Chris Lewis started his career in Karate at the Poole Sports Centre in 1981. Chris trained with some of the top Martial Arts instructors in England and continued on his journey of karate until achieving the grade of Second Dan and it was at this point that he decided to open his own club called North Dorset Karate, which was formed in April 1991 at the Blandford Leisure Centre.

After obtaining his 3rd Dan grade in December 1993, Chris decided to join the Amateur Martial Association, a large National organisation affiliated to the English Karate Governing Body. More recently North Dorset Karate has joined the Inner Strength Martial Arts Academy. ISMAA. This is a local independent organisation which operates with a 'No Politics Policy'.

On 1st March 2018, Chris decided that it would be an appropriate time to change the name of the club and North Dorset Karate became 'Minami Kaigan Karate UK'. The reason for the change was because the original name no longer suited the geography of the clubs. We still have a club in Blandford but now we also have 3 clubs in Poole. The translation from Japanese of the new name is 'South Coast Karate UK'. This suited the location of the clubs much better.

Training is based on the traditional style of Wado-Ryu, which was developed in Okinawa decades ago. The only changes made to the traditional teachings are personal interpretation.

Students who train on a regular basis can expect to benefit in a multitude of different ways, ranging from improvements in fitness, stamina, co-ordination, balance, and flexibility. More importantly you would be learning many aspects of self-defence, which greatly improves personal confidence.

There are no set programmes per lesson for teaching in the club, although there is a natural progression by working to the pre-determined syllabus sheets. Each student would learn the basic techniques for their particular grade and a Kata, both of which become progressively more difficult as they move up through the belts. During this time, some students show an interest in competition work, which can be for Kata or Kumite. Competitions are not obligatory but they provide a wealth of experience for the competitors. By working through Basics, Kata, Kumite, Pairs work and Kihons, you will receive a full and rounded training programme covering all aspects of Karate.

Karate is an ideal sport all ages, regardless of age, sex or strength. There has always been a stigma attached to the sport, that it is very aggressive and mainly aimed at violent males. This could not be further from the truth, in fact, you are more likely to receive injuries from playing football or hockey.
It has also been proved that aggressive people training in martial arts, become more passive, whereas those inclined to be passive, become more confident. These are some of the additional benefits of Karate.



Researched and prepared by Jamie Owen


Legend has it that an Indian monk called bhodirarma (Chinese) or Durama (Japanese) went to china and introduced yoga, his diciples could not withstand the rigorous hours of zen meditation so he introduced physical exercise to raise their fitness levels and to be able to defend themselves against bandits and thieves, and Shoalin (shorinji-in Japanese) kung fu was born.
The origins Japanese karate-do can be traced to Okinawa, which is part of a group of islands known as the Ryukyu Island chain. The Ryu Kyu islands are located between Japan (North-East), Mainland China (West), and Taiwan (South-West).
When the Japanese invaded the islands in the early 1600's they banned all weapons, the people of Okinawa developed a style of empty hand combat that could enable practitioners to break through the wooden armour of the Japanese soldiers (Samurai) with their bare hands, this is why hand and body conditioning is emphasized in most harder systems of Karate, such as Goju Ryu and kyokushinkai. Also farming tools were used against their oppressors and was incorporated into a style they called Kobudo or kobujutsu, kobudo is the use of Nunchaku=rice flails, sai=handheld trident the length of the elbow to the end of the fingers (originally a Chinese weapon but has been said to be a seed planter), tonfa=handle of a grinding stone (more commonly known as a nightstick), bo=6foot staff, originally a tenbin (a staff for carrying buckets of water), kama = sickle, Eku=boat oar, so most were not all easily looked upon as weapons, just 'harmless' farming tools. The martial arts practiced had to be done secretly otherwise the practitioners would be executed. The location of Okinawa was ideal because it meant that the surrounding countries within Asia could heavily influence Okinawa, which it was, especially by China. The new art was named 'te', then later became known as 't'ang' meaning 'china hand', but was more familiarly known as 'Okinawa te', then later 'to-de'. After a couple of years three main places began to standout in Okinawa as the main areas for practicing 'to-de', they were Shuri, Naha and Tomari. Shuri was the ancient capital city of Okinawa; this is where royalty and noble families lived; Naha, a port town (much like Poole) of business and commercial enterprise and Tomari, which is a village, populated by farmers and fishermen. Each region developed its own unique style.

Shuri's main teacher in the development of 'Shuri-te' was master Sakugawa , who was widely known by the nickname of 'To-de Sakugawa'. He is believed to have received his instuction from Peichin Takahara and from a Chinese military attaché‚ known as 'Ku-san-ku', who was an expert in the art of 'Chinese-Boxing' and living in Okinawa, it was he who is said to have invented Kus(h)anku Kata. Tode Sakugawa's most prominent student was Sokon Matsumura who was also Yasutsune 'Ankoh' Itosu's sensei.
Ankoh Itosu was born in Shuri, one of his great contributions to the art of 'To-de', was the firm belief of the importance of the development of a person's character through the concentration on 'kata' and 'bunkai'. Master Itosu also organized and systemized 'To-de' into a standard method of practice. When he first began teaching in the school system, the introduction of the kata 'Naihanchi' was his preferred way to teach. He soon realized that this kata was far too advanced for the beginner, which lead to master Itosu creating a group of new kata, the Pinan's. The creation of 5 Pinan (also known as Heinan) kata was based on the kata called Kushanku and some other significant techniques. Master Itosu trained a great number of eminent karateka, including Kentsu Yabu, Chomo Hanashiro, Gichin Funakoshi, Moden Yabiku, Kanken Toyama, Chotoku Kyan, Shinpan Shiroma, Anbun Tokuda and Kenwa Mabuni.

Naha's most famous master in the development of 'Naha-te' was Kanryo Higashionna (or Higaonna). He received instruction from master Arakaki. Master Higashionna taught many students including Chojun Miyagi, and Kenwa Mabuni.
Kanryo Higashionna (AKA Higaonna) was born in Naha in 1853. He began training in the martial arts with a Chinese Kempo stylist when he was around 16 years old. His fascination for this Chinese fighting art form lead him to train in Foochow, China for approximately 15 years.After returning to Okinawa, he was eventually convinced to teach his system of martial arts. It was during this period that he introduced the 'hard' and 'soft' methods of training. Master Higashionna was renowned for his great physical strength and his performance of the 'Sanchin' kata. Kanryo Higashionna was also considered to be one of the most highly respected martial artists in Okinawa during the 19th century. Master Higashionna had many disciples among who were his most dedicated, Chojun Miyagi, Juhatsu Kiyoda (founder of toon ryu), Kanken Toyama, and Kenwa Mabuni.


In Tomari, two great masters became important historical figures in the development 'Tomari-te'. They were, Kokan Oyadomari who taught Chotoku Kyan and Kosaku Matsumora, who taught Ankoh Itosu. Tomari-te became absorbed into Shuri-te and Naha-te This gradually left only two main systems, Shuri-te and Naha-te. Eventually, they were referred to as 'Shorin' and 'Shorei' respectively.

Wado Ryu

Founded by Hironori Ohtsuka Meijin, Wado-ryu was brought to England in the 60's by Tatsuo Suzuki Hanshi. Ohtsuka was first introduced to the Martial Arts by his mother's uncle Chojiro Ebashi. A samurai, who also was said to keep in awed with samurai tales, it was he who began teaching him Jujitsu. In 1897 Ohtsuka started school where he studied Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu, under the supervision of Shinzaburo Nakayama Sensei, the third Grand Master of this style of Jujitsu. The essence of this art lays emphasis upon the nature and the grace of movement. (Yoshitoki Akiyama Sensei originally inspired it after observing how the willow tree laden with snow yielded to the elements of nature, yet maintained its versatility and flexibility to outside forces without damage.) This study of movement impressed upon the young Ohtsuka the importance of natural flowing movements. These lessons play a major part in today's Wado Ryu karate. In defense and attacking techniques the use of the opponent's body, weight and movement play an equally significant role in defeating your enemy as your own body movements, very similar to Aikido. Ohtsuka continued his studies of Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu whilst at Waseda University from 1910 to 1917 reading commerce. Ohtsuka also studied different styles of Jujitsu, experimenting between styles concentrating on their "positive quality". During his period at University he was able to examine the techniques of most Martial Arts. During 1917 he is believed to have met Morihei Ueshiba Sensei, the founder of Aikido and this began a deep founded influential friendship. Ohtsuka was awarded the highest degree of Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu on his 23rd birthday, which allowed him to succeed his master's position as fourth Grand Master. It was at the 1922 sports festival in Tokyo that Ohtsuka sensei was to encounter Karate. Gichin Funakoshi Sensei was invited by the Japanese Education Department to demonstrate his style of Okinawa te (to-de). Ohtsuka sensei was impressed with this newly promoted Martial Art. He visited Funakoshi Sensei on numerous occasions during his stay, discussing techniques and other aspects of Karate. Funakoshi Sensei prolonged his visit by invitation from the Japanese Education department. He was "impressed" by Ohtsuka sensei's enthusiasm and determination to understand Karate and agreed to teach him all he knew about Karate. Within the space of a year Ohtsuka Sensei had studied all the Kata that Funakoshi had brought from Okinawa, although he found certain movements and techniques difficult to implement and understand. This led Ohtsuka sensei to search for a deeper understanding of Karate to practice Kata with Mabuni Sensei. His prowess in the Martial Arts had led him to be the Chief Instructor of Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu and an assistant instructor at Funakoshi Sensei's dojo. By the year 1929 Ohtsuka sensei was a registered member of the Japan Martial Arts Federation. At this time Okinawan Karate only concentrated upon Kata, Ohtsuka sensei thought that the full spirit of Budo was missing. Ohtsuka Sensei meanwhile had been developing Yakusoko Kumite to compensate for the lack of attacking techniques. He thought there was a need for a more fluid type of Karate and decided to leave Funakoshi Sensei to concentrate on developing his own style of Karate. The year of 1934 proved to be a major year for Ohtsuka sensei and Wado-Ryu Karate. On February 28th Jiro Ohtsuka was born, he renamed himself to Hironori Ohtsuka 2nd later on. It is uncanny that during this year Wado-Ryu Karate was also "born" and officially recognised to be an independent style. This recognition meant that Ohtsuka sensei fulfilled his life's ambition to become a full time Martial Artist. In 1935 Karate received a further promotion upon Kano Sensei's recommendation to be accepted as a Martial Art, but at first only as an extension of Judo by the Japan Martial Arts Federation. Ohtsuka Sensei's style of Karate was officially registered in 1938 after he was awarded the rank of Renshi-go. He presented a magnificent demonstration of Wado-Ryu Karate for the Japan Martial Arts Federation who were impressed with his style and commitment and successfully acknowledged him as a high-ranking instructor. The next year the Japan Martial Arts Federation asked all the different styles of Karate to register their names. Ohtsuka registered the name of Wado-Ryu. Other styles to register included Shotokan Ryu, Goju Ryu and Shito-Ryu. Ohtsuka himself was becoming a recognised figure within the World of Martial Arts. In 1942 he was awarded the title of Kyoshi-go. In 1944 Ohtsuka Sensei was appointed Japans Chief Karate instructor and in 1955 the first all Japan Wado-Ryu Karate championships were held. Until the 1960s Martial Arts and especially Wado-Ryu karate remained upon the small islands of Japan. It was hardly recognised outside of the East. This was soon to change. In 1963 a three-man team left Japan to conquer America and Europe. The team was composed of Mr. Arakawa, Mr Takashima and Mr Suzuki. The impressions they left upon America and Europe were tremendous, Wado-Ryu Karate became recognised worldwide for its true merits. In 1966 Ohtsuka Sensei was awarded the title "Kun Goto Suokuo Kyoku jujitsu Shou" in Japan by the late Emperor Horohito. It was presented for his dedication and efforts to the introduction and teaching of karate. By the early 1970s karate had become truly established worldwide, mainly due to the most famous Martial Artist/fighter of all time the late Bruce Lee. Ohtsuka continued to train and instruct in Japan, whilst a team of Japanese Sensei's continued to spread the doctrines of Wado-Ryu Karate worldwide. In 1972 Ohtsuka Sensei was historically awarded with an honor never before bestowed upon any Karate master, the president of the International Martial Arts Federation, a member of the Japanese royal family, presented Ohtsuka with the title of Meijin, the first excellent Marital Artist of Karate to recieve 10th Dan it was the greatest title possible and was bestowed upon him. Ohtsuka Meijin continued to lead the World of Wado-Ryu Karate until the 20th November 1981, when he finally decided to abdicate his possession as Grand Master of Wado-Ryu Karate and nominated his son Hironori Ohtsuka 2nd as his successor. Hironori Ohtsuka Meijin peacefully passed away on 19th January 1982. He once said, "The only difference between the possible and the impossible is one's will."

Shotokan Ryu
Founded by Gichin Funakoshi, 'Shoto' which means 'waving pines' was Gichin Funakoshi's pen name, and kan means building, therefore: "the style/art they practice at shoto's building". It was Funakoshi (5th Dan) who formulated the word karate, it is from the Kanji character 'to-de' that meant 'china hand', because the Chinese were not very popular at that time, he changed it to 'Kara-te' meaning empty hand. Gichin Funakoshi Sensei was invited by the Japanese Education Department to demonstrate his style of Okinawa to-de in 1922. After the demonstration he received many requests to stay and teach and so he did. Shotokan karate is built upon triads; kihon, kata and kumite (basics, forms and fighting) followed by justice, mercy and compassion then duty, honour and loyalty. All nine principles together can make a very rounded person. The stances in shotokan are long and very deep in the hips and considered very static and regimental. Most of the kata used on the competition circuit are from shotokan ryu, shotokan kata is very popular for competition. Shotokan has produced many karate masters of the past and present.

Founded by Yoshinao Nanbu, who is considered to be an eccentric by some people around the world Sankukai has three meanings, which are; 'San' meaning three as in mind, body, spirit, 'ku' means harmony/ empty, 'kai' means school. The symbol of Sankukai consists of three circles, two red and one white. They represent Earth, Moon and Sun. Three elements always harmonically involved in their cosmic dance. This symbol also represents the main idea of Sankukai, which is establishing harmonic relationship with the enemy and usage of enemy's force against him/herself by the means of escapes, round blocks, punches and kicks. This is the original idea of most other martial arts, but is often neglected in practice because of its difficulty. Unlike Shukokai, Sankukai is not mainly intended for kumite. Techniques for self-defence and for real combat are strongly emphasized. Stances in Sankukai are high and short, like in Shukokai and Shito ryu. Another property of Sankukai is also to practice with a partner (randori). Techniques are not performed individually like in most styles. Working in pairs is what students are encouraged to do from their very beginning of practicing Sankukai karate. This way we are learning how to adapt ourselves to the enemy and how to use his/her force and power in our favour. He started to practice judo at the age of five, and he started with kendo when he entered school. He later started to learn Karate and Aikido at master Someka. When he was 18 he entered a faculty of economics and started to study Shukokai under master Tani. Under Tani's leadership he made a good progress and won the competition of Japan University in 1962 where 1250 competitors participated. He was invited to France in 1964 and he participated in the Cannes cup and by doing so put his reputation on the line. He won by beating the then French champion, and made famous foot sweeping an opponent. After the competition he stayed in France to promote Shukokai. In 1968 he returned to Japan where he realized his idea of producing his own style. Shortly after that he returned to France and performed the first demonstration of Sankukai in Paris, 1971. After that he went on a tour around Europe performing demonstrations and seminars and expanding his new style. Some time after that his Karate 'evolved' once more and he named it 'Nanbudo'.

Shukokai style is direct ancestor of Sankukai karate and was founded after the Second World War, by Chojiro Tani who studied Goju-Ryu for about a decade until meeting Kenwa Mabuni. Tani combined the dynamics and speed of Shito-Ryu with the power and strength of Goju-Ryu, so Shukokai roughly translates to 'work together club'/'way for all club'. This style was first called Tani Ha Shito Ryu but was then renamed Shukokai. Shukokai is intended mainly for practicing kumite. It evolved from technique reduction of Shito Ryu and from adding some new principles, known from other sports, which give good result in a relatively short time. Attacks are launched using mainly straight blows such as front punch or front kick rather than round blows such as roundhouse kick or back fist. Beside the double hip swing, which provides great speed and power giving the style it's explosive power also a specialty of Shukokai is a punch which is launched in fighting stance with the centre of gravity moved forward and the heel of the back foot is kept off the floor and then kicked down to project the fighter forward in a fast explosive movement. Shukokai has gained a lot of popularity and members around the world because of its efficiency in kumite. Impact pads were introduced to help the Shukokai stylists enhance their power. Students of Shukokai established the school as a fast and powerful competition style. Master Choiro Tani educated many good fighters, which have become famous around the Karate world, such as Nanbu who in turn produced greats such as Jean Frenette.

Founded by Kenwa Mabuni, he was born in 1893 on Okinawa. Originally his system was named 'Hanko Ryu' (Half-Hard style), he later changed the name to reflect the huge amount of respect he felt towards his two great masters, Itosu and Higashionna. Using the alternative reading of the Kanji for 'Ito' from master Itosu's name, (which can also be read as 'Shi'), and 'Higa' from master Higashionna's name, (which can be interpreted as 'To'), Kenwa Mabuni created his new name for his style. He started to learn karate at the age of 13 under Kanryo Higashionna and Anko Itosu. They were teaching two different methods of Okinawa karate: Naha-te and Shuri-te. Mabuni was therefore able to learn all advantages and disadvantages of each of them. Higashionna and Itosu both died in 1915. Mabuni continued to practice both styles, he also started practicing Kobudo. The Japanese government's martial arts sanctioning organization, the 'Dai Nippon Butoku-Kai', began to demand the different groups applying for membership be more specific in the description of their Karate systems, and pressured them to name their styles, so Shito Ryu was officialy born. Among his many students were his two sons, Kenei Mabuni and Kenzo Mabuni, Chojiro Tani, Ryusho Sakagami, Yoshiaki Tsujikawa, Ken Sakio, Jun-ichi Inoue, Manzo Iwata, Toshiyuki Imanishi, Kazuo Kokuba, Tokio Hisatomi and Ryusei Tomoyori. Gichin Funakoshi even sent his son to learn from him. Kenwa Mabuni was to have the great honour of demonstrating his martial arts in the presence of Prince Kuni and Prince Kacho, while Gichin Funakoshi was sent as the official representative to introduce Okinawa 'to-de' to mainland Japan. The basic stance that is mostly used is neko ashi dachi (cat foot stance). Defensive principle block & blow is replaced by escape & counter-attack. Attack or counter-attack is no longer a single blow. As a supplement to practicing karate, training in Kobudo was also introduced. Master Kenwa Mabuni died in 1957. During his time he left many masters behind to continue his legacy.

Founded by the Korean Sensei Masumatsu Oyama who came to Japan when he was sixteen, he spent a lot of time in the mountains training by himself. Mas Oyama is famed for testing his strength by punching bulls in the head, he was gored several times being bedridden for months, although he knocked out or killed most of the bulls he struck. In 1964 he gave the style the name "Kyojushin", which translates to "The Ultimate Truth". Mas Oyama held a 4th Dan in judo, and also studied Goju Ryu, Shotokan (reaching 4th Dan at the age of 20) and also some Korean martial arts, which he incorporated into his style. Steve Arneil 9th Dan was the first non-Japanese to complete the 100 man kumite, which kyokushinkai is famous for, they are also famous for their full contact knock down competitions. It is considered a hard style much like Goju styles.

Uechi Ryu
Founded by Kanbun Uechi, originally it was called Pangainoon (half hard, half soft) and renamed by Kanei Uechi in respect to his father. Due to the trade between China and Okinawa some of the fighting arts were also imported into the culture of Okinawa. Many of the great masters obtained their abilities and knowledge in China, Kanbun Uechi was one of the masters who did this. Kanbun was taught bojutsu from many masters when he was young, but his passion in the Chinese arts was sparked when he met a martial arts master called Toyama and decided to go to china to study and further his abilities in martial arts. Kanbun was taught by Shushiwa (Chou Tsu Ho) but had to spend three years learning and trying to perfect Sanchin Kata, then after that period he learned two other Kata and body conitioning exercises. He began to assist his teacher and started to teach himself but had to because it was said that one of his students killed a man in an argument. He returned to Okinawa but refused to teach or even to show his skills until one day at a demonstration where he was asked to do a Kata and could not refuse so he performed Seishan Kata. Everyone was amazed including other Masters, at one time Funakoshi's teacher Anko Itotsu tried to persuade him to accept a teaching post at a collage in Okinawa. After a while he left Okinawa in search of work in Japan. Also in Japan as in China there was an Okinawan community, which suffered under the Japanese and again he was asked to teach, he agreed and amongst his students was his son, Kanei. He moved back to Okinawa and was the fist to teach Pangainoon in Okinawa, he was drafted for WW2 and served until 1945. Kanbun Uechi Sensei died three years later. One his friends who was responsible for spreading Kanbun's reputation was the White Crane expert Gokenki who was very influential on Karate in Okinawa. One of his students for a short period of time was Kenwa Mabuni. There are very few kata in Uechi ryu, the first kata taught is sanchin. Kanei along with some of Kanbun's dedicated students formulated some other Kata to be taught in between the three Kata Kanbun had learned in China, these are Kanshiwa, Kanshu, Seichin, Seirui and Kanchin. Makiwara and body conditioning are a major part of Uechi Ryu, single knuckle (Ippon ken), fingertip (nukite) and the use of the big toe play major parts in Uechi Ryu as they are used to strike the various pressure points of the human anatomy. Demonstrations of Uechi Ryu include baseball bats being broken on shins and thick boards of wood being broken with the big toe. Much like Kyokushinkai in that respect.

Goju Ryu - Goju Kai
Chojun began Naha-te with Kanryo Higashionna when he was fourteen and studied for three years. At the end 1905 Chojun left for China to the same city Higashionna visited, Fuchou in Fukien province. The purpose for this trip was to evade the military service tasked by the Japanese government. Ever since the 1868 Reformation, the new Japanese government started to adopt the European parliamentary as well as legislative, administrative judicial organization. The first national legislation regarding duty of military service became law in Japan in 1873. Japan copied the system from the French government. According to revised legislation in 1889, any Japanese male citizen between 17 to 40 years of age were all subjected for the duty. The government enforced the law in the prefecture of Okinawa in 1890. In 1872, the Japanese government decided to rule the island directly and banned the island from associating with China and disbanded the king from his authority. It was common among the islander youth to leave their home for China when they reached seventeen years of age. Chojun also tried to locate those instructors of Higashionna at the city but he was unsuccessful. Chojun had to come back home in 1908 and volunteered for military service to fulfil his obligation. One of the basic training methods in the Goju-Ryu called Sanchin. Chojun added a kata form to his school naming it Tensho. With his charismatic personality and devoted commitment to promote the art, Chojun successfully took leadership in Okinawa for his school that was named Goju-Ryu Karate, meaning Hard and soft style art of Chinese Hand. It was Jinan Arazato, the oldest student of Chojun who named the style Goju-Ryu. It was 1933, in Kyoto, Japan, Arazato represented Chojun and demonstrated Chojun's system at a martial arts event. Arazato temporarily used the name for that occasion and reported to Chojun about it. Chojun agreed and authorized the name Goju-Ryu and ever since then he used the name for official events. He was the first among the Okinawan Karate leaders who used the school name for the art. The most significant contribution of Chojun to the art was that he introduced the arts at the public schools and organizations such as the police department and athletic institutions.
Gogen Yamaguchi was born January 20, 1909 at Miyakonojou, Shonai, Miyazaki Prefecture. He was named Jitsumi. When he was thirteen years of age, he studied Goju-Ryu Karate Kempo with his instructor, Takeo Maruyama. Although he studied such martial arts as Judo (yielding way), Kendo (japenese fencing), Iaido (way of drawing the sword), Jo-do (way of stick), and Kusari-gama (art of chain) in his younger days, Karate had from the beginning captured most of his enthusiasm. He studied Law at Kansei University in 1928 and Ritsumeikan University from 1929 to 1937 and received Law Degrees. While studying at the University, he initiated the Karate club and invented its free sparring form. By this time, all karate schools in Okinawa and Japan practiced kata and pre-arranged application exercise and never attempted to practice free form of sparring. In 1937, he received the name Gogen from Chojun Miyagi and authorized him to promote the school of Goju-Ryu Karate in Japan.
In 1950, he founded the national organization of All Japan Karate-Do Goju-Kai in Tokyo, Japan. Gogen received 10th Degree Black Belt from Chojun Miyagi in 1951. He was recognized as one of the greatest Karate masters in Japan. He was the founder of what might be called modern Karate, an advanced stage that illustrates both a technical and social elevation of the art of Karate. As a result of the introduction of free-style sparring, the art of Karate had become a more active and popular art in Japan as well as in other parts of the world. In the general development of Karate, Gogen had contributed several distinguished services. First, he formed a group of Asian martial instructors. He then succeeded in bringing seventy Asian instructors to Japan and travelled throughout the country, holding martial arts demonstrations. After the Pacific war, he succeeded in unifying all Karate schools into one union. As a result, the All Japan Karate Federation was established in 1964. As recognition of merit, Emperor Hirohito of Japan with Ranju-Hosho, the Blue Ribbon Medal honored him in 1969. In the United States, many people refer to Gogen Yamaguchi as the "Cat" because of his speed and sharpness.

The text that has been altered has come from various sources including books, magazines and the Internet. We fully acknowledge the rights of original owners

Respect and traditions
On entering and leaving the dojo (training area) karateka (practitioner of karate) must always bow. When approaching the sensei (teacher) before any words are exchanged you must perform tachirei (standing bow), if for any reason you have to leave before the lesson is finished you must approach the sensei (instructor) explain the situation bow to him/her and bow on the way out. When you bow to kohai, sempai or sensei you don't look at him/her it is not necessary and is seen as discourteous, your back remains straight and your body bends from the hips at 30 to 45 degrees, hands are kept on the sides of the thighs or can slide down the front of the thighs so the fingertips touch the top of the knees, once instructions have been given acknowledgement is shown by a tachirei and the instructions are to be carried out quickly. Before any techniques are performed partners must bow to each other, kohai bows lower than sempai, ie orange belt must bow lower than blue belt, and blue belt must bow lower than brown belt and so on to show respect for a more experienced karateka, this is regardless of age, sex, race, religion etc.
It has become very popular and considered traditional to have your belt embroidered with your name and style, once you have reached Shodan (first degree black belt).
When karateka (practitioner of karate) passes on it is said that karateka should be buried in his/her Gi, and the belt is tied in a special way so that the ends of the belt face one up and one down (north-south), this signifies death.

Every day expressions
Greetings; Hello = konnichi wa (used from late morning onwards), Goddbye = sayonara (familiar), shitsurei shimasu (polite/formal), Good morning = ohayo gozaimass, Good evening = konban wa, Good night = uyasumi (familiar), oyasumi nasai (polite). General; Thank you = domo arigato, Thank you very much = domo arigato gozaimass (for something happening now), domo arigato gozaimashita (for something that has just happened or ended, ie the lesson), You're welcome = do itashimashite, Please do or Go ahead = dozo, Excuse me = sumamasen, Welcome = irasshaimase, Yes = hai, No = liea, Good = li, Bad = warui, No good = dame. (onegai shimass = let us begin)

Karate is pronounced kalla-tey fast and slightly rolled, but not to be pronounced ka-raah-tee.
In the Japanese language they do not have plurals, so whether you mean one suit or hundred suits they would say one suit (gi), hundred suit. There is no stress placed any one syllable, equal weight should be given to all syllables of each word.
Vowels, A pronounced rather flat and staccato as in 'cart', but a little more clipped. E pronounced as in pet. I pronounced like the 'ea' in heat, but more clipped. O pronounced as in 'lot', but with lips more rounded. U pronounced as in 'Sue'. At the end of words, it is often silent, for example, 'desu' is pronounced 'dess'. Long vowels; where a vowel is printed with a line above it, it is pronounced double its usual lengh. Where two vowels appear together they are pronounced as indicated above, thus the Japanese word 'tai' would be pronounced as the English 'tie' and not 'tay'.
Consonants, most consonants are pronounced similarly to English, with the following exceptions: G always pronounced hard as in 'give' rather than softly as in 'gin', F is pronounced to give a sound midway between the English 'f' and 'h', R is pronounced almost like 'l', quickly and lightly but not rolled. Long consonants; are similar to the long vowel, these are pronounced individually. For example the nn in konnichi wa is like 'one night' and not as in 'sunny', and the pp in Nippon is like 'skip past' and not as in 'nipper'
Borrowed from "Aikido" by Brian Bagot.

In Japan counting said differently to the west, instead of saying ten eleven twelve they say ten, ten-one, ten-two, therefore twenty is two-tens and so on. One to twenty-five:
Ichi, i, han, hi, o, hok, hich, hach, ku, ju, ju-ich, ju-i, ju-han, ju-hi, ju-o, ju-hok, ju-hich, ju-hach, ju-ku, i-ju, i-ju-ich, i-ju-i, i-ju-han, i-ju-hi, i-ju-o

Men = head, oi / hara = centre. Seiza = formal sitting position. Shikko = formal knee walking. Tacherei = standing bow. Deshi = diciple or trainee. Kohai = junior or lower grade. Sempai = senior or higher grade. Doshu = grandmaster. Shihan/Hanshi = master instructor. Jo = place/four foot staff. Pinan = (peace and) tranquillity. Hanmi = stance or posture. Gamae = combative stance when facing an opponant. Kai = school. Ryu = style. Do = way. Bu = Martial. Dan = level. Kyu = class. Wa = peace. Hei = universal. Aka=red. Ao=blue. shiro=white. No-kachi=winner. Jogai = area. Obi = belt. Unsu = cloud hands? Gojushihosho = fifty-four directions. Kata = form/type/shoulder. Goshi = hip. Gyaku = opposite or alternate. Ho = direction. Hombu = headquarters. Nage = throw. Kote = wrist. Tai = body. Sabaki = movement. Sode = sleeve. Suwari = kneeling. Uchi = strike/inside. Tenchi = heaven and earth. Waza = technique. Zarei = kneeling bow. Kiritsu = stand. Tenkan = turning. Kime = focus.

Why we shout?
The shout often heard being performed by the karateka is what we call "kiai". kiai is;
Ki=essence of one's being, energy, life-force, spirit
Ai=harmony, unification
According to "Aikido" by Brian Bagot, kiai is "An explosive outpouring of vital energy, manifested as a piercing shout from the depths of one's being"
When a gun goes off it makes a loud bang, the sound is not made because the gun or the person pulling the trigger tells it to, it is the result of converted kinetic (movement) energy into sound energy as a way to release the force created by the movement of the components of the gun involved to produce the effect.
When a bus is coming towards you, what do you do? You move out the way. If some one tries to hit you dodge it, or you could move out of range and hit otherwise known as counter attack, you use their energy against them to your advantage, in Wado Ryu; nagashitzuki is the technique we use to do this, in Aikido this is the main objective, Aikido is "the way (DO) of unifying (AI) energy (KI), in combat you would use your opponents energy against them, (in personal training you are also trying to tame your own spirit and become mellow and chilled.)


Karate is like skateboarding and Black belt is just the beginning
You have to love what you're doing to be as successful as your imagination can take you…
Once you learn the basics; riding, ollie, shove-it, pop shove-it, kick flip, manual, nose manual, varial flip, heel flip, 360 flip, nollie, hard flip, nose grind, 50-50, 5-0, nose stall, nollie flip, tail slide, fakie tricks and so on is when you have basic knowledge and ability to express your self and progress quicker and faster then start to mix tricks; ollie to manual, kick flip a five set, heel flip to tail slide, 360 flip to board slide kick flip out and so on. At this point you've probably been skating for three years if not more, yet this is only the beginning.
It is the same in karate, it takes many years of hard training to become 'good', yet you can't progress to advanced forms (kata) without learning the basics (kihon) first, after the basics and before the advanced kata you must learn the basic kata otherwise everything else will have poor if any foundations and will be sloppy and sketchy. During and throughout this time you will begin to practise sparring (kumite) and apply the techniques you've learnt through practising kihon and kata to a fight situation. Then after a few years of kumite you may become 'good' and will have started to mix techniques together to create a completely new technique or just a combination. Then maybe after all those years of hard training you have become a black belt (shodan), and now you have the basic knowledge to express your self creatively and your techniques will become faster sharper and more precise
You may enter competitions and become sponsored, become popular have your own deck, shoes, t-shirts, karate clubs, team, production line or even front covers or articles about you in magazines, maybe just become a legend and idol in the underground scenes, either way it is your love for your art that has become your determination to be as good as you want to be…