The School Of Shotokan Karate-Do (New Delhi, India)
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History Of Shotokan Karate

Meijin GICHIN FUNAKOSHI (1868 -1957) Founder and Grandmaster of Shotokan Karate

"The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, 
but in the perfection of the characters of its participants"

- Meijin GICHIN FUNAKOSHI (1868 -1957)
Founder and Grandmaster of Shotokan Karate

Shotokan Style of Karate was developed in Okinawa, during the early 19th Century, by Meijin (Master) Gichin Funakoshi. He combined the most effective techniques of other Karate systems which were practiced at that time to create a scientific, refined and effective style of karate. He Later built upon this foundation and refined his system of training to make the Shotokan style as perfect and effective as it is known today.
Meijin Funakoshi did quite a lot to promote his art in his homeland of Okinawa and soon his style of karate came to be known in Japan (which as we all know had a very rich martial history)

In 1917 he was invited to demonstrate his style of karate at the Butokuden in Kyoto. While in Japan, Funakoshi traveled and continued to give exhibitions.

In 1922 the Japanese Ministry of Education asked Funakoshi to participate in a demonstration of ancient Japanese martial arts at the Women's Higher Normal School in Tokyo. This was Shotokan's "Big" break. After the demonstration, Gichin was approached by Jigaro Kano, the founder of judo. He asked Funakoshi to stay longer in Japan and show him (Kano) some basic techniques.
Months later, when he next tried to leave, Funakoshi was approached by the painter Hoan Kosugi who wanted instruction in karate for himself and members of his artists group. So, Funakoshi postponed returning home and began the first organized teaching of karate in Japan at the Tabata Poplar Club. While teaching at Tabata, Funakoshi decided to remain in Japan, where he spent the rest of his life teaching karate to the Japanese people.

While in Japan, Funakoshi wrote the first book ever on karate, entitled "RyuKyu Kempo: Karate". The book was designed by Hoan Kosugi, who is also credited with designing the Shotokan tiger. Four years later the book was re-released with the new title "Renten Goshin Karate-jitsu". His next book, "Karate-do Kyohan" was written in 1935.

In 1928, he was asked to give a demonstration for the royal family of Japan. For Funakoshi this would have been enough an honor, but it was made all the greater because the demonstration was done on the palace grounds!. Since then Karate's popularity continued to grow. Karate clubs had been and continued to spring up at colleges, universities and businesses throughout Japan.

All this time, Funakoshi kept a dojo at the Meisei Juku. However, time and an 1923 earthquake eventually created the need for a new place to train. Funakoshi was offered to use space at the kendo hall of Hiromichi Nakayama. Eventually, Funakoshi was given another great honor Nationwide, karate practitioners chipped in to pay for the construction of a dojo dedicated to the instruction of Funakoshi's karate. Finally In 1936, the Shotokan was born!

In 1949, the Japan Karate Association was established, with Master Funakoshi as the chief instructor. The Japan Karate Association organized a very thorough instructors course, which included a variety of subjects. This course develops trainees into highly qualified instructors.

In 1956 Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa (Jyu-Dan, 10th Degree Black Belt), joined Japan Karate Association (J.K.A.).

In 1957, the Japanese Ministry of Education officially recognized the Japan Karate Association as a learning institution.

In 1957 Master Funakoshi expired at age 89, after humbly making the largest contribution to the art of Karate-Do.

In December, 1977, Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa (Jyu Dan, 10th Degree Black Belt) is independent of J.K.A. He establishes S.K.I.F. (Shotokan Karate-do International federation). With over 1,700,000 active members, representing 72 countries, S.K.I.F. is one of the world's largest and finest karate organizations. S.K.I.F. continues to grow world wide, fostering the highest standards of Shotokan Karate-Do.
And as we grow into the 21st Century, the traditional values of Shotokan Karate are passed down from Sensei to student, who will then pass on this priceless legacy (of Shotokan Karate) to future generations.
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