Shotokan Karate – Instructions for Techniques, Kata, Kicks, etc.
Shotokan Karate is one of the major schools or sub-styles of Karate. This branch of Karate focuses on punches, hand/elbow strikes, knee strikes and kicks. Shotokan Karate was developed by Gichin Funakoshi in Okinawa, Japan.
Amazon – Shotokan Kata Books
Main Elements of Shotokan Karate
- Shotokan Karate Katas – Katas such as Heian Shodan, Tekki Shodan, Bassai Dai, etc.
- Meaning of Shotokan Karate Kata
- 20 Principles of Karate – Shotokan’s guiding principles or precepts.
- Shotokan Stances – Instructions for stances such as Back Stance (Kokutsu Dachi) and Cat Stance (Neko Ashi Dachi).
- Shotokan Bunkai – Bunkai for katas such as Heian Shodan.
- Karate Kicks – Instructions for Karate kicks such as the Mae Geri and Mawashi Geri.
- Karate Punches
- Karate Hand Strikes
- Karate Elbow Strikes
- Karate Blocks
- Karate Kihon – “Basics”
- Martial Arts Weapons such as Bo Staff Techniques
- Shotokan Kumite – Sparring Techniques & Drills
- Hojo Undo – Traditional strength training exercises.
- Traditional Karate Training Equipment – Tools such as Makiwara (Padded Striking Board), Nigiri Game (or Gripping Jars), etc.
- How To Tie Your Belt In Karate
- Karate Terminology and How To Count In Karate
- Karate Stretches
History of Shotokan Karate
According to Shotokan Karate of America, “Karate history can be traced back some 1400 years, to Daruma, founder of Zen Buddhism in Western India. Daruma is said to have introduced Buddhism into China, incorporating spiritual and physical teaching methods that were so demanding that many of his disciples would drop in exhaustion. In order to give them greater strength and endurance, he developed a more progressive training system, which he recorded in a book, Ekkin-Kyo, which can be considered the first book on karate of all time.
The physical training, heavily imbued with Daruma’s philosophical principles, was taught in the Shaolin Temple in the year 500 A.D. Shaolin (Shorin) kung-fu, from northern China, was characterized by very colorful, rapid, and dynamic movements; the Shokei school of southern China was known for more powerful and sober techniques. These two kinds of styles found their way to Okinawa, and had their influence on Okinawa’s own original fighting method, called Okinawa-te (Okinawan hand) or simply te. A ban on weapons in Okinawa for two long periods in its history is also partly responsible for the high degree of development of unarmed fighting techniques on the island.
In summary, karate in Okinawa developed from the synthesis of two fighting techniques. The first one, used by the inhabitants of Okinawa, was very simple but terribly effective and, above all, very close to reality since it was used throughout many centuries in real combat. The second one, much more elaborate and impregnated with philosophical teachings, was a product of the ancient culture of China. These two origins explain the double character of Karate–extremely violent and efficient but at the same time a strict and austere discipline and philosophy with a nonviolent emphasis.
“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).”
- Shotokan Karate of America, History of Karate, http://ska.org/about/history-of-karate/, Added – 7/2/13