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Gichin Funakoshi, the Father of Shotokan Karate

Gichin Funakoshi, the Father of Shotokan Karate

The life and legacy of Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan Karate, is a testament to the power of martial arts as a means of personal development and growth. Despite being rejected from medical school due to political struggles, Funakoshi found his calling in karate and went on to establish his own style, which he named Shotokan. Funakoshi's writings and teachings emphasized the importance of self-improvement and the connection between mind and body. Today, Shotokan Karate is practiced all over the world, and Funakoshi's philosophy continues to inspire students of all levels. If you're looking for a comprehensive program that can transform your mind and body, the Element Karate program is the perfect place to start! With experienced instructors and a focus on mental and emotional resilience, this program can help you achieve your goals and develop important values that will serve you well both inside and outside the dojo. Want to try it out? Call now or fill out our online application to join us for a free consult!

Gichin's Life And Legacy

Shotokan Karate was founded by Gichin Funakoshi. Originally born in Okinawa, Funakoshi was well on his way to accomplish his goal of entering medical school during the early parts of his life. However, due to the political struggles in Japan during what is known as the Meiji Era, Funakoshi was rejected from attending medical school despite passing the entrance exam.

A close friend of Funakoshi, Anako Asato began teaching Funakoshi regular karate lessons during the evenings at the Asato residence. This lead to Funakoshi to train other students under his name and style. Making his style known to the people through public demonstrations and creating university clubs involving Karate.

The term, “Shoto” means “Pine-waves”, referencing to the movement of pine needles blowing in the wind. The term, “Kan” means “House” or “hall”, hence the name, “Shotokan” which refers to the “House of Shoto”. What we know today as “Shotokan Karate” was made official by his students once they put up a sign at the front entrance of their dojo.

Being an avid writer and poet, Funakoshi often wrote lessons and messages to his students with a strong philosophical influence as to how people should treat others, better themselves, and of course, the principles of Karate. Funakoshi has published many books containing his philosophical view of Karate training and how it ties into self- development and growth as a person. You can find his published works today, the two most famous documents being Funakoshi’s “The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate”, and “The Master Text.

After Funakoshi passed due to osteoarthritis in April, 1957, his students began brining Shotokan Karate to all areas of Japan, and eventually the world while sharing and honouring his teachings and philosophy. Funakoshi and his students have set a great precedent to always remind us that martial arts is not only about physical prowess, but how intricate the connection between mind and body should be to elevate one’s self.

Transform Your Mind And Body At Element Martial Arts

The Element Karate program is Shotokan Karate, a system of self-defence from a standing position with an emphasis on hand blocks and strikes. Shotokan develops anaerobic power routines and enhances speed, strength, and power. Element Karate offers more than just physical training. It is a comprehensive program that emphasizes the development of mental and emotional resilience through the principles of Shotokan Karate. By enrolling in this program, you can train with experienced and knowledgeable instructors who are passionate about sharing the art and philosophy of Shotokan Karate.

The program is designed to be accessible to students of all levels, so whether you are a beginner or an experienced martial artist, you will receive personalized attention and guidance to help you achieve your goals. In addition to the physical benefits of practicing Shotokan Karate, such as improved fitness, strength, and agility, you will also learn to cultivate important values such as humility, respect, compassion, and patience.

The benefits of practicing Shotokan Karate extend beyond the dojo. By developing mental and emotional resilience, you will be better equipped to handle the challenges of everyday life and contribute positively to the community around you.

So, if you are looking for a transformative martial arts program that can help you develop both your mind and body, look no further than the Element Karate program. Take the first step towards your own personal growth and empowerment by calling us, or filling out an online application form to Book Your Free Consult Today! 


Students are encouraged to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing such as a t-shirt and sweatpants. It is recommended to wear clothes that are easy to move in and that do not restrict your range of motion. As you progress in the program, you may wish to purchase a karate uniform (gi) which is available for purchase through the dojo.

The Element Karate program is designed to be accessible to students of all levels and backgrounds, from beginners to experienced martial artists. We welcome individuals of all ages, genders, and fitness levels who are interested in learning and practicing Shotokan Karate.

Shotokan Karate is a style of Japanese martial arts that was founded by Gichin Funakoshi. It is characterized by its emphasis on strong, linear techniques and its focus on physical and mental discipline.

If my mind can conceive it, my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.

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