Development of Shotokan Karatedo to Current Event
Shotokan Karatedo style was initially practiced in a space of 18 tatami mats. When the technique was introduced to Japan, it became known as karate-do. In 1936, Shotokan introduced the “bent knee” and “seiza” sitting posture used by practitioners today, known as Fujitani. The emphasis on this posture increased because it improved the presentation of techniques in kata. Funakoshi also insisted that students complete a rigorous physical training regimen before they were allowed to participate in more advanced forms of practice.
According to the style’s founder, Funakoshi himself, martial arts training involved no blows, which were instead fired from the hip. He believed that by practicing kata, a person could ” concentrate on flexibility and control the body movements.” His training methods were more similar to traditional Japanese fencing as opposed to western boxing. His first use of the word ‘karate’ was probably in 1921, and he was using the word to describe a new way that karate could be practiced. It wasn’t until 1922 that Funakoshi adopted the word “karate” as its name. Funakoshi believed that karate had both a physical and mental aspect to it. He called his practice method “Shotokan,” named after his first dojo (training room).
"The restoration of balance and harmony"
In the new generation of practitioners, Shotokan is divided into two sub-styles, Shito-Ryu and Wado-Ryu. Over time, the Shotokan style became more widespread, particularly among colleges and universities in Japan. It was also practiced in China by Chinese martial artists, and as a result, it is said that there were many rivalries between Chinese and Japanese practitioners. With these competitive mutual exchanges of martial art techniques, Shotokan developed into what it is today
Today, the style has vibrant communities in mainland Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and North America. Several teachers from Korea and Taiwan have also brought the style over to their countries. Many of the developments of Shotokan are attributed to those who have immigrated to other countries. Who further developed the techniques in new locations. The widespread popularity and demand for karate classes in the post-World War II era enabled Shotokan to become popular in many schools, universities, workplaces, and among individuals. Nakayama Kyoshi, a master of the style, made some of the significant innovations that include the modernized uniform worn by practitioners, the unified belts for different ranks, and the Tamura sensei’s (a Shotokan karate instructor) quote at an award ceremony:
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