Shotokan, the world’s best known style of karate derives its name from master Funakoshi’s pen name, shoto.
Master Gigin Funakoshi the father of modern karate travelled to Tokyo from Okinawa in 1922 to spread karate, primarily through teaching it to University students.
Shotokan karate is characterised by its effective use of attacks and blocks at far maai, the distance maintained between opponents when sparring.
The training process for karate today comprises four areas: basics (kihon), sparring (kumite), kata (prearranged series of movements and techniques), and competition.
We can also divide karate into the competition-orientated “sports karate” and “budo (martial arts) karate”, which focuses on discipline and training.
Master funakoshi, who was both an educator and a man of letters taught the latter type of karate.
One of the appeals of karate is that it provides an opportunity for everyone, regardless of gender or physical strength to gain increasing confidence with each passing year.
The focus of karate should be on all areas whether training to discipline the mind and body, or in preparation for competition.
It is by following this path that we choose, that we will have achieved some of the teaching imparted by master Funakoshi all those years ago.
Extracted and reviewed from Sensei Kanazawa book on Karate Fighting Techniques.