the activity of calligraphy. In this meditative state, where mind, body, and brush are one, all worries disappear. I am able to focus, keep calm in the midst of chaos, and, most of all, feel happy when I create a beautiful work of art! 

When you practice Japanese Calligraphy, you can apply its principles of patience, undivided attention and full concentration to all activities in your daily life.


"This enjoyable course gave me an invaluable introduction to basic strokes, along with the opportunity, even as a beginner, of brushing real kanji. Esteban is a perceptive and personable instructor whose clear, concise teaching style made the online class an exceptional experience."

- Ruth Bogan USA

"On week 3 of this introduction course, I wanted to drop out. I couldn’t draw a straight horizontal line to save my life. My brushstrokes were out of control and messy. Esteban said, “keep practicing”. So, I did and continued my practice. Six months down the line I can, not only draw a horizontal line, but also multiple characters as beautiful works of art."
- Aitzie Olaechea  London

Learn the basics of the beautiful art of Japanese Calligraphy through easy to follow online lessons that you complete at your own pace.

The Shodo 6-Week Introductory Online Course is designed for beginners. This concise course is six weeks long. From the day you join, you will receive a weekly lesson. Each lesson consists of keynote lectures, video demonstrations, and practical assignments in PDF. The six week pace helps students to focus on skills and allows for plenty of practice time before learning Kanji with new brushstrokes. 

After you complete this Shodo introductory course, you will be able to continue your practice as a student of Gohitsu Shodo Kai.


Hi there!

I'm Esteban Martinez, your teacher in this six-week introductory course. I have been practicing Japanese Calligraphy for over 20 years. I also run Gohitsu Shodo Kai, a western Japanese calligraphy society founded in 2010.

In addition to calligraphy, I also teach the Japanese martial art of Aikido and practice Zen in the Chosei line of Rinzai Zen.

With Gohitsu Shodo Kai I aim to build a community of people looking to train in Shodo as a way to discover their inner spirit, enhance their senses, and find happiness. We train in calligraphy and approach it from a Zen and martial arts point of view, and teach the technicality of writing Kanji in harmony with our kiai (spiritual power).

The benefits of training in Shodo are immense, and I recognize that finding a teacher is super rare. That's why I created this course. Now you have the opportunity to learn the basics of Japanese Calligraphy and begin the path to a lifelong journey.


What will you learn each week?


Week One

  • Introduction
  • Learning Objectives and Student Expectations
  • The tools you need
  • What is Shodo?
  • The origins of Shodo
  • The Four Treasures of Calligraphy: The Brush
  • Eight Basic Strokes: The dot

Week Two

  • The Teaching Methodology of Shodo
  • The Four Treasures of Calligraphy: The Ink
  • Eight Basic Strokes: The horizontal line with a variation
  • One Basic Kanji

Week Three

  • Writing Posture and Breathing
  • The Four Treasures of Calligraphy: The inkstone
  • How to Prepare Sumi Ink
  • Eight Basic Strokes: The vertical line with variation and the angle-down stroke
  • Four Basic Kanji

Week Four

  • Writing Styles
  • Rules of Writing
  • The Four Treasures of Shodo: The Paper
  • Eight Basic Strokes: The hook with variations
  • Five Basic Kanji

Week Five

  • Old calligraphy masters of China and Japan
  • Eight Basic Strokes: Upright sweeping stroke, left-down sweeping stroke, and  short left-down sweeping stroke
  • Five Basic Kanji

Week Six

  • Stamps and Name Seals
  • Eight Basic Strokes: Right down sweeping stroke
  • Five Basic Kanji
  • Final Assignment for a certificate of completion
  • Conclusion  

Join the Shodō 6-Week Introductory Online Course! 


  • Six weekly lessons (starting the day you join) 
  • PDF Handouts of all the basic calligraphy strokes
  • Learn a total of 20 basic Kanji by the end of the course
  • Comprehensive lectures on "the four treasures of calligraphy"
  • Private Slack Community aka Slack Dojo
  • Certificate of Completion upon submission of the final assignment 

Enroll Now

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