Shotokan is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi and his son Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi (1906–1945).
Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957) Bio:
- Born in Okinawa and is widely credited with popularizing “karate do” through a series of public demonstrations and by promoting the development of university karate clubs, including those at Keio, Waseda, Hitotsubashi (Shodai), Takushoku, Chuo, Gakushuin and Hosei.
- Funakoshi had many students at the university clubs and outside dojos, which continued to teach karate after his death in 1957. However, internal disagreements (especially the notion that competition is contrary to the essence of karate), led to the creation of different organisations.
- This includes an initial split between the Japan Karate Association (headed by Masatoshi Nakayama)and the Shotokai (headed by Motonobu Hironishi and Shigeru Egami), followed by many others.
- Currently, no single Shotokan school exists, although the Funakoshi’s influence exists.
As the most widely practiced style, Shotokan is considered a traditional and influential form of karate.
Training in karate teaches us not only self-defense but also teaches to respect others as well as ourselves. Karate is a spiritual endeavor, a way to develop as a person and as an individual.
We train our body to be strong and our mind and spirit to be patient,
in order to become the best human beings, we can be.
Everything we learn in the dojo (training hall) should be applied to everyday life. Karate training is not always easy, often at times; it can be very difficult and demanding. This is also true of life.
If we can overcome obstacles in our training, it enables us to have strong character to do the same in our everyday lives.