Shotokan Karate

Shotokan is a modern name given to the style of karate that developed from the Okinawan systems, and which was introduced to Japan in 1922 by Gichin Funakoshi, the father of modern karate. He was born in 1868, and studied karate from his
childhood. Between 1926 and 1930, Funakoshi developed karate further and consolidated its position in Japan.
The universities were the main sites of karate study, and they were influenced by research on physiology and
calisthenics. During this period Funakoshi and his son Yoshitaka added kumite (fighting) methods, the Japanese
kyu/dan ranking system, and some of the traditional concepts of budo (martial way) to the system. Under
Yoshitaka, the development of shotokan karate really accelerated. This knowledge was incorporated into the
kihon (basics) of shotokan karate. After 1936, the kata (sequences movements) were revised to conform to
dynamic new style.

Yoshitaka Funakoshi died in early 1945, his death probably precipitated by the news this father's dojo had been
destroyed in bombing raid. After the war, Funakoshi returned to teaching in Tokyo, and in 1952, the age of
eighty four, he undertook a three-month tour of American air bases, thus ensuring the spread of shotokan
karate to America. He died in 1957.

His memorial bears the words 'Karate ni sente nashi' - 'There is no first attack in karate'.

Shihan Keigo ABE was born the October 28, 1938 in the town of Iyoshi (Ehime Prefecture),
Japan. In 1953 he started his Karate activity in the intermediate school under the direction
of a Shito Ryu Master from Okinawa. In 1956 he went to the prestigious Nihon University of
Tokyo. In the mean time he trains karate in the mythic JKA's (Japan Karate Association)
Hombu Dojo directed by Sensei MASATOSHI NAKAYAMA (pupil of O'sensei gichin FUNAKOSHI
the Karate Shotokan founder).He became one of the best Sensei Nakayama's instructors and
directly collaborated with him to train many technicians that are famous all over the world.
Sensei Abe is one of the most important representatives of the karate world.

Addition he studied Laido for about 30 years. This martial art had great influence in Sensei Abe karate
spirit that we could resume in the following concepts: "we must make a real Karate" in other words a
"street karate". For Sensei Abe Karate practice is necessary either for physical and mental wellbeing and,
if necessary, for self defence. In his youth years Sensei Abe was known as a
powerful fighter in JKA. In this association he was chief referee. During the many
years as Karate studious he taught in many countries and was actively involved in
the Karate diffusion in the world.

In 1990 he became JKA chief instructor (Matsuno section) and in 1999 he
founded the JSKA (Japan Shotokan Karate Association) with headquarter in
Japan and associate members in more than 40 countries. At present 9th dan
and head of JSKA World Chief Instructor, he is one of the legendary living
Karate masters.

The HOKUSHIN KARATE ACADEMY is affiliated to both the JSKA (Japan Shotokan Karate Association and the ISKU (the International Shotokan Karate Union). Each organisation are non-political karate groups which focus upon quality traditional karate and the happiness of its members. As such, the HOKUSHIN KARATE ACADEMY enjoy's training camps, courses with top instructors, World class competitions and a structure which allows its members the autonomy they want within a framework which allows natural progression up the ranks.

Mike McCusker 6th Dan and chief instructor of the HOKUSHIN KARATE ACADEMY is also the chief instructor of the ISKU and offers a wealth of knowledge and experience in Shotokan karate.

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