Welcome to Shotokan Karate Center Online

Shotokan History

A Brief History

You are going to learn one of the most effective and one of the oldest types of self-defense known. Karate is very disciplined, and we expect all students to treat the art with respect. It is especially important for students to remember that karate is for self-defense and is not something to show off or seek confrontation with. At all times, both during training and outside, student should be respectful of others.

More about Karate

The history of karate can be tracked over 2000 years! Although it is now accepted as a Japanese art, it is a form of self-defense that originally came from India.  Buddhist monks, whose religion banned them from using any weapons, developed self-defense techniques using their feet and hands to protect themselves from robbers when they were on their travels. This was so effective, that other religious orders also developed self-defense style themselves. One of these was the famous Shaolin Temple in China.

From the Shaolin Temple, a very disciplined and powerful style of self-defense was developed. Martial arts was shrouded in mystery and was treated as a part of religious belief. From those humble beginnings, some many hundreds of years ago, the now immensely popular sport of Karate has developed. Modern Karate is split into a number of different styles, all of which use similar techniques, but students should be careful to select a club and style that are properly registered and run by qualified instructors.

Meijin Gichin Funakoshi

The late great Master Gichin Funakoshi brought Karate to Japan from the village of Shuri in Okinawa early in the 20th Century. Gichin Funakoshi is widely considered the primary "father" of modern karate due to his efforts to introduce the Okinawan art to mainland Japan, from where it spread to the rest of the world. Born in 1868, he began to study karate at the age of 11, and was a student of the two greatest masters of the time, Azato and Itosu. He grew so proficient that he was initiated into all the major styles of karate in Okinawa at the time. For Master Funakoshi, the word karate eventually took on a deeper and broader meaning through the synthesis of these many methods, becoming karate-do, literally the "way of karate," or of the empty hand. Training in karate-do became an education for life itself.

Master Funakoshi was the first expert to introduce karate-do to mainland Japan. In 1916 he gave a demonstration to the Butokuden in Kyoto, Japan, which at that time was the official center of all martial arts. On March 6, 1921, the Crown Prince, who was later to become the Emperor of Japan, visited Okinawa and Master Funakoshi was asked to demonstrate karate. In the early spring of 1922 Master Funakoshi traveled to Tokyo to present his art at the First National Athletic Exhibition in Tokyo organized by the Ministry of Education. He was strongly urged by several eminent groups and individuals to remain in Japan, and indeed he never did return to Okinawa.

Master Funakoshi taught only one method, a total discipline, which represented a synthesis of Okinawan karate styles. This method became known as Shotokan, literally the clan or the house of Shoto, which was the Master's pen name for his poetry, denoting the sound of the wind blowing through pines and is synonymous with the Tiger symbol.



How it all connects to SKC

1. Funakoshi, Sensei

2. Obata, Sensei

3. Nishiyama, Sensei

4. Cruz, Sensei

5. Johns, Sensei

6. Haywood, Sensei

7. Lee, Sensei

8. Barrett, Sensei