Shotokan is a style of Karate developed by Japanese martial arts master Gichin Funakoshi in 1938. Born in Okinawa, he popularized “Karate do” through a series of public demonstration and by promoting various karate clubs around the region.
Gichin Funakoshi defined Niju Kun (twenty principles), which forms the foundation of the art and hence called the philosophy of Shotokan.
The principles allude to notions of humility, respect, compassion, patience and both inward and outward calmness. It was Funakoshi’s belief that through karate practice and the observation of these twenty principles the student would improve the person in himself or herself.
The dojo kun lists five philosophical rules for training in the dojo: seek perfection of character, be faithful, endeavor to excel, respect others and refrain from violent behaviors. These rules are also called the five maxims of karate.
Funakoshi once said;
“The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant”
After the death of Gichin Funakoshi in 1957, his successors continued to teach Shotokan Karate in various platforms. Japan Karate Association [JKA] headed by Masatoshi Nakayama was a strong successor of Gichin Funakoshi.
As the most widely practiced style, Shotokan is considered as a traditional and influential form of karate do.
JKA Karate & Fitness follows JKA Shotokan Karate.