The Fundamentals of Shotokan


There are three components to Shotokan karate training: kihon, kata, and kumite.

The kata are formal exercises which combine basic karate techniques — blocking, punching, striking, and kicking — into a series of predetermined movements. Kata combines offensive and defensive techniques, proper body movement, and changes in direction. The kata teach the karateka to dispose of numerous attackers from at least four directions. Although the kata do not involve visible opponents, katathe karateka, through serious study of the kata, learns the art of self-defense and the ability to calmly and efficiently deal with dangerous situations. For these reasons, the kata have been the core of karate training since ancient times.


Kihon is the practice of fundamental techniques: blocking, punching, striking, and kicking. These techniques are the beginning and end of karate — a karateka (practitioner kihonof karate) may learn them in a matter of months, yet fail to master them after a life’s worth of training. Hence, basic techniques demand regular practice, applied with as much concentration and effort as possible.


Kata and kumite are complementary training methods. In kata, one learns basic techniques; in kumite, one applies them with a sparring partner. Tkumitehe principles of kihon still apply to kumite: the karateka must apply proper karate techniques, demonstrate
correct power and speed, and, above all, exercise good control. One must remember that, while kumite is a useful application of the fundamentals learned through kata, it is not a substitute for kata.



Karate Enriches Ones Life

We believe that Karate is a way of life, and students will learn respect and discipline that draggon they will carry into all aspects of their lives.  Karate increases confidence and self-esteem, and improves coordination, focus and balance, and increases awareness.

We believe that every student deserves the chance to learn to protect and defend themselves.shotokan

Our focus is in developing each individual student’s potential. We focus on learning self-defense which is the core of our system.  The basic techniques taught in every class build the foundation necessary to defend one’s life.


Stretching and Flexibility

Steps To Maximize Your Flexibility

1. Always stretch after your workout

Your joints an
d muscles are warm, which means you can go further with your stretch. It also helps to decrease the build up of lactic acid in your muscles. Not stretching after a workout leads to stiff muscles.


2.   Stretch am and pm

ckarate-stretching-300x225You must take time to stretch our muscles before beginning the martial arts training session. Stretching in the morning is harder than in the evening but it’s one of the best ways to increase flexibility.



3. Find creative ways to include stretching in your day-to-day life

If you like to watch TV then find a way to stretch while you watch TV. On the escalator, place your left heel a little off the step and stretch out your calf muscle.

4. Alternate your stretching

Our bodies quickly adapt so alternate your stretching and consistently challenge your body.

5.  Focus on Optimal Flexibility for you

We all need to have a certain amount of flexibility but remember we are all different. It’s crucial that you never push yourself too hard and you work with your own body. If you want to get your head on your knees, don’t strain to get there or bend your legs in the process. Remember there never should be any pain when you stretch only patience.

Shotokan Philosophy

Gichin Funakoshi laid out the Twenty Precepts of Karate, (or Niju kun) which form the foundations of the art, before his students established the JKA. Within these twenty
principles, based heavily on Bushido and Zen, lies the philosophy of Shotokan. The principles allude to notions of humility, respect, compassion, patience, and both an inward and outward calmness. It was Funakoshi’s belief that through karate practice and observation of these 20 principles, the karateka would improve their person. The Dojo kun lists five philosophical rules for training in the dojo; seek perfection of character, be faithful, endeavor to excel, respect others, refrain from violent behavior. The Dojo kun is usually posted on a wall in the dojo, and some shotokan clubs recite the Dojo kun at the beginning and/or end of each class to provide motivation and a context for further training.

The Twenty precepts

1. Karate-do begins with courtesy and ends with rei.

2. There is no first strike in karate.

3. Karate is an aid to justice.

4. First know yourself before attempting to know others.

5. Spirit first, technique second.

6. Always be ready to release your mind.

7. Accidents arise from negligence.

8. Do not think that karate training is only in the dojo.

9. It will take your entire life to learn karate, there is no limit.

10. Put your everyday living into karate and you will find “Myo” (subtle secrets).

11. Karate is like boiling water, if you do not heat it constantly, it will cool.

12. Do not think that you have to win, think rather that you do not have to lose.

13. Victory depends on your ability to distinguish vulnerable points from invulnerable ones.

14. The out come of the battle depends on how you handle weakness and strength.

15. Think of your opponents hands and feet as swords.

16. When you leave home, think that you have numerous opponents waiting for you.

17. Beginners must master low stance and posture, natural body positions are for the advanced.

18. Practicing a kata exactly is one thing, engaging in a real fight is another.

19. Do not forget to correctly apply: strength and weakness of power, stretching and contraction of
the body, and slowness and speed of techniques.

20. Always think and devise ways to live the precepts of karate-do every day.

The Staff The Father of All Weapons

The Shaolin monks have practiced the hand and staff forms for thousands of years. The word “monk” is a synonym of peace, of compassion, of harmony, of intelligence, but above all of a great responsibility towards people, helping others, sharing the philosophy with others and understanding the suffering of others. It is for this reason that when the Shaolin monks needed to go to war, to stop violence, or were forced to fight, they avoided using wthe-8-diagram-pole-fighter-5eapons that could easily kill people, such as swords or sabers. It was better to use Chin Na  or Dim Mak and in extreme cases, to use the staff to knock out the opponent. They hoped that when he woke up, the opponent would realize that his fighting was unnecessary, and understand that killing others is bad. At worst, when he woke up, there would be nobody there. The monks said that the fallen man should realize that his fighting had been useless and learn from that. This way he would become a better person.

In addition to this, the Shaolin staff became a very common tool. When monks traveled, they did not like to carry weapons, but a good staff is also a good tool to move obstacles on the way, jump across a stream, or to use as a cane when one is tired.nsahunggar05

The staff’s flexibility is important factor, since it obtains some additional strength as it is waved towards a target. Also, though the staff may not be sharp like the a sword or poi
nty like a spear, it has the same effects when it is used as such. A direct blow given as if it were a spear may be just as powerful. It also enables the practitioner to swiftly attack from different directions.

Shotokan Karate

Karate means “empty hand”, and Karate-do translates to “the way of Karate”.  Shotokan Karate is a weaponless martial art that is founded on the basic techniques of punching, funakoshi01striking, kicking and blocking, yet there is a deeper aspect to serious Karate training which deals with character development.  Shotokan Karate is a way for an individual to realize greater potential and expand the limits of that individual’s physical and mental capabilities.  Karate in an excellent, time-proven method of personal development.  Shotokan Karate is a traditional Japanese Martial Art founded by Master Gichin Funakoshi.  Shotokan Karate remains firmly rooted in a strong martial arts tradition, emphasizing lifetime training for a healthy mind and body, rather than strictly as a sport.

Who can benefit from Shotokan Karate?

Everyone! Even if you feel you are overweight, uncoordinated, inflexible, or lacking self confidence or self discipline, you may have the most to gain by training.
shotokanOf course results should not be expected overnight, but if you train on a regular basis and stay with it, you will begin to see improvement.  Nothing of real value is ever obtained with ease.  All kinds of people benefit from Karate training.  Men, women and children can be found at our dojo.