Showing Tag: " karate" (Show all posts)

Tatsuya Naka

Posted by on Saturday, June 3, 2023, In : Photography 

Tatsuya Naka – 7th Dan in Shotokan karate

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Gigo Funakoshi

Posted by on Sunday, January 31, 2021, In : Photography 

Yoshitaka “Gigo” Funakoshi, who helped with the development of Shotokan karate along side his father, Gichin Funakoshi.

Image Source:

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Kenwa Mabuni

Posted by on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, In : Photography 

Kenwa Mabuni founder of Shito-Ryu karate, photographed in 1938.

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When I Was a Young Man - Keinosuke Enoeda

Posted by on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, In : Proverbs & Quotes 

"When I was a young man, many people blocked with their face".

~ Keinosuke Enoeda ~
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The History of Hangetsu

Posted by on Thursday, October 31, 2013, In : Video 

Takayuki Mikami perofming Hangetsu.

Hangetsu (Half Moon) is possibly the oldest kata in the whole art of karate. Formally known as Seishan, it came through the Naha-te school though its origins are unknown. One theory is that the kata was formed from a Chinese folk dance, which aimed to explain to the onlooker the importance of the tides.

The original name, Seishan, means Thirteen which may be in reference to the thirteen day intervals as the moon revolves around the earth. However a more like...
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The History of Jion

Posted by on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, In : Video 

Hirokazu Kanazawa performing Jion

The origins of the kata Jion (Mercy) is highly debated by scholars of world martial arts. It starts with the left hand covering the right fist, kamae that probably has its roots in Chinese boxing. It is thought to have come through the Tomari-te style of Okinawan karate, however according to the legendary Hirokazu Kanazawa (above), the kata originated in the Chinese Buddhist Jion Temple (where the monks were accomplished martial artists) and then spread to the...
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Mas Oyama Makiwara Training

Posted by on Monday, August 19, 2013, In : Photography 

A young Masutatsu “Mas” Oyama training on a makiwara board c.1954.
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The History of Ji'in

Posted by on Friday, July 19, 2013, In : Video 

Hirokazu Kanazawa performing Ji'in

Ji’in (Inverted mercy) is no longer accepted as a kata of the Japanese Karate Association (JKA) and along with Wankan, was not included in the ‘Best Karate’ series by Masatoshi Nakayama, which is widely seen as a definitive guide to Shotokan kata. Despite this, many associations still teach it and many instructors feel the kata has a lot to offer their students.

The origins of Ji’in are obscure though as it shares the same Yoi position as Jion and Jitt...
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Mas Oyama - Fighting a Bull

Posted by on Thursday, July 18, 2013, In : Photography 

Sensei Mas Oyama, who had 52 fights with bulls, killing 3 outright and cutting off the horns of the rest with his knife hand strike.
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Eisuke Akamine and Taira Shinken

Posted by on Sunday, July 14, 2013, In : Photography 

Master Eisuke Akamine (left) and Master Taira Shinken training with traditional Okinawan
karate weapons, the bo staff and the tonfa respectively.

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The History of Jitte

Posted by on Friday, June 28, 2013, In : Video 

Jitte, performed by sensei Imura Takenori with application from Masatoshi Nakayama

Jitte literally means Ten Hands and the name may imply that one must have the strength of ten men, which is how Masatoshi Nakayama interpreted it in his book, Best Karate, Volume 7, (seen by many as a definitive guide to Shotokan kata). An alternative theory is that the name may derive from the raised fists hand position from within the kata, which is said to looks similar to a type of Sai known as a Jitte that ...
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The History of Sochin

Posted by on Sunday, March 24, 2013, In : Video 

Sochin (Tranquil Force) may have its origins in martial arts history in Dragon Style Kung Fu and then later come through the Naha-te school in Okinawa, where it was taught by Seisho Arakaki. According to legend, Higaonna Kanryo learned it from him then passed it down to Kenzo Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu.

Mabuni is said to have spent some time instructing Gichin Funakoshi’s son, Yoshitaka in the art of kata and as a result of these instructions, the Shotokan syllabus gained not only S...
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The History of Nijushiho

Posted by on Friday, February 22, 2013, In : Video 

Nijushiho being performed by Tetsuhiko Asai (1935 – 2006)

Nijushiho (Twenty-four steps) is of unknown origins though some scholars believe that like Sochin, it originally comes from the Chinese Dragon style of fighting. Others believe the kata was created by the 19th century Okinawan master Seisho Arakaki, who may have also invented Sochin and Unsu.

The Okinawan name, Niseishi, was changed by Gichin Funakoshi however both mean the same thing. Whenever it was created, its development fo...
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The History of Meikyo

Posted by on Friday, December 7, 2012, In : Video 

Meikyo (Bright/Polished Mirror) was renamed by Gichin Funakoshi (above) from its original name, Rohai meaning ‘Vision of a Crane’ (though many styles still use the old name). The kata comes from the Tomari-te school where it was a set of three, Rohai Shodan, Nidan, and Sandan.

These kata were probably invented by Sensei Anko Itosu, with the techniques being derived from a much longer version of Rohai which was possibly invented by Kosaku Matsumora, suggested by the fact that it was known...
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Sensei Gichin Funakoshi Demonstrating Basics

Posted by on Thursday, December 6, 2012, In : Photography 

Sensei Gichin Funakoshi demonstrating some basic karate moves.

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The History of Chinte

Posted by on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, In : Video 

Chinte (Strange Hands) (performed by Master Masataka Mori above) is a very old kata that probably has its origins in China, though it has been suggested it is actually derived from an Okinawan folk dance. Favoured more by women than men, unlike most Shotokan kata it consists of predominantly circular movements instead of the more common linear ones.

If it did derive from a dance, some suggest that it symbolizes all the things a woman should know about life according to the culture at the ...

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The History of the Kanku Kata

Posted by on Thursday, September 20, 2012, In : Video 

Kanku (Looking into the sky) Sho (minor) and Dai (major) are advanced kata in the Shotokan syllabus and practiced by many styles including those of Japanese, Okinawa and Korean karate. Kanku Sho (Performed above by Takayuki Mikami) is the younger of the two Kanku kata and was probably developed from kanku Dai and handed down as a part of Master Anko Itosu’s teachings.

It contains moves that are typical of Itosu kata, such as double punches and moves that are designed to control and or ...
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Anko Itosu - 1908

Posted by on Sunday, September 9, 2012, In : Photography 

Anko Itosu (just left of centre sporting a big white moustache), at a martial arts exhibition in 1908.

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Sensei Anko Itosu with Kenwa Mabuni & Gichin Funakoshi

Posted by on Saturday, August 25, 2012, In : Photography 

Sensei Anko Itosu (with the glasses), pictured with some of his students including
Kenwa Mabuni (standing) & Gichin Funakoshi (to Itosu's left).

Date: c.1880.

Update - Having recently read an article on it has come to my attention that Kenwa Mabuni can not be in this picture as he was not born until 1889, 21 years after Gichin Funakoshi. It seems likely that the boy seated is in fact Funakoshi though there is some doubt as to weather or not it is Anko Itosu sat be...
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The History of Unsu

Posted by on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, In : Video 

 Unsu (Hands in the Clouds) is a high level kata and one of the oldest practiced within Shotokan karate. Its exact origins are unknown but it is believed to be of Chinese origins, and of the Dragon Style of Kung Fu. According to Masatoshi Nakayama, anyone who tries to master Unsu before first mastering the Heian kata, Kanku-Dai, Empi and Jion will look like “a scarecrow trying to dance".

Symbolism is a recurring theme in the history of the martial arts and it has been suggested that the mo...

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Training at Shuri Castle

Posted by on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, In : Photography 

Training at Shuri Castle c.1938. Photographed by Nakasone Genwa

The History of Okinawan Karate
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Early Karate Training in Japan

Posted by on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, In : Photography 

Students of karate training on a roof top in Japan c.1934

The History of Okinawan Karate
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Kanga Tode Sakugawa

Posted by on Monday, July 30, 2012, In : Photography 

Photograph of Okinawan karate master Kanga 'Tode' Sakugawa (1733 - 1815).

(Update, although several sources around the web clam this to be a photograph of the great master, as he died in 1815 and photography had not been invented yet, this is not possible).

Karate History Articles

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