Karate is an ancient martial art that came from China to the island of Okinawa, south of Japan. Karate has developed further on Okinawa. The founder of Shotokan Karate, Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957), adapted karate to modern times and brought it to fruition at the beginning of this century. In 1922 he introduced karate to Japan. His students, of whom Masatoshi Nakayama (1913-1987) is the best known, have ensured that karate became known all over the world through the Japanese Karate Association (JKA).
Distinctive for the various karate styles are the various kata, a more or less own philosophy and competition rules.
The Federation of All Japan Karatedo Organization recognizes four traditional styles:
In Shotokan karate you see tradition, body culture (Karate as an art of movement), self-defense and sport united so that everyone can practice it. “Karate” literally means empty (kara) hand (te). This means that the practitioner does not use weapons. Karate is originally a form of unarmed self-defense, in which the practitioner uses defense techniques and counter attacks with arms and legs to make his body a weapon.
In Shotokan Karate the emphasis is on the correct execution and control of the techniques. As a result, the risk of injuries is minimal (much less than with other martial arts or, for example, ball sports). Mastery of techniques, body and mind are important aspects to which a lot of attention is paid during the training.