A 400 YEAR HISTORY OF TRADITION
In Okinawa, a miraculous
and mysterious martial art has come down to us from the past:
"the way of Karate".
It is said that one who masters its
techniques can defend one’s self readily and can perform remarkable
The essence of true
Karate-do is this:
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
The origins of Shotokan
Karate can be traced back to the island of Okinawa over 400 years ago.
Gichin Funakoshi introduced it
formally to Japan in 1922. Today
he is known as the
“father of modern karate”.
Master Funakoshi refined
and standardized the techniques of this art. He deeply believed that Shotokan Karate was a means of
developing a strong character and self-defense. He did not believe in resolving conflict with violence and
he emphasized self-protection and respect for one another.
In the 1940’s, a group of
Shotokan karate masters founded the prestigious Japan Karate Association
(JKA) to ensure that the traditions of this martial art would be upheld.
One of those karate masters was Master
a direct student of Master
Funakoshi. While alive, Master
Ozawa was the most senior Japanese instructor residing in the Western
world. He received his 8th
degree black belt from Prince Higashikuni, uncle to Emperor Hirohito of
Japan. In 1981, he founded
the Las Vegas Shotokan Karate dojo and in 1995, Master Ozawa at age 70 turned the
school over to James Tawatao, a student of his since 1981. Master Ozawa passed away in
With millions of karate
students around the world, Shotokan Karate is today the most popular style of
traditional karate .