Shotokan and its History
In its most basic form, karate is an art or systemized method of
physical and mental activity which developed over several
thousand years. As a way of enhancingmediation techniques,
monks at Shaolin monasteries in China were taught vajramuchti,
a martial art originating in India. These teaching became the basis
for the Chinese form, ch’uan-fa or kenpo.
Through trade, and conquests, the varied styles of Chinese
martial found their way to the Ryukyu Islands, the largest of
which is Okinawa. The original Okinawan fighting system, te
(hand), developed mostly from a ban of all weapons when
Okinawa was occupied by the Shimazu in 1609. In this way the
two ancestors of modern karate-do,Okinawa-te” and “To te”
(Chinese hand) were formed.
Ginchin Funakoshi, generally considered, “the father of modern
karate,”introduced karate to Japan by way of exhibitions in 1917
in Kyoto and again in 1922 at theMinistry of Education in Tokyo.
Funakoshi changed the Kanji character of his fighting style to
read kara instead of to, changing the name of this martial art form
from, to te (Chinese hand) to kara te (“empty hand”).
Gichin Funakoshi, a noted calligrapher, signed his work with his
pan same, Shoto. As such his school, and later his style, became
known as Shotokan of Shoto’s School. Mr. Funakoshi organized
the Japan Karate Association in 1948 and served as its head
master until his passing in 1957.
Karate is a highly dynamic physical art that balances the
use of all major muscle groups with he control provided
through mental discipline. It provided excellent exercise
while developing coordination, agility and self
confidence. The club, or dojo, adheres strictly to the
principles of self-improvement through diligent training
formulated by the founder of modern karate, Gichin
Classes are designed for students at all levels. Special
training is available for beginners and children, with an
emphasis on fundamentals. All students practice the
basic techniques of blocking, punching, kicking and
striking, with careful attention of technical details. For
students who are interested in attaining rank,
examinations are conducted quarterly by qualified