karate shotokan

shotokan karate founding by gishin funakoshi

 

 

 

 toro no maki 2

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

uchi uke funakushi           

Gichin Funakoshi (船越 義珍 Funakoshi Gichin, November 10, 1868 – April 26, 1957) is the founder of Shotokan Karate-Do, perhaps the most widely known style of karate, and is attributed as being the "father of modern karate".  Following the teachings of Anko Itosu and Anko Asato, he was one of the Okinawan karate masters who introduced karate to the Japanese mainland in 1922. He taught karate at various Japanese universities and became honorary head of the Japan Karate Association upon its establishment in 1949.

 

Gichin Funakoshi was born on November 10, 1868 (refer to Karate-dō, My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi), the year of the Meiji Restoration, in Shuri, Okinawa, to a low-rank Ryūkyūan Pechin and originally had the family name Tominakoshi. Funakoshi was born prematurely. His father's name was Gisu. After entering primary school he became close friends with the son of Ankō Azato, a karate and Jigen-ryū master who would soon become his first karate teacher. Funakoshi's family was stiffly opposed to the abolition of the Japanese topknot, and this meant he would be ineligible to pursue his goal of attending medical school, despite having passed the entrance examination. Being trained in both classical Chinese and Japanese philosophies and teachings, Funakoshi became an assistant teacher in Okinawa. During this time, his relations with the Azato family grew and he began nightly travels to the Azato family residence to receive karate instruction from Ankō Azato

 

Shotokan Karate

Funakoshi had trained in both of the popular styles of Okinawan karate of the time: Shōrei-ryū and Shōrin-ryū. Shotokan is named after Funakoshi's pen name, Shōtō, which means "waving pines". Kan means training hall, or house, thus Shōtōkan referred to the "house of Shōtō". This name was coined by Funakoshi's students when they posted a sign above the entrance of the hall at which Funakoshi taught reading "Shōtō kan". In addition to being a karate master, Funakoshi was an avid poet and philosopher who would reportedly go for long walks in the forest where he would meditate and write his poetry.

By the late 1910s, Funakoshi had many students, of which a few were deemed capable of passing on their master's teachings. Continuing his effort to garner widespread interest in Okinawan karate, Funakoshi ventured to mainland Japan in 1917, and again in 1922.

In 1930, Funakoshi established an association named Dai-Nihon Karate-do Kenkyukai to promote communication and information exchange among people who study karate-dō. In 1936, Dai-Nippon Karate-do Kenkyukai changed its name to Dai-Nippon Karate-do Shoto-kai.  The association is known today as Shotokai, and is the official keeper of Funakoshi's karate heritage.

funakoshi tekki

In 1939, Funakoshi built the first Shōtōkan dojo (training hall) in Tokyo. He changed the name of karate to mean "empty hand" instead of "China hand" (as referred to in Okinawa); the two words sound the same in Japanese, but are written differently. It was his belief that using the term for "Chinese" would mislead people into thinking karate originated with Chinese boxing. Karate had borrowed many aspects from Chinese boxing which the original creators say as being positive, as they had done with other martial arts. In addition, Funakoshi argued in his autobiography that a philosophical evaluation of the use of "empty" seemed to fit as it implied a way which was not tethered to any other physical object.

Funakoshi's interpretation of the word kara to mean "empty" was reported to have caused some recoil in Okinawa, prompting Funakoshi to remain in Tokyo indefinitely. In 1949 Funakoshi's students created the Japan Karate Association (JKA), with Funakoshi as the honorary head of the organization. However, in practise this organization was led by Masatoshi Nakayama. The JKA began formalizing Funakoshi's teachings. Funakoshi was not supportive of all of the changes that the JKA eventually made to his karate style. Funakoshi got Osteoarthritis in 1948 and died of Colorectal cancer in 1957.

Legacy

Funakoshi published several books on karate including his autobiography, Karate-Do: My Way of Life. His legacy, however, rests in a document containing his philosophies of karate training now referred to as the niju kun, or "twenty principles". These rules are the premise of training for all Shotokan practitioners and are published in a work titled The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate. Within this book, Funakoshi lays out 20 rules by which students of karate are urged to abide in an effort to "become better human beings". Funakoshi's Karate-Do Kyohan "The Master Text" remains his most detailed publication, containing sections on history, basics, kata, and kumite. The famous Shotokan Tiger by Hoan adorns the hardback cover.

 

Gichin FunakoshiLegacy

Funakoshi published several books on karate including his autobiography, Karate-Do: My Way of Life. His legacy, however, rests in a document containing his philosophies of karate training now referred to as the niju kun, or "twenty principles". These rules are the premise of training for all Shotokan practitioners and are published in a work titled The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate. Within this book, Funakoshi lays out 20 rules by which students of karate are urged to abide in an effort to "become better human beings" Funakoshi's Karate-Do Kyohan "The Master Text" remains his most detailed publication, containing sections on history, basics, kata, and kumite. The famous Shotokan Tiger by Hoan adorns the hardback cover.

 

 

 

 

Memorial

 

Memorial for Funakoshi at Engaku-ji temple in Kamakura, south of Tokyo

A memorial to Gichin Funakoshi was erected by the Shotokai at Engaku-ji, a temple in Kamakura, on December 1, 1968. Designed by Kenji Ogata the monument features calligraphy by Funakoshi and Sōgen Asahina (1891–1979), chief priest of the temple which reads Karate ni sente nashi (There is no first attack in karate), the second of Funakoshi’s Twenty Precepts. To the right of Funakoshi’s precept is a copy of the poem he wrote on his way to Japan in 1922.

memorial funakushi

A second stone features an inscription by Nobuhide Ohama and reads

“          Funakoshi Gichin Sensei, of karate-do, was born on November 10, 1868 in Shuri Okinawa. From about eleven years old he began to study to-te jutsu under Azato Anko and Itosu Anko. He practiced diligently and in 1912 became the president of the Okinawan Shobukai. In May 1922, he relocated to Tokyo and became a professional teacher of karate-do. He devoted his entire life to the development of karate-do. He lived out his eighty-eight years of life and left this world on April 26, 1957. Reinterpreting to-te jutsu, the Sensei promulgated karate-do while not losing its original philosophy. Like bugei (classical martial arts), so too is the pinnacle of karate “mu” (enlightenment): to purify and make one empty through the transformation from “jutsu” to “do”. Through his famous words "空手に先手なし" (karate ni sente nashi) meaning There is no first attack in Karate and 空手は君子の武芸 (karate wa kunshi no bugei) meaning Karate is the martial art of intelligent people, Sensei helped us to better understand the term “jutsu.” In an effort to commemorate his virtue and great contributions to modern karate-do as a pioneer, we, his loyal students, organised the Shotokai and erected this monument at the Enkakuji. “Kenzen ichi” (“The fist and Zen are one”).

 

Tora no maki shotokan symbol

toto no maki, shotokan symbol

Shotokan karate has 26 main katas:

Heïan Shodan (Peace and tranquility)

Heian Shodan is the first kata that every karateka learns, it takes back basic movements such as gedan-barai, oi-zuki, age-uke in zenkutsu-dashi position and shuto-uke in kokutsu-dashi.

Heïan Nidan (Peace and tranquility)
Heian Nidan is the second Heian kata, he resumes movements such as Yoko Geri, Mae Geri, Nukite. Kokutsu-dashi is one of the main positions of this kata.

Heïan Sandan (Peace and tranquility)

Heian Sandan is the third Heian kata, he addresses the position kiba-dashi, blockages ushi-uke, morote-uke, Empi-Uké, attacks uraken, Fumikomi, Ushiro-Empi, ...

Heïan Yodan (Peace and tranquility)

Heian Yodan is the fourth Heian kata, characterized by a great dynamics, it contains a lot of leg techniques (yoko-geri, mae-geri, hiza-geri) and double blockages (Morote-Uke, kakiwake-uke) .

Heïan Godan (Peace and tranquility)

Fifth and last Heian kata, Heian Godan approaches many new techniques and positions such as kosa-dachi, renoji-dachi, mikazuki-geri. It takes place at a particular pace with alternating fast and slower times.

Tekki Shodan (Iron Horseman)

Tekki Shodan is made entirely in kiba-dachi, another of its peculiarity is that it is carried out on a single axis.

Bassaï Daï (Enter the fortress)

Bassai dai is a powerful and dynamic kata. This kata involves more defense techniques than attack. It represents the transformation of an unfavorable combat situation into a favorable situation.

Kanku Daï (Watch the sky)shotokan in japanese

Kanku dai is the longest kata shotokan, it is also special by its beginning, hands form a triangle opening towards the sky the look following this opening.

Empi (Flight of the Swallow)

Empi is a kata performing on a fast tempo, it is characterized by its pivots, its evolutions to the ground, the ascents and descents of the center of gravity.

Jion (From the name of a Buddhist temple)

Jion refers to an old temple, it certainly comes from China's starting position to make clear reference to Chinese boxing

Hangetsu (Half Moon)

this  kata is partly respiratory, during the displacements, the foot describe an arc of circle

Tekki Nidan (Iron Horseman)

Tekki Nidan is the second kata Tekki, it is also made entirely in kiba-dachi and on a single axis.

Bassai Sho (Enter the fortress)

Bassaisho is the short version of dai bassai, it nevertheless very distinct.

Gankaku (Crane on a Rock)

One of the peculiarities of Gankaku is the fact of being in balance on one leg several times like a crane.

Jiin (death of the Buddha)

Jitte (Hand of Mercy - 10 hands)
Jitte is the representation of a fight against 10 people.

Kanku Sho (Watch the sky)

Kanku sho is the short version of kanku dai. However, they are quite different.

Meikyo (Polishing the mirror)

Meikyo is one of the only kata making defenses against a stick. It also has a special jump.

Nijushiho (24 steps)

Nijushiho is a kata with a particular rhythm alternating fast passages and slow passages.

Sochin (Quiet Force)

Sochin is a particular kata thanks to the position fudo-dachi (position between zenkutsu-dachi and kiba-dachi).

Tekki Sandan (Iron Horseman)

Tekki Sandan is the third and last kata Tekki, it is also made entirely in kiba-dachi and on a single axis.

Unsu (Main in Cloud)

Unsu is a condensation of several katas like Bassai-dai, Kanku-dai, Jion, Empi, ... It is the only kata in which a mawashi-geri is made.

Chinte (Secret Hand)

Chinte is an ancient kata in which we find techniques such as nihon nukite (two "pikes" of the hand).

Gojushiho Dai (54 steps)

Gojushiho sho and Gojushiho dai are two of the longest shotokan katas with kanku dai, sho and dai in this case refers only to the amplitude of the movements

Gojushiho Sho (54 steps)

Gojushiho sho and Gojushiho dai are two of the longest shotokan katas with kanku dai, sho and dai in this case refers only to the amplitude of the movements

Wankan (Crown of the King)
The shorter katas of the shotokan.

 

niju kun

一、空手は礼に初まり礼に終ることを忘るな。

  Karate-do wa rei ni hajimari rei ni owaru
koto a wasaru na .

  Karate-do begins with a bow
and finishes with a bow

二、空手に先手なし。

Karate ni sente nashi .

There is no first strike in karate

三、空手は義の補け。

Karate wa, gi no taske .

One who practices karate
must follow the way of justice

四、先づ自己を知れ而して他を知れ。

Mazu onore o shire, shikashite ta o shire .

First know yourself , then you
can know others.

五、技術より心術。

Gijitsu yori shinjitsu .

Spirit and mind is more important
than technique

六、心は放たん事を要す。

Kokoro wa hanatan koto o yosu .

Be ready to release your mind

七、禍は懈怠に生ず。

Waza wai wa ketai ni seizu .

Misfortune comes out of idleness

八、道場のみの空手と思うな。

Dojo nomino karate to omou na .

Don’t think that what you learn
from karate can’t be used
outside the dojo

九、空手の修行は一生である。

Karate-do no shugyo wa isssho de aru .

It will take you entire life to learn karate

十、凡ゆるものを空手化せ其処に妙味あり。

Ara yuru mono o karateka seyo; sokoni myomi ari .

Put karate into your everyday
living;that is how you will see
its true beauty

十一、空手は湯の如く絶えず熱を与えざれば元の水に返る。

Karate Wa Yu No Gotoku Taezu Netsu O Atae Zareba
Motono Mizuni Kaeru .

Karate is just like hot water; if you
do not give it continuous heat, it
will become cold

十二、勝つ考えは持つな、負けぬ考えは必要。

Katsu kangae wa motsuna; makenu kangae wa hitsuyo .

Do not think that you have to
win; think, rather, that you do
not have to lose

十三、敵に因って転化せよ。

Tekki ni yotte tenka seyo .

Make adjustments according to
your opponent

十五、人の手足を劔と思え。

Hi to no te-ashi wa ken to omoe .

Consider you opponent’s legs
and arms as you would lethal swords.

十六、男子門を出づれば百万の敵あり。

Danshi mon o izureba hyakuman no teki ari .

When you step beyond your own
get,you face a million enemies.

十七、構えは初心者に、あとは自然体。

Kamae wa shoshinsha ni atowa shizentai .

Formal stances,are for beginners,
later,one stands naturally.

十八、型は正しく、実戦は別もの。

Kata wa tadashiku, jisen wa betsumono .

Perform prescnbed sets of
techniques exactly,
actualcombat is another matter.

十九、力の強弱、体の伸縮、技の緩急を忘るな。

Chikara no kyojaku tai no shinshuku waza no kankyu wo
wasaru na .

Do not forget: the employment
of power,the extension or
contraction of the body,the swift
or leisurely application of technique.

二十、常に思念工夫せよ。

Tsune ni shinen ku fu seyo .

Be constantly mindful,diligent,
and resourceful,in your pursuit
of the Way.

 

 

Share This:

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *