History of Karate

The term 'karate' translates into English as meaning 'empty hand'. Karate originated from a small island, which lies in the East China Sea between China and Japan, called Okinawa

Although the roots of karate date back more than a thousand years, and have been influenced by the ancient fighting arts of China in particular, the most influential stage in the development of karate came about in the early part of the seventeenth century, following an invasion by the Japanese in which any resistance met by the native islanders of Okinawa was soon crushed.

The Japanese subsequently banned the carrying or ownership of any weapons on the island of Okinawa, with the exception of the warrior elite from Japan being allowed to continue to parade with their weapons.

As a result of the weapons ban, the Okinawan people developed an effective system of unarmed self-defence using the hands, feet, elbows and knees from which modern day karate has evolved. From the early systems which developed out of the various areas of Okinawa we now have a number of 'styles' of karate which are distinct from one another having their own individual characteristics.

Shukokai ( meaning 'way for all' ) is one of these styles and is noted for its higher stances which allow for smoother mobility, and was developed by its founder, Chojiro Tani, on scientific lines to enable greater impact potential of its techniques.

Today, karate is practised throughout the world and continues to grow in its popularity. It has evolved into an effective form of self-defence, an excellent form of physical education and an exciting sport. Karate has become renowned for being an excellent method of character development for children and adults alike through the exercising of self-control, discipline and respect when training, which encourages those who practice to become responsible individuals and better members of society.