Gichin Funakoshi is the downward one of a line of samurais, family which in olden days had been vassal noble Ryukyu dynasty.
At the 11 years age, it had been already made a name in the style of martial art Ryukyu. Beginning its formation with the Master Azato Anko, it did not take a long time to equalize its Master in skill, and to share with him the feeling to be “the martial artist most accomplished” in the field. It also learned the karate-jutsu (meaning “the martial art of the Chinese hand”) with Master Anko Itosu. Its two professors were impressed by his nobility of character.
Development of Karate C
As during its years it continued its formation and continuously developed its remarkable qualities, Maître Funakoshi became Chairman of Okinawa Martial Arts Society as well as an instructor at the school of professor d' Okinawa. Then in 1922, to the 54 years age, it submitted the karate-jutsu of Okinawa to the first minister of education (today minister of education, of science, the sports, and the culture). This presentation, the first public demonstration of karate-jutsu in Japan, had an incredible success. And the martial artist previously unknown Funakoshi Gichin is, in one moment, become famous in everyone of Japanese martial arts.
Immediately the founder of the modern judo, Kano Jigoro, invited Maître Funakoshi and his pupil Gima Shinkin with the dojo of the Kodokan judo so that they make a demonstration of katas . The event fills the dojo Kodokan. It was so received that Maître Funakoshi was in a hurry on all the sides to remain in Tokyo.
Encouraged by opportunity of promoting the martial art for which it had made so much, Maître Funakoshi starts to teach it later in Meiseijuku of Tokyo, a dormitory for the students of Okinawan. In 1922, It publishes one entitled book “Karate of Ryukyu Kempo ”. It was the first formal exposure to Japan on the art of karate-jutsu. Not only it was fresh and fictionalized, but in more he was admirably well written, and he immediately created a passion without precedent for karate.
Since the popularity of the karate-jutsu started to extend, Maître Funakoshi produced the first “certification of the row of daN” in April 1924.
During this time, with the encouragement of his professor of Buddhism, the abbot Furukawa Gyodo of the temple of Enkakuji with Kamakura, Maître Funakoshi started to practice the Zen Buddhism. He contemplated the well-known Buddhist teaching which says “the form is the vacuum and the vacuum is the form” (see also Budo and spirituality ). He started to see the relevance of that with his martial art, and finally changed the characters of karate for will kara + you (“Chinese” + “hand”) will kara some + you (“vacuum” + “hand”).
Then, in order to popularize the “local” martial art of Okinawa in the remainder of Japan, Maître Funakoshi synthesized a system very complete of techniques and theories, and changed the Chinese names and okinawa of the katas into Japanese. In 1929, after blackberry reflection, it also changed the name of karate-jutsu (“the martial art of the Chinese hand”) into karate-C (“the way of karate” or “the way of the empty handed”). It defined then the Twenty Precepts of Karate, and established a great philosophy of karate.
Lastly, the way of karate was recognized, and gained in popularity through all Japan. The number of people wanting to begin the formation increased so much that it became difficult to find a place so that they practice. Thus, in 1939 Maître Funakoshi establishes the dojo of the “Shotokan”, which it made build with its own expenses. “Shoto” is the first first name which it used when it made of penmanship and wrote poetry. “Shoto” means “Vague Pines”, and refers to the noise of the blowing wind through the pines, which resembles the sound of the waves of the ocean.
At this time, Maître Funakoshi had already a long time taught karate with the students of college and university. Consequently, of the clubs of karate had set up themselves in the establishments of higher education everywhere at Japan - it is another reason for which karate became as respected as it is it today.
In the air raids of the Second world war, the dojo Shotokan was destroyed, and the growth of karate stopped temporarily. But after the war, of the pupils of Funakoshi gathered, and in 1949 they formed the Japan Karate Association, with Funakoshi Gichin as Supreme Maître.
The April 10th 1957, the minister of education recognized the JKA officially. Sixteen days later, at the 89 years age, Maître Funakoshi died. A large public memorial was held in Ryogoku Kokugikan (Ryogoku National Sumo Hall), occupied by more 20 000 people, including much of celebrities come to testify their respect.
A memorial for Maître Funakoshi was built in Enkakuji Temple in Kamakura. The members of the JKA visited it symbolically the April 29th of this year, the date of the festival of Shoto.
Lesson and philosophy of the MasterGichin Funakoshi, the " father of the karaté" would have said that " the ultimate objective of karate is not summarized with the words " victoire" and " défaite" , but consists rather of the polishing of the character of the pratiquants". The approach of O' Sensei Funakoshi puts forward the spiritual values and the mental smoothness at the detriment of any form of brutality, whether this one concerns the physical force or the technique. It was never long in warning pretentious and other conceited, who assoiffés of glory, took part in spectacular demonstrations. " They play in the branches and the foliage of a tree without having the least idea of than conceals the trunk ".
To the eyes of O' Sensei, the practice of the Karaté aimed the control of art as well itself as the control of our own spirit. Thus, in " Karate-C Kyôhan" , he writes: " the value of art depends on that which uses it. If it is used for a cause right, then its value is large, on the other hand, if it is made by it a bad use, then it is not more harmful art and malfaisant only karate ". The Martial arts could not be reduced to simple techniques, tricks and Stratégies whose single intention would be to bring the victory in Combat.
In the design of O' Sensei controls and agility techniques were affadissent much more quickly taking into consideration virtue much more essential than are the polishing of the heart and the character. He encouraged the practitioners to seek the hidden and fundamental aspects of Article.
20 precepts of Karate CO' Sensei Funakoshi, in order to leave a hard copy and to guide the practitioners in their search of a thorough comprehension of the spiritual aspects of the way of karate-C, wrote at the evening of its life this treaty. These brief maxims which lie within the scope of an oral tradition were originally intended to be supplemented by explanations of the Master, in his dôjô or randomly of private lessons that this one exempted with its disciples.
The principles are compact, concise and tend towards a deeply philosophical nature. This same concision makes that they are prone to multiple interpretations and this same in their language of original: Japanese. Certain interpretations can deteriorate very well the original significance desired by the Master. The comments and interpretations are of Genwa Nakasone, contemporary and combined weight of Funakoshi Master. It is this privileged position at the sides of the Master who did of him one of the most capable people to illustrate comments the twenty precepts.
- do not forget that karate starts and is completed in the rei . Rei = " respect, courtoisie" , but not to limit it to these simple definitions. It means the respect which one tests at the place of the others, the rei is also the mark of the regard that one has for oneself. When one transfers this regard which one has for oneself on the others - respect - one acts in accordance with the principles of the rei. The disciplines of combat which despize principles of the rei are only pure violence, the physical force stripped of rei is anything else only brutality, without value for the human being. The rei is the physical demonstration of a heart sincere, révérencieux and filled up respect.
- It does not have there an attack in karate . In the Karaté the hands and feet are potentially as mortals as the blade of a saber this is why as far as possible you must avoid stripping a mortal blow. " Never it is necessary to draw its saber on a blow from tête" , this fundamental teaching was in the middle of the bushido Japanese. Thus " there is no attack in the Karaté " is an extension of this basic principle according to which one should not leave its weapon to the least pretext. It underlines the peremptory necessity to make watch of patient and weighting. But when confrontation is inevitable the practitioner must launch out body and heart in the Combat.
- karate is with the service of equity . Equity is what serves the good, the virtue, " when I am observed and that I note that I am in truth, then, my enemies, was a thousand or ten thousand, cannot stop me. That implies of course that it is necessary to show of intelligence, understanding and true force.
- already Learn how to know you, then know the others. Through practice the karate expert knows his favorite techniques like its own weaknesses, in combat it must know its own strong points but also those of its adversary.
- the mental one takes precedence over the technique . Here is an anecdote which will illustrate this aphorism: “One day a famous Master of saber Tsukahara Bokuden wanted to put his sons to the test. To start, it made invite Hikoshiro, the elder one of the three. By opening the door of the elbow, this one found it heavier than with accustomed and, while passing the hand on the higher section of the door, noted that one had laid out, in balance, a heavy head-rest out of wooden. It removed it, entered then given exactly as it had found. Bokuden then made come his/her son junior, Hikogoro. When this one pushed the door, the head-rest fell but it caught up with it in flight and gave it to its place. Bokuden finally made call Hikoroku, its best youngest child, and by far, with the handling of the saber. The young man strongly pushed the door and the head-rest fell, running up against its chignon. In a flash, it decladded the saber runs that it carried to the belt and sliced the object before it touches the tatami. With its three sons, Bokuden declared: " it is you Hikoshiro which will transmit our method of handling of the saber. You, Hikogoro, by involving you ardently, perhaps you, one day, your brother will equalize. When you has, Hikoroku, you will lead certainly a day our school to his loss and will attract the opprobrium on your patronym. I cannot thus offer the luxury to keep such an imprudent individual in my rows”. On these green words he repudiated it. That illustrates perfectly the increased importance of mental faculties on technical faculties.
- the spirit must be free . Meng Tsu evokes the search of the " spirit; perdu" to put a term at the spiritual wandering. When our dog, our cat or our hens lose themselves we leave no stone unturned to find them and bring back them to the house, but he deplores that when our spirit (which directs our body) is mislaid to end up being lost completely, we do not even try to give it on the right way. Contrary, Shao Yung supports that the spirit needs to be lost, if one attaches the spirit a such cat leaves some, it will lose its freedom of movement. Use the spirit advisedly, let explore it with its own way, do not let it stick or be locked up in a yoke. The neophytes often exert a too heavy control on their mental, they fear to open in the world and to let their spirit run freely. During L training it is preferable to initially follow the instructions enacted by Meng Tzu, for, in the second time, to release the spirit recommended by Shao Yung.
- Calamité is girl of not-vigilance . How much accidents are ascribable with the negligence, thoughtlessness, the least relaxation of the attention can reduce to nothing the efforts preparation and of research carried out as a preliminary, however thorough are. In combat a " bâclée" preparation; equal " désastre" , not to arrive at such extremes should constantly analyze our acts to us and make watch of much circumspection as regards methodology.
- the practice of karate could not only be confined with the dôjô . The objective of karate is to polish and to nourish at the same time the body and the spirit, if it starts with the Dôjô during the practice, this work, should not stop at the end of the drive. It is necessary to practice continuously in all the acts of the daily life. An unbalanced food, a drink abuse, harmful practices with health in general will have unquestionable effects on the practice with the Dôjô. They will tire at the same time the body and the spirit and will divert the follower of the ultimate intention of the practice.
- karate is the search of a whole life . The Way of karate is without end, this is why a sincere practitioner will practice to his last breath. In Hagakure the Yagyu lord declared that it did not know how to demolish the others but which it knew how to override itself: to be better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than today; I.e., to work without slackening and to the last breath for unceasingly progressing. The true Way is infinite.
- the Way of karate is found in any thing, and it is there the secrecy of its intrinsic beauty . A blow, of fist or foot, struck or boxed, can mean life or dead. Such is the doctrines in the middle of karate-C. If each field of the life is approached with such serious, tests and difficulties can be exceeded. If a practitioner faces each difficulty by having the feeling which its whole life is concerned, it will carry out the extent of its own resources.
- Pareil with water in boiling, karate loses its heat if it is not maintained by a flame . The training by the practice amounts pushing a cart towards the top of a hill. Cease pushing and all your efforts will have been vain. Japanese proverb. The integration of a facet of the Karate among others, or a distended practice, could not be enough. Only a regular and assiduous practice will reward your body and spirit for the fruits of the Way.
- be not obsessed by the victory; think rather, not to lose . To know only how to take down the victory without knowing how to lose cost to put oneself in situation of defeat, ultimate words of the Shogun Tokugawa. The mental attitude obsessed by the victory nourishes necessarily an excessive optimist who, in his turn, nourishes impatience and irritability. The finest attitude consists in, on the contrary, firmly being solved not to lose - whatever the adversary - by becoming aware of our own forces and by showing conviction inébranlable the whole while adopting a reconciling attitude as far as possible.
- Adjust your position according to the adversary .
- the exit of a confrontation depends on your manner to manage the full ones and the vacuums (forces and weaknesses) . The precepts thirteen and fourteen evoke the mental attitude to follow in combat. A combatant must be able and knowledge to adapt to his adversary, as the water which naturally runs out the top to the bottom the combatant avoids the strong points of the enemy to strike it where it is vulnerable. He must avoid any stereotyped action, the key word of his control must be fluidity, flexibility, adaptation, rather than inertia and constancy.
- Regard the hands and the feet of the adversary as sharp blades . A sincere practitioner of karate-C will be able to make these ends body as dangerous as of the knives, accordingly even the hands and feet of a not-practitioner can prove to be dangerous. A neophyte who implies body and heart in a struggle for life, without fearing neither wound, nor demise can release a considerable and extraordinary power, and be able to demolish any beginner. That the adversary is or not, initiated with the Martial arts, does not have to in no case to delude us on his potential.
- Made a step out of on your premise and they are a million enemies who watch for you .
- the kamæ, or posture of waiting, is intended to the beginners; With the experiment, one adopts the shizentai (natural posture) .
- Seek the perfection in kata, the real combat is another business . The katas are the marrow of the drive of karate-C, it is advisable not to denature them and to be involved there in accordance with the teaching exempted by the Master. Anko Itosu said " Respect the form of the katas, do not seek to work the esthétique." of it; In real combat, one should not be embarrassed or to let itself block by the ritual specific ones to the katas, the practitioner must exceed the framework imposed by these forms and délacer freely according to the forces and weaknesses of the adversary.
- Will be able to distinguish the hard one from slackness, the contraction of the extension of the body and will be able to modulate the speed of execution of your techniques . The combinations quoted in this precept apply as well in Kata as in real combat. If one carries out the katas without combining the possibility of modulating the intensity and the rate/rhythm of the techniques or alternation extension/contraction, the exercise loses all its value. Alternation hard-slackness, extension-contraction, slowness-celerity, inspiration-expiry are of first importance in combat and can determine the exit of a confrontation.
- You who survey the Way, never let your spirit be mislaid, are assiduous and skilful . That one adopts a spiritual point of view or technique the practitioner does not have to never leave its " spirit; égarer" and must be " assiduous and habile". Many Masters illustrated this precept:
- “ Consequently, I practiced morning and evening with enthusiasm in order to compare the principles of the Way of martial arts to deepest of my being until arriving, in the neighborhoods of my fiftieth year, a natural comprehension of the aforesaid the Way . ” ~ Miyamoto Musashi.
- “ a marvellous teaching has just appeared with me ” Yamaoka Tesshu, founder of L school D fencing ~ Mutô-ryû, old then of forty-five years.
- “ I finally start to include/understand what is blocking with the old face ” uké ~ O' Sensei Funakoshi, then eighty years old.
The Master Gichin Funakoshi is the founding father of karate-C modern. It is as a president of the Okinawa Shobukai, an association of karate, which it was invited in May 1922 by the minister of education to take share with a demonstration, approved by the Japanese government, organized in Tokyo. This demonstration put in scene traditional martial arts of the country, among which karate. Thus he was the first herald of karate-jutsu, disciplines original coming from Okinawa (archipelago of Ryu-kyu). He then had, to satisfy the requests of many individuals, to settle in the capital and to work there to popularize his martial art. Before dying out in 1957, it trained many pupils: Obata, Okuyama, Egami, Harada, Hironishi, Takagi, Ohshima, Nakayama, Nishiyama, Kase.
- shotokolive karate C shotokan
- Shotokan CRSA, Shomen Gichin Funakoshi.
- Shotokaï Europe, site of an association which, in Paris, perpetuates the teaching of Master Tetsuji Murakami.
- Shotokai Karatê Budo Brasil - the site of extension for Shotokai on Brazil.
Shotokan France - School of Master Tsutomu Ohshima
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