Brevard Shotokan Karate

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What is Karate-Do?

Karate is a martial art (method of combat), which employs a variety of physical techniques, including punches, kicks, blocks, and strikes. Karate puts an emphasis on the acquisition of spiritual insight and development. In traditional Karate-Do, it is always kept in mind that the true opponent is one's self and that the ultimate goals are to seek perfection of one’s character and to touch the lives of others in a positive way.

Brief History of Shotokan Karate

Photography of Master Gichin Funakoshi Photo of Master Funakoshi

Shotokan karate was developed by Gichin Funakoshi in Okinawa and later brought to mainland Japan. Funakoshi had trained in both of the popular styles of Okinawan karate of the time: Shorei-ryu (hard style) and Shorin-ryu (fluid style). After years of intense study of both styles, Master Funakoshi arrived at a new understanding of martial arts, and a simpler style was created, that combined the ideals of Shorei and Shorin.

Shotokan got its name from Shōtō, Funakoshi's pen name, which means "pine waves", and kan, which means "house". Hence, shōtō-kan was the name of the hall where he trained his students.

Although the road was never an easy one for Funakoshi, karate flourished on mainland Japan and as a result, in 1948, the Japan Karate Association (external link) was established. The establishment of the JKA lead the way to the spread of karate throughout the world.

Dojo Kun (Dojo Rules)

  1. Seek perfection of character
  2. Be faithful
  3. Endeavor
  4. Respect others
  5. And refrain from violent behavior

Read about Shotokan Karate's terminology here.