Karate is a Japanese martial art focusing on the development of the body skills through hard work, without weapons using different part of the body for defensive and counterattacks. The objective of traditional karate training is the development of the mental strength. Discipline, persistent effort, positive attitude, and respect are required in training.
"You never attack first in karate." This is a maxim of Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957). He brought karate to Japan in 1922, and who is accepted as The father of modern karate.
GICHIN FUNAKOSHI (1868 - 1957) is the Founder of the Shotokan Karate style.
Gichin Funakoshi, a school teacher from Shuri, Okinawa, developed Shotokan karate. Funakoshi introduced karate to the Japanese mainland in 1921. His linear style is characterized with its deep stances and hard techniques. The name Shotokan comes from two words – “shoto” meaning pine waves and was Funakoshi’s pen name and “kan” meaning house or hall. Funakoski never named his karate style. Instead, his students created a sign with words “shoto-kan” on it and hung it over the entrance to their dojo. This was done in honor of their sensei.
What differentiates Shotokan is long and low stances, hard techniques, and explosive movements practiced in kihon (basics or fundamentals) and kata (pattern of movements simulating a fight).
The Nijun Kun, or the 20 principles suggest the ideas of humility, respect, compassion, patience, and both an inward and outward calmness. Funakoshi believed that through karate training and living the Nijun Kun, the karate student will improve themselves.
The Dojo kun lists five philosophical rules for training in the dojo; seek perfection of character, be faithful, endeavor to excel, respect others, refrain from violent behavior. The Dojo kun is usually posted on a wall in the dojo, and some shotokan clubs recite the Dojo kun at the beginning and/or end of each class to provide motivation and a context for further training.