KARATE HISTORY OF SHOTOKAN KARATE AS WE KNOW IT... Gichin Funakoshi was born in Okinawa in 1868, the same year as Japan's Meiji Restoration. Introduced to karate as a boy, Funakoshi’s early training took place in complete secrecy – at the time, the Okinawan government had banned the practice of karate. Funakoshi eventually became a school teacher, training in karate all the while. During this time, Okinawan karate emerged from its seclusion to become a legally sanctioned martial art. In 1922, the Japanese Ministry of Education held a martial arts demonstration in Tokyo; the Okinawan Department of Education asked Funakoshi to introduce Okinawan karate to Japan. unakoshi did not get the chance to return to Okinawa. His demonstration made a powerful impression on the Japanese public; Funakoshi was soon besieged with requests to further demonstrate and teach his art. Eventually, he had enough students to open a modest dojo in a Tokyo dormitory's lecture hall. Local universities began to take an interest in karate, and Funakoshi became a regular instructor at a number of them. The ranks of Funakoshi's students grew. Recognising that the karate he practised had diverged from the Chinese fighting styles, Funakoshi changed the meaning of "karate" from "Chinese hand" to "empty hand." ("Kara" can also mean "empty".) The change was important to Funakoshi: the "empty hand" concept not only reflected the fact that its practitioners used no weapons, it also recalled the process of perfecting oneself and one's art – by emptying the heart and mind of earthly desire and vanity. Funakoshi also set out to make karate more accessible to the public. He revised and streamlined the components of karate training, especially the kata, to make karate simple enough for everybody – young and old, men and women. Karate began to spread throughout Japan. In 1935, Funakoshi's supporters had pooled enough funds to erect the first freestanding karate dojo in Japan. The dojo opened the next year, with a sign over the THE FOLLOWING NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS HAVE PROVEN SUCCESSFUL: ◆ An instructors development program for young, aspiring instructors. ◆ An international development karate tournament with neighbouring Namibia, Swaziland, Angola and Zimbabwe. The notorious six week Development training program that concludes with a bootcamp and colours presentation. ◆ The Academy Open Championships for all grades. THE KARATE ACADEMY OF SOUTH AFRICA www.karateacademy.co.za ◆ Our Chief Instructor is Sensei Soon Pretorius. ◆ We have over 100 schools throughout Southern Africa. ◆ An active network of senior instructors teaching at all Academy schools across Southern Africa. ◆ We are affiliated to the JSKA (JAPAN SHOTOKAN KARATE ASSOCIATION), "We practise Traditional Shotokan Karate, based on the style of Masatoshi Nakayama (successor of Gichin Funakoshi), late Chief Instructor of J.K.A" The term Karate is a combination of two words, kara (empty) and te (hand). This means that karate is a style of self-defence fighting where no weapons are used (because your hands are empty). F door bearing the dojo's name: Shoto-kan. We might even say that there is no such thing as Shotokan, despite the widespread use of the word today to describe a particular method of karate. The ShotoKan was originally the first free-standing karate dojo in the world built outside of Tokyo by Funakoshi's students. They named it "Shoto-Kan" meaning "Training Hall of Pine Waves." Pine-Waves, Shoto, was the name that Funakoshi signed to his calligraphy. The Shoto-Kan was a building, not a system of karate. Because of the building, followers of other newly named Karate styles (GojuRyu, Wado-Ryu, Shito-Ryu) started referring to Funakoshi's Karate as Shotokan, but his students and he did not call it that. They simply called it Karate. MAJOR TOURNAMENTS The 12th International Shotokan Development Karate Championships will be held in Mtunzini, KZN on 25 August 2007. The 4th JSKA World Cup will be held in Manchester, England in August 2008. Interview with Sherilee Anne Knox (17 years of age), from Pretoria, South Africa. What is your highest achievement in your sport? Winning two Golds and one Bronze in the Senior Lady’s Division at the Karate Academy National Championships 2007. Why do you participate in this sport? Firstly karate is more an Art with a sporting side to it. I train karate because of the health benefits and for the self defence aspect, which is greatly needed in today’s world. Broadly speaking, it's a collective term for a family of fighting disciplines, primarily from Japan, Korea and China. For further information you can visit www.karateacademy.co.za • www.letsplay.org and www.ironkids.co.za 6 What or who was your biggest inspiration? Sensei Soon Pretorius for his awesome leadership in the karate world and Sensei MigueL Harker for all his time and effort he puts into my karate. What has been the highlight in your sporting career? Beating my seniors in their division at this year’s National Championships. How many hours do you practice per week? 20 hours What are your future plans or dreams? To firstly be JSKA World Champ, then go on to win a WKF world title. Why do you think children should participate in sport? For discipline, health and for selfdefence. It improves ones standard of life by making you motivated to improve every aspect of it. What advice would you give a beginner? I would give the same advice to anyone in life, just keep on working hard, it is worth it. Who is your sporting hero and why? Vincent Knox (my dad) He is involved with the Comrades Marathon, running it and training others to participate, also with many cycling races. He is even known as a SENSEI (teacher) by the South African All-Styles Karate Team as he does their fitness and preparation programmes. What do you do for relaxation? I take a long bath in aromatherapy salts. What is the biggest sporting event you would like to attend? The Olympic Games Who do you think will win the 2010 Soccer World Cup? Brazil, obviously! What makes you the most proud of our country? Our heritage and our beautiful country side, especially Knysna. What career would you like to choose? Something in the medical or sport line of work. What is your motto for success? If you do not try, then there will be no result. What is it that makes people fail? Accepting failure, instead of accepting it as a challenge to improve oneself. Who would you like to meet and why? I would like to have a meeting with the President of SA (Thabo Mbeki) as I would like to convince him that karate is needed in all schools for discipline and for self-defence. Your favourite movie star? Kiera Knightly Your favourite movie? Dirty Dancing www.prittworld.com
"Pritt no 144"