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Shotokan Karate Academyv
Shotokan Karate Academy, North Vancouver


"Shotokan" (松濤館) was the name of the first official dojo built by Gichin Funakoshi in 1936.

"Shotokan" is also composed of two different kanji words:


1- Shoto (松濤), meaning "pine breeze", "pine waves"

  • "Sho" (松) means "pine"

  • "To" (濤) means "wave"

2- Kan (館) meaning "house", "hall", "the place"


Thus "Shotokan" (松濤館) means the “House of Shoto”


“Shoto” was Funakoshi's pen-name which he used in his poetic and philosophical writings and messages to his students. In honor of their sensei, Funakoshi's students created a sign reading Shōtō-kan, which they placed above the entrance of the dojo (hall) where Funakoshi taught. Gichin Funakoshi never gave his system a name, just calling it "Karate".


Shotokan training is usually divided into three parts: Kihon (basics), Kata (forms or patterns of moves), and Kumite (sparring). Techniques in Kihon and Kata are characterized by deep, long stances that provide stability, enable powerful movements and strengthen the legs.


Shotokan is regarded as a dynamic martial art as it develops anaerobic, powerful techniques as well as developing speed.


Shotokan style is easily recognized by its direct punching, blocking, and kicking
techniques. Shotokan emphasizes correct posture, proper joint alignment and strength from repetitive basic techniques. Basic techniques are repeated until the karate-ka is able to perform them properly and it becomes second nature. The result of all this repetition is called "Kime" (focus and power).


Traditional Shotokan Karate is a Japanese style of karate that emphasizes discipline, concentration, respect, mental and spiritual development. Through practice you will learn not only an effective method of self-defense but you will improve your health by becoming more physically and mentally fit.

“True karate is this: that in daily life one’s mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility, and that in critical times, one be devoted utterly to the cause of justice.”

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