In the words of the man all Shotokan karateka, regardless of affiliation, look to as their founding father, there is no mention of (true) karate being competitive. Nor do his words point to the need to be better than anyone else. His words offer advice to the individual, because karate can only exist in the heart and mind of the individual. Irrespective of how large the group, or how legendary the leader, karate itself remains unconstrained by group ego and tribal thinking. Regardless of the cognitive duality some are happy to accommodate, you simply can’t have ‘alternative’ truths. Why? Because a variety of truths lead to friction, and eventually to hell. Here’s a basic truth that’s often ignored, Funakoshi Gichin sensei never practiced, or taught, Shotokan, his karate was Okinawan Shorin-ryu.
It was 1965 when Beatlemania had reached its pinnacle with a US tour that included sellout concerts at New York’s Shea Stadium, and the Hollywood Bowl. Before Christmas, The Beatles would release their 6th album, “Rubber Soul.” But in Orange County, California, Paul Godshaw would begin training under one of the most significant icons in American martial arts, Dan Ivan.
The Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Newport, Shropshire is one of the UK’s premier venues, a centre of excellence used by the countries’ elite sporting groups. The venue has hosted the English Shotokan Academy’s annual residential course since 2000, along with two international courses for the Shotokan Ryu Kase Ha. 2020 was a difficult year for everyone within the Karate world and the ESA residential was, like many other things, unable to run. However, 2021 sees the ESA celebrate 30 years and as such it was important to both run the course and to mark the milestone.
The Israeli Shotokan Association, Shotokan Ryu Israel, has been in existence for more than three decades, starting in 1986, with annual 3-4 days seminars.
The normalized commercialization of martial arts (Budo) may oblige an ambitious instructor to navigate ethical challenges and the dynamics of compromise. This applies particularly to anyone seeking financial gain from competitive martial arts; the most prolific facet of Budo. Contrary to widespread perceptions; public martial arts instruction is a fairly recent phenomenon.
There are two very important, practical, yet extremely underused and misunderstood concepts when training to develop punching and kicking power: the force/velocity curve and the force/power curve. Both curves are extremely important for improving explosive strength and power, and they are far from being the same.
Between The Traditional and The Modern
By David Stainko 8th Dan
We are all aware of various forms of tradition, but when this phase needs to be defined, it can become confusing. Namely, a rule that repeats itself from generation to generation is called tradition. Tradition is something that doesn’t bend the rules, something that repeats itself for many years, from generation to generation, in a continuum, without any changes.