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Description

What is Karate?

"True karate is this: that in daily life one's mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility, and that in critical times, one be devoted utterly to the cause of justice."
--Gichin Funakoshi

Karate can also be described as a martial art, or fighting method, involving a variety of techniques, including blocks, strikes, evasions, throws, and joint manipulations. Karate practice is divided into three aspects: kihon (basics), kata (forms), and kumite (sparring).

The word karate is a combination of two Japanese characters: kara, meaning empty, and te, meaning hand; thus, karate means "empty hand." Adding the suffix "-do" (pronounced "doe"), meaning "way," i.e., karate-do, implies karate as a total way of life that goes well beyond the self-defense applications. In traditional karate-do, we always keep in mind that the true opponent is oneself.

Shotokan founder Gichin Funakoshi has said that "mind and technique become one in true karate." We strive to make our physical techniques pure expressions of our mind's intention, and to improve our mind's focus by understanding the essence of the physical techniques. By polishing our karate practice we are polishing our own spirit or our own mentality. For example, eliminating weak and indecisive movements in our karate helps to eliminate weakness and indecision in our minds--and vice versa.

It is in this sense that karate becomes a way of life, as we try to become very strong but happy and peaceful people. As Tsutomu Ohshima, chief instructor or shihan of Shotokan Karate of America, has put it, "We must be strong enough to express our true minds to any opponent, anytime, in any circumstance. We must be calm enough to express ourselves humbly."

Note: We would like to thank Shotokan Karate of America for this description. One can learn more on their site on the history of karate.

 

Why practice karate?

The object of true karate practice is the perfection of oneself through the perfection of the art. The values of Karate to people in today's society are numerous, including the positive impact of exercise to both our physical and mental health. The practice of Karate tones the body, develops coordination, quickens reflexes, builds stamina, promotes relaxation and relieves stress.

Serious practice of Karate develops composure, a clearer thought process, deeper insight into one's mental capabilities, and more self-confidence. In this, karate is not an end, but a means to an end. Karate encourages proficiency and the keen coordination of mind and body. It is an activity in which advancing age is not a hindrance.

 

Class Structure

Karate practice is divided into three categories, which are included in every class:

  1. Kihon: Basic blocks, punches, kicks, and stances.
  2. Kata: Pre-arranged forms simulating combat situations.
  3. Kumite: Pre-established or free sparring.
 
The opinions expressed on this page are those of the author of the Little Burgundy Dojo site and no endorsement by Canada Shotokan or Shotokan Karate of America is necessarily implied.
Contact Us!

littleburgundyshotokan@gmail.com

Little Burgundy Sport Centre (Metro Access via Georges-Vanier Station)

1825 Notre-Dame St. W, Montreal QC

Tel.: +1 514-932-0800

Dominic St-Amour
Head Instructor +1 514-282-0489
Jérôme Asselin
Instructor
+1 438-994-1907
Steven Horwood
Instructor
+1 514-602-3581