A Brief Introduction To Shotokan Karate

Shotokan karate has fast become a very popular style of karate. In fact, many karate experts consider it to be one of the primary Japanese karate styles. If you are interested in becoming a true karate master, understanding Shotokan karate and all its philosophies will definitely help you.

Gichin Funakoshi and son Gigo Funakoshi started Shotokan karate in the early 1900s. Because it was one of the first karate styles to get popular it is very influential to all later styles of karate.

Many of the terms you use every day and karate such as kihon and kumite have their origins from Shotokan. If you have ever done a low, squatting kata that felt like every muscle in your leg was being pulled the you have experienced some Shotokan. It was developed for karateka to get a good solid base of power and strength behind their body before they later refine it. This is in opposition of some earlier forms of karate that are considered very graceful from the start.

With Shotokan, it is not until you become a black belt that you start doing some very fluid movements in your katas.

The school of Shotokan also laid down some of the original philosophical rules that karate practitioners are expected to follow. The founders of this style truly believed that karate was more of a method of self development instead of a tool to be used in competition. That is why they created philosophical set of rules for you to obey such as being faithful, respectful, and only using your power for good.

Modern Shotokan has borrowed from many other schools as it goes. But as it started, the original Masters said that there were 27 different kata styles that you should learn.

It was not until the early 1920s that karate started with the Shotokan style of belt. at first, karate practitioners only fitting to one of three categories. You had a white belt, a brown belt, or a black belt. But within these belt divisions there were various other categories.

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