ABKA North Heights Christian Karate

"Whatever you do, do it with all of your heart,
as working unto the Lord, not unto man."
 Colossians 3:23

North Heights offers karate and women's self-defense classes in partnership with The American Bushido-Kai Karate Association.

The American Bushido-Kai Karate Association (ABKA) was founded by Denny Holzbauer in an effort to promote the study of Karate in a Christian environment and for the purpose of using martial arts in the service of Christ.

Bushido in Japanese means the “way of the warrior.” Kai simply means “school.”  The ABKA teaches a form of Karate that is now referred to as Bushido-kai “school of the way of the warrior.” ABKA-North Heights is dedicated to making true warriors in every dimension of life: physical, mental, and most importantly, spiritual.

The American Bushido-Kai Karate Association (ABKA) Mission Statement: To use Martial Arts to bring glory to God, to honor Christ Jesus, and to build up and expand the kingdom of God through evangelism and discipleship. To teach a quality standard of Martial Arts and to develop Martial Artists with Christ-like character. 

Philosophy of Karate

The true philosophy of karate is that of peacemaking, respect for others and avoidance of violence whenever possible. In the discipline of a combative art, we aim to provide an excellent and advanced training environment, while averting unnecessary injuries. Focus, respect, discipline and control are expected and enforced at all times.

To be a Karateka is to commit to promoting karate in its proper use of respect and peace outside of class. A Karateka avoids fighting unless absolutely necessary for their own protection or the protection of someone unable to protect themself. Knowing karate does not mean you can out fight everyone you encounter, but you will attain important fighting and survival skills useful in a threatening situation.

Karate Teaches You

Confidence: Gain a new level of self-confidence and appropriate self-assurance as you accomplish basic skills as an individual and as part of a group.

Strength: Improve your aerobic fitness, flexibility and physical strength.

Self Control: Enhance the Fruit of the Spirit known as “control of self.”

Coordination: Develop and maintain your physical and mental agility.

Discipline: As you become a Karateka you’ll learn discipline that can achieve a long-term benefit.

Character: Karate can help you enhance your tenacity, endurance, respect, focus, humility and many other character qualities.


Molly Neilsen Karate Instructor

Molly Nielsen is a motivated and passionate learner of several martial arts styles. She holds a second-degree black belt and instructor’s status in mixed martial arts and karate. Molly teaches children to adult from white to black belts. She encourages her students to advance and to apply the qualities of being true, confident warriors, not only in class, but in all areas of their lives.

Molly is a wife and mother of four teenagers. She and her husband spent 15 years as missionaries working with at-risk children and youth in Puebla, Mexico. In 2018, the family returned to Minnesota where Molly trains and teaches martial arts and self-defense classes. Her husband works in construction and serves as a mission’s pastor. 


Molly Nielsen

Karate Classes

Looking to get active after quarantine? Karate is a great exercise and fun. Plus, you can develop discipline, respect, and strong friendships. Sessions follow social distancing and capacity protocols. Contact molly.nielsen@nhlc.org

Offering classes for grade 1–adult. ABKA North Heights Christian Karate is dedicated to making true warriors in every dimension of life: physical, mental and spiritual. Course consists of two classes a week. Open enrollment. All levels. No experience needed. 


Enrollment Fee:  $50/student (includes uniform and belt)
Testing Fee: $25/test (includes boards and student’s new belt)
Materials: As they progress, students may be encouraged to purchase their own equipment: mouth guard, gloves, shin pads, etc.


Mondays & Thursdays, Arden Hills
Grade K-2, 4:30-5:30pm
Grade 3-5, 5:30-6:30pm
For grades 1–5. Cost: $60/month per person.

Thank you for providing karate classes at North Heights. Our oldest son Micah has been going for the past month and absolutely loves it. We also have been very impressed with the program and the instructor, Molly Nielsen. Micah has ADHD and deals with anxiety. The skills and discipline he is learning through karate is helping him gain confidence and focus. He also has learned some tools that he can use when feeling anxious in every day life. One of the things we appreciate most is how Molly keeps the classes Christ centered. She incorporates Bible verses, prayer and encourages students to follow Jesus. We along with other families are extremely grateful for the opportunity for our children to learn karate in a faith based program that truly glorifies Jesus.

—Ben and Amy Sollie

Co-Ed Family / Adult Class

Mondays & Thursdays, Arden Hills  
For grade 6–adult, 6:30–8pm, Cost $75/month per person.

Women'S Self Defense 


Sats, Oct 3-Nov 21, 10–11:30am, Arden Hills

Winter Session

Sats, Jan 30-Mar 20, 10–11:30am, Arden Hills

Spring Session

Sats, Apr 10-May 29, 10–11:30am, Arden Hills

Females Grades 6–Adult
Cost $125 per person

This intense course focuses on the most common and dangerous attacks on females.

This eight-week course:

  • Will teach you physical techniques and verbal strategies on how to avoid and escape an attack
  • You'll learn effective self-defense techniques against wrist and hair grabs, bear hugs, choke holds and ground attacks
  • You'll gain confidence, awareness and boundaries that make you a harder target

No experience needed. Students under 18 are encouraged to be accompanied by an adult.

Wear non-restrictive, modest clothing to allow as much freedom of movement as possible: sweatpants, capris, t-shirts. Shoes, socks and jewelry must be removed. Bring a water bottle.

Contact molly.nielsen@nhlc.org