SHOTOKAN KARATE FEATURES
Master Gichin Funakoshi was the first expert to introduce karate-do to mainland Japan, in 1916. One of the few people to have been initiated into all the major Okinawan karate methods, Master Funakoshi taught a synthesis of the Okinawan styles, as a total discipline. This method became known as Shotokan (literally “House of Shoto,” Funakoshi’s pen name). Because of the great popularity of the style in Japan and, later, around the world, Funakoshi is widely considered to be the “father of modern karate-do.”
Shotokan is a “hard” style of karate, emphasizing the development and control of power, smoothness and balance in punching, kicking and body shifting techniques. Advanced training includes both force deflection and opponent control techniques. This is not a tournament oriented school, nor is board breaking practiced. Self defence and free sparring techniques are taught as applications of basic techniques. Weapons are not taught routinely
What is Karate-Do?
Karate-do is a martial art that originated in Okinawa, modified and transformed into a way of life by Master Gichin Funakoshi. Before these modifications, it was just a group of techniques that permitted self-defense without the use of any weapons other than your hands and feet. Though there was some Chinese influence, the development was Okinawan, and later mainland Japanese. Master Funakoshi, inspired by traditional martial arts from the main Japanese islands modified Karate, and emphasized the philosophical aspects of the art. This way all that was learnt could be extrapolated to the daily life of the student. This is why Karate is a ‘way of life’: Karate-do (do, means way or road). Gichin Funakoshi, thus, combined Karate techniques with traditional Budo (the martial way), inserting the essence of Budo in the heart of Karate.
What does the word Karate mean?
The word Karate is formed by the use of two characters. The first, kara (empty) and the other te (hand)