Gichin Funakoshi Karate began as a system of fighting developed on the island of Okinawa which was brought to Japan by Gichin Funakoshi in 1922 and other Okinawan masters in the years immediately following. While in Japan, karate was transformed from an Okinawan fighting art into a form of Japanese budo/bujutsu patterned after the traditional Samurai fighting arts and ways. From Japan, karate has been exported to nearly every country of the world.

Karate-do is a modern form of budo and/or bujutsu, a martial art, it is a highly effective form of self-defense. It teaches students to develop fast and powerful punches, kicks and strikes as well as joint locks and throws. As a physical discipline and art, karate training can be practiced by nearly everyone at any age throughout life.

There are four major traditional schools of Japanese karate and two lesser known systems dating back to the 1920-30's when karate was introduced into Japan and accepted into the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (All Japan Martial Virtue Society).

The four major systems are:
    Shotokan-ryu (founded by Gichin Funakoshi)
    Goju-ryu (founded by Chojun Miyagi)
    Shito-ryu (founded by Kenwa Mabuni)
    Wado-ryu (founded by Hironori Ohtsuka).

The two lesser known schools are:
    Kushin-ryu (founded by Sannosuke Ueshima)
    Shindo Jinen-ryu (founded by Yasuhiro Konishi).

These six karate schools/styles were inducted into the DNBK in the 1930's and were recognized officially by the Japanese Ministry of Education as schools/styles of budo/bujutsu along side the traditional Samurai fighting arts/ways. Since that time many other karate systems have come and gone some orthodox and valid and others that are not so valid.

1) kihon - basic techniques
2) kata - formal exercises
3) kumite - sparring & sparring drills

Japan Karate-do Ryobu-Kai - Five Principles of Karate-do.

1. Respect Others
2. Avoid Violent Behavior
3. Seek Perfection of Character
4. Endeavor
5. Be Faithful

The emphasis upon "Karate-do" is evident to Karate-ka, or practitioners, in ways too subtle for most observers to be able to discern within the context of practice and competition. What is noticeable, however, are some of the manifestations of Karate-do. Karate-do shines through with the exceptional displays of decorum that are maintained by instructors and students and officials, coaches and competitors. Beyond simple good sportsmanship, Karate-do demands that athletes maintain the objective and calm nature most often associated with a mature moral code and composition. The emphasis in Karate is not to measure whether or not one is proficient through physical strength, but to be able to demonstrate purposefulness In ones contribution to mankind through mental, spiritual and physical development.

Destructiveness is the antithesis of Karate-do.

"There is nothing more precious than human life. Regardless of the place or time, it has always been an undeniable fact that human life carries with it a meaning of value and dignity. Bearing this philosophy in mind, we should practice Karate as a means to enhance human welfare."

Master Yasuhiro Konishi 1893-1983