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Shotokan Karate A 400 Year Tradition

Gichin Funakoshi sitting

In Okinawa, a miraculous and mysterious martial art has come down to us from the past:  

Karate-do:  "the way of Karate". 


It is said that one who masters its techniques can defend one’s self readily and can perform remarkable feats. 


The essence of true Karate-do 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 is devoted utterly to the cause of justice.”


The origins of Shotokan Karate can be traced back to the island of Okinawa over 400 years ago.  Gichin Funakoshi introduced it formally to Japan in 1922.  Today he is known as the “father of modern karate”.

Master Funakoshi refined and standardized the techniques of this art.  He deeply believed that Shotokan Karate was a means of developing a strong character and self-defense.  He did not believe in resolving conflict with violence and he emphasized self-protection and respect for one another.


In the 1940s, a group of Shotokan karate masters founded the prestigious Japan Karate Association (JKA) to ensure that the traditions of this martial art would be upheld.  One of those karate masters was Master Osamu Ozawa, a direct student of Master Funakoshi.  While alive, Master Ozawa was the most senior Japanese instructor residing in the Western world.  He received his 8th-degree black belt from Prince Higashikuni, uncle to Emperor Hirohito of Japan.  In 1981, he founded the Las Vegas Shotokan Karate dojo and in 1995, Master Ozawa at age 70 turned the school over to James Tawatao, a student of his since 1981.  Master Ozawa passed away in early 1998. In 2012 Sensei Tawatao awarded Patrick Curley the title of Sensei and Patrick moved to Atascadero, Ca to start Atascadero Shotokan Karate.


With millions of karate students around the world, Shotokan Karate is today the most popular style of traditional karate.

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