What is Shotokan?
Shotokan is a Japanese style of karate that is characterized by a strong focus (a concentrated moment of energy) made possible by full hip motions and total body commitment to the technique. This is formal training, based upon traditional teaching methods, that gradually builds up one's physical condition and mental concentration.
Shotokan karate is different from many other martial arts in that instead of thrusting the beginner immediately into actual sparring and contact situations - where injuries may easily happen and where little real learning can occur- Shotokan begins by teaching basic principles and movements. All other techniques are built upon this solid foundation.
With an understanding of how power and speed are generated, progress will be made towards strong, effective techniques. Although physical confrontations should be avoided, if one becomes necessary, the goal is not for an extended conflict, but to end the encounter with a single, decisive attack.
Founded by Gichin Funakoshi, Shotokan is the quintessential Japanese martial art and is studied around the world under several organizations.
Japanese Shotokan karate's emphasis on proper form and technique through kihon (basics), kata (forms), and kumite (controlled sparring) rapidly develops the body and mind to increase focus and concentration, physical fitness and core strength, flexibility, self-confidence, and aids in relief from the daily stress of school or work. Shotokan karate is a martial art and a way of self-defense, but is also a way of life that instills balance between mind, body and spirit. This is the core of Budo (武道) or the "Way of the Warrior" and is the basis of our dojo philosophy.
Focus on the Basics:
Kihon, Kumite, and Kata
Kihon (Basics): Kihon are drills consisting of basic techniques vital to the knowledge of any karateka. In class, students learn firstly how to perform the technique, and then begin to slowly perfect it over the course of their training. Kihon truly shows the essence of karate because it will never be perfect. However, a true karate student is always seeking and endeavoring to experience perfection in technique.
Kumite (Sparring): Kumite is controlled sparring using techniques learned in Kihon. As students advance, the Kumite becomes more and more open, allowing more and more reinterpretation. Kumite shows a student how to control their attacks so they do not injure the opponent. Understanding and experiencing self-control in the dojo translates over to everyday life and personal growth.
Kata (Forms): These formal exercises of karate consist of series of defensive and offensive techniques, performed in a set sequence against multiple imaginary opponents. Kata are composed of many combinations of body shifting, blocking, and striking ranging from beginner to highly advanced levels. Kata training will encourage the development of form, balance, speed, control and alertness, all necessary for a healthy body, mind, and life. Secondly, Kata are also a performance, allowing a karateka to express themselves in a beautiful art form.
The ultimate goal of consistent training is not solely for the development of physical prowess, but rather to seek and encourage the development of a spiritual and psychological fulfillment via exercise.
Everything in life needs balance. If you are too heavily invested in a sector of your life, you will become unbalanced. When you lose balance, you also lose focus, understanding, judgment, and even movement. Japanese karate as handed down from generation to generation at Shotokan Karate Center Coral Springs JKA fosters balance in life and establishes a foundation upon which physical and emotional maturity can develop.