Here at Club "NAHA" Karate-Do, our goal is to inspire and enable our students through karate training to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring individuals. Club "NAHA" Karate-Do will help strengthen their spirit, mind, and body, by providing a positive karate dojo for kids by focusing on caring, confidence, honesty, leadership, respect, and responsibility.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shudokan Karate 修道館

Shudokan (修道館), literally the hall for the study of the [karate] way, is a school of karate developed by Kanken Toyama (18881966). Feature characteristics of Shudokan karate include large circular motions with an emphasis on covering and its own unique kata.

Toyama's karate training began at the age of nine in 1897 with Itarashiki, although he studied with Yasutsune Itosu for 18 years, until the latter's death in 1915. In 1907 Toyama was appointed shihandai (assistant master) to Itosu at the Okinawa Teacher's College, and he and Gichin Funakoshi, who later developed Shotokan karate, were the only two students to be granted the title of shihanshi (protégé). Even today, many do not know that Kanken Toyama out ranked Gichin Funakoshi with the rank of "Assistant Master" or "shihandai".

In 1924 Toyama moved his family to Taiwan where he taught in an elementary school and studied Chinese Ch'uan Fa, which included Taku, Makaitan, Rutaobai, and Ubo. In early 1930 he returned to Japan and on March 20, 1930, he opened his first dojo in Tokyo. He named his dojo Shu Do Kan meaning the hall for the study of the karate way. Toyama taught what he had learnt from Itosu and the Ch'uan Fa and did not claim to have originated a new style of karate.

In 1946, Toyama founded the All Japan Karate-Do Federation (AJKF) with the intention of unifying the various forms of karate of Japan and Okinawa under one governing organization.
As Toyama did not view the Shu Do Kan as a distinct style of karate, but merely a place for training, he did not appoint a successor. Thus, the organization he founded fragmented after his death in 1966, although his student Toshi Hanaue maintained the original Shu Do Kan. A few other schools based on Toyama's teachings still exist such as Doshinkan. Today, a minimal overseeing of the Toyama lineage Karate is done by Kanken Toyama's son, Ha Toyama.

Shudokan karate today is essentially a compound system, including Kobudo (i.e. ancient art, referring to the specialized weapons practice of traditional Okinawan karate) and Shorin-Ryu (also known as Shurite or Itosu-ha). Many other principles from other styles have found their way into Shudokan as it was Toyama's wish that Shudokan not stagnate, that it should grow in efficiency and flourish.

Shudokan teaches a series of unique kata that represent light, quick motions and a variety of power sources. These kata are secret to shudokan practitioners and are not taught to outsiders. One must obtain the rank of Sankyu (brown-belt, three belts away black-belt) in most schools before they are permitted to learn these kata.

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