Philosophy

The Fundamentals of Shotokan

 

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

Kata 
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 
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.

 

Kumite 
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.

 

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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.

 

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
shotokan
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.