What is Karate?
Karate is a Japanese based Self- defence sytem, it is said to have originated from Okinawa located in the Ryukyu island archipelago on the Southern most part of Japan.
The definition of karate accepted from the Japanese characters (Kanji) depicting Karate is "Empty Hand"
Shotokan Karate is one of the 4 major schools of Karate recognised by the World Karate Federation. The other main styles are Shito Ryu, Gojo Ryu and Wado Ryu.
The founder of the Shotokan style/ school was Gichin Funakoshi.
Funakoshi was trained by two masters in slightly different styles. From master Yasutsne Azato he was instructed in "Shuri-te" and from Master Yasutsune Itosu he was instructed "Naha-te".
It would be from the joining of these two styles that he would create Shotokan Karate.
"Shoto" was the pen name Funakoshi used in his poetrywhich means "Pine Waves", while "Kan" means house. Hence "Shotokan" was the name of the hall where he trained his students.