The JKA Embodies
The Japan Karate Association is the world's largest and most prestigious karate organization, and the recognized heir to the Shotokan karate tradition.
Gichin Funakoshi was the first Supreme Master of the JKA, and his spirit lives on
PRINCIPLES OF KARATE TECHNIQUES
Deciding who is winner or loser is not the ultimate objective. Karate-do is a martial arts for the development of character through training, so that the karateka through training can surmount any obstacle, tangible or intangible.
The basic techniques of blocking, punching, striking and kicking are both the beginning of karate-do and the ultimate goal. Although only a matter of months may be sufficient to learn them, complete mastery may not come after a lifetime of training.
It may come as a surprise to many to know that the techniques created and refined through long and continuous practice by the early karateka have been found to accord with modern scientific principles. And the more they are studied, the more this proves to be true.
THE MEANING OF KARATE-DO
Karate-do is a technique that permits one to defend himself with his bare hands and fist without weapons.
Next, the person who would study karate-do must always strive to be inwardly humble and outwardly gentle.
Karate-do, improperly used, is certainly dangerous and in the same way, those who would learn karate-do must be made to understand it at the onset and be instructed in its proper use.
The correct understanding of karate and its proper use is karate-do.
There is is saying: "Art does not make the man, the man makes the art."
Emphasis is based on development of the mind rather than on techniques. Those who follow karate-do must consider courtesy of prime importance. Without courtesy, the essence of karate-do is lost.
THE VALUE OF KARATE
AS ATHLETIC TRAINING:
The nature of karate is such that it requires a body to move in all directions, in contrast, for example, to the emphasis in the arms in rowing or the legs in jumping. There is absolutely no need for concern about one-sided development of the body in karate, and the fact of uniform development may be considered to be one of the benefits of karate.
Almost no other form of exercise, be it judo, kendo, archery, swimming, or horsemanship, can be performed at any time or place as easily as karate. No specific., equipment, or even partners are necessary.
Karate, may even be practiced by the physically weak, by woman children, and by elderly people. In other words, since each individual may adjust the exercise to their own capacity, and with each unit of exercise being of about 1-2 minutes duration, there is no danger of over-exertion or physical exhaustion.
While enjoying and being engrossed in their study of karate-do, one accrues benefits almost without realizing it.
The power of karate has become well-known in these times for effectiveness in breaking boards or cracking stone without tools. And it is not an exaggeration to assert that a man well-trained in this form of defense may consider the whole body to be a weapon of awesomely effective offensive power.
In short, among the advantages of karate as a means of self-defense are these: no weapons are necessary; the old or sick, are able to apply it; and one can protect themselves effectively even with little natural strength. These points combine to make karate a form of self-defense without equal.
For if training in any martial arts is discontinued after half a year or a year, it can hardly be expected to lead to any degree of spiritual training. And insight into this art, a mastery of its techniques, a polishing of the virtues of courage, courtesy, integrity, humility, and self-control combine to make them the inner light to guide one's daily actions.
Correct form is always closely related to the principles of physical and physiology. Prerequisite of correct form are good balance, a high degree of stability and the order of movements of each part of the body, some movements are made in quick succession in a short period of time. With changing situations and different techniques, the center of gravity changes, shifting to the left, right, front, back. This cannot be done unless the nerves and muscles are well-trained.
Correct form will also improved on power and speed, concentration and relaxation power, strengthening of muscular power, rhythm and timing, hip movements and breathing techniques.
In karate from the beginning, the bare hands and feet have been considered as blades, and it should be practiced with the idea that they will cut when touched, so there is no need to be especially cautious when faced with a weapon.
On the other hand, when one is using a weapon, it is natural to begin depending upon it and consequently lose readiness in the use of the feet, the elbow is and the free hand. Should an opponent neutralize the weapon, one could become weaker than the weaponless person.
Crude tactics are a source off serious injuries. With just a little knowledge of the martial arts, one might become careless and adversely incur injuries with lifelong consequence, so one must always remember to be very careful.
The secret principles of the martial arts is not vanquishing the attacker but resolving to avoid an encounter before it occurs. To become the object of an attacked is an indication that there was an opening in ones guard, and the important thing is to be on guard at all times.
When there are no avenues of escape or one is caught even before any attempt to escape can be made, then the for the first time the use of self defense techniques should be considered.
TO THE TRAINEE
It is said that the higher the tree, the stronger the wind, but does not even the willow tree managed to withstand the wind? Similarly the trainee of karate-do must consider good behavior and humbleness as the highest of virtues.
An ordinary man will draw his sword when ridiculed and will fight risking his life, but he may not be called a courageous man. A truly great man is not disturbed even when suddenly confronted with an unexpected event or crisis, nor angered upon finding himself in situations not of his own making, and this is because he has a great heart and his aim is high.
For to win the 100 victories in 100 battles is not the highest skill. To subdued the enemy without fighting is the highest skill.
MASTER FUNAKOSHI AND HIS PHILOSOPHY OF KARATE-DO
1. In karate, start with a bow and finish with a bow.
2. No initiative attack in karate.
3. Karate is a great assistance to justice.
4. Know yourself first and then others.
5. Spirit first, techniques second.
6. Be ready to release your mind.
7. Accidents come out of idleness.
8. Do not think that you can learn karate only in the dojo.
9. It will take your entire life to learn karate.
10. Karate-ize everything.
11. Karate is just like boiling water, if you do not give heat constantly, it will again become cold water.
12. Do not think you have to win. Think, rather, that you do not have to lose.
13. Victory depends on your ability to tell vulnerable points from in vulnerable ones.
14. Move according to your opponent.
15. Consider your opponent's hands and feet as you would a sharp sword.
16. As soon as you leave home for work, think that millions of opponents are waiting for you.
17. Low stance for beginners; natural stance for advanced students.
18. Practicing a kata is one thing and engaging in a real fight is another.
19. Do not forget [a] strength and weakness of power [b] bending down and the stretching up of body [c] slowness and speed of techniques.
20. Devise at all times.
RANKING SYSTEM [ WITHIN THE J. K. A. WORLD FEDERATION ]
8 kyu -Yellow
7 kyu - Orange
6 kyu - Green
5 kyu - Purple
4 kyu - Blue
3 kyu - Brown
2 kyu - Brown
1 kyu - Brown
Shodan - Black Belt
Based on an average of training twice per week a student will progress to be Black Belt level within five years. Examinations usually occur about three times per year.
These are the fees associated with most karate clubs.
Membership fees, examination and uniform.
These others are optional: sparring equiptment, seminars, tournament, karate camp.
Continuing the JKA Karate Tradition in Toronto
Toronto JKA Karate