Shotokan History   

The history of Karate goes back over 1000 years age where a monk named Dharma traveled to China. There he established the Shaolin Monastery. He discovered the monks were physically weak so he implemented a program to strengthen the body as well as the mind. Today it is known as the “ Shaolin Art of Fighting ”, and this is when the art was developed and later called “Okinawa-te”.

Master Funakoshi, then at the age of 11, started training under two Masters, Azato and Itosu. The two styles were Shorin-ryu and Shorei-ryu which Shotokan is derived. In 1922 Master Funakoshi was formally invited by the Ministry of Education to demonstrate this “Karate” in Japan. This was the first time Karate was exposed to the public in Japan. Because of many requests for Shotokan, the Master stayed and taught Karate.

The Master changed the characters “Chinese hands”, to “empty hands”, which in Japanese translates to Karate. Master Funakoshi chose this name from Buddhist philosophy of rendering oneself empty. He believed karate was not only for character development but also a way of life. The outsiders began calling this style Shotokan; Shoto is the master’s pen name, known for his calligraphy and Kan meaning hall.

The techniques of Shotokan are made of no-nonsense, straight forward style of Self-Defense. Perfection of techniques are developed through three phases, Kihon (basics), Kata (forms), and Kumite (self-defense). Karate requires discipline, alertness, and dedication. These qualities are particularly important in acquiring such skills of basics. One must train consistently and patiently to strive harmonizing the mind and body. The primary aim is to defend oneself, friends, or powerless people against acts of aggression - only if there is no alternatives to avoid such acts.

Shotokan for the young child it is extremely effective in the forming of the mind, building strength, confidence, character and discipline.

While training keep in mind Master Funakoshi’s philosophy,
“The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of character of its participants”.

Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957)