History
Shotokan is a traditional Japanese style of Martial Art which emphasizes the use of maximum speed and power in techniques in order to deliver a "finishing blow." Shoto means "pine waves", while kan means "streams" or styles. Shoto was the pen name of Gichin Funakoshi's, who is called "Father of Modern Karate." Loosely translated, shotokan means the style of Funakoshi, as opposed to other styles. The practice in shotokan is based on the premise "ikken hisatsu", or a single blow must decide all.

We train in JKA Style Shotokan Karate following the guidelines of Sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama, the head of our organization. Master Nishiyama is a direct student of Sensei Gichin Funakoshi, the father of modern karate and founder of our style.

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 Funokoshi Gichin                                                                    Nishiyama Hidetaka             

Shotokan is a traditional Japanese style of Martial Art which emphasizes the use of maximum speed and power in techniques in order to deliver a "finishing blow." See the FAQ for more info.

This quote is out of the book "Karate: Synchronization of Body and Mind", by S. Sugiyama. This book is on loan to our library by Hiro Ruo.

KARATE, MENTAL ASPECT:

We think that there are limits to the strength of our body and mind without really tring hard to find these limits. With proper training, these mental and physical barriers can be removed to reveal surprising power which we never expected. KARATE is a Japanese martial art (BU_DO), which was devised to overcome our weaknesses and limitations by bringing out our hidden or unnoticed potential.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SELF-DEFENSE AND A JAPANESE MARTIAL ART?

When acting in self-defense, you are acting in your own interest. You, yourself, are the subject to be protected. This, of cousre, is instinctive and easy to do.

When practicing a Japanese martial art, somebody else or something greater than yourself is the subject to be protected. This means you must have an alturistic love of others as preached by Christianity, instead of just an egotistical love of yourself." 

 

Shotokan Belt Colors
All karate organizations have some form of grade structure, though some are more elaborate than others. There are, however, common principles in all the grading structures in that there are usually 10 grades prior to black-belt, called "Kyu" grades. The belt colors vary considerably between organizations, but the following table outlines the two most common belt color structures.
Grade Color (JKA Style)
10 or 9 Kyu White
8 Kyu Yellow
7 Kyu Orange
6 Kyu Green
5 or 4 Kyu Purple
3, 2, 1 Kyu Brown
Shodan (1st Dan) Black
 
The 26 Shotokan Kata's
(Each Kata description under construction)
Heian Shodan Heian Nidan Heian Sandan Heian Yondan Heian Godan
Tekki Shodan Tekki Nidan Tekki Sandan Bassai Dai Kanku Dai
Empi Jion Text Hangetsu Jitte Gankaku
Bassai Sho Kanku Sho Jiin Sochin Nijushiho Text
Meikyo Unzu Video Gojushiho Dai Gojushiho Sho Wankan
Chinte        
 
Kyu-Exam Guide
3rd Dan 2nd Dan 1st Dan 1st Kyu 2nd Kyu
3rd Kyu 4th Kyu 5th Kyu 6th Kyu 7th Kyu
8th Kyu        
 
Shotokan Karate Websites
Mid-west Website (Illinois)
Western Region Web site
Official Northwestern Region Web Site
Mid-west Karate Website (Minnesota)
 
Shotokan Glossary
http://ncka-karate.org/Vocabulary.html

Sameer Abhinkar.
Copyright 2007 Intel Karate Club. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/27/07