Shotokan Karate is a traditional Japanese martial art with a lineage that can be traced back hundreds of years. Shotokan techniques include blocks, strikes, evasions, throws, and joint manipulations. When it comes to techniques, we believe that less is more. By this, we mean that we prefer a small set of highly refined techniques compared to a large set of techniques of which we only have a basic understanding. Because of this, our practices can appear to be very repetitive. However, it is this repetitive practice that allows us to continuously refine these techniques over many years.
Self defense and development of one’s character are the primary goals of our practice. Learning how to defend yourself against a real attack, or how to overcome mental and physical adversity is not something that is easily done. It requires rigorous training, where you are continuously pushed to your limits, and beyond. Only then can you learn how to face an opponent, or yourself, with confidence and a strong mentality. Because of this, our practices our physically and mentally challenging.
Karate practice is divided into three aspects. Each of these aspects is of equal importance. Hence, equal time is spent on each.
- Kihon – the practice of basic blocks, punches, kicks, and stances
- Kata – prearranged forms and movements that teach us how to move swiftly and strongly in combat situations
- Kumite – sparring with opponents
Our practices follow an ongoing training format. We do not have the concept of a session, semester, or season in our training. Members meet all year round to practice. As Master Funakoshi, the founder of the Shotokan style, once said, “Karate is like boiling water; without heat, it returns to its tepid state.” For this reason, the serious karate student practices continuously, day after day, year after year.
While the atmosphere in the dojo is serious, friendships quickly develop. Members encourage each other, push each other, and take care of each other. When sparring, members will face each other strictly and honestly, because they want their partners to learn how to face real attacks like they would face on the street. We realize that the worst thing we could do to our partners is facilitate in their development of a false sense of confidence. It is because we care for each other that we face each other strictly, seriously, and honestly.