Welcome to Shotokan Karate
Shotokan Karate of Garden Grove
Garden Grove Shotokan is affiliated with Shotokan Karate of America
(SKA), which has been teaching karate in North America since 1955. We practice a
traditional form of karate that was the first introduced to Japan in 1922. Our
chief instructor is Master Tsutomu Ohshima, the founder of Shotokan Karate in
the United States.
Karate involves hand strikes, blocks, kicks, and traditional
prearranged forms called kata. After some practice, the effectiveness of hand
and foot techniques are applied against opponents. Practice sessions are
designed to polish the techniques in a safe manner while providing excellent
physical exercise. Through the practice of traditional Japanese karate, you will
learn self defense in a sincere professional atmosphere.
Well over 100,000 children and adults have practiced Shotokan Karate
in SKA schools throughout North America since 1955. Our facilities include many
colleges, YMCA's, and recreation centers. Garden Grove Shotokan, one of
America's leading training facilities, welcomes those serious about the study of
The Values of Karate
In our modern society, the values are numerous. In our everyday lives we often
forget the value of exercise to both our physical and mental health. The
practice of karate tones the body, develops coordination, quickens reflexes, and
Also, the serious practice of karate develops composure, a clearer
thought process, deeper insight into one's mental capabilities, and more
self-confidence. In this, karate is not an end, but a means to an end. It is an
activity in which advancing age is not a hindrance. Rather it encourages
proficiency and the keen coordination of mind and body.
Karate may be defined as a weaponless means of self-defense. It
consists of dynamic offensive and defensive techniques using all parts of the
body to their maximum advantage. Karate practice is divided into three
- Kihon (basic blocks, punches, kicks and stances
- Kata (pre-arranged forms simulating combat situations)
- Kumite (sparring)
In each category the beginner is given instruction at the most basic
level until the techniques become spontaneous. The trained karate practitioner
is able to coordinate the mind and body, thereby allowing maximum physical and
mental power to be expressed in most any situation.
All of the instructors at Garden Grove Shotokan are professionals in
the community as well as lifetime practitioners of karate-do. This creates
excellent role models for children as well as a quality atmosphere of our adult
Although the ancient origins of karate are extremely vague,
we do know that about 1400 years ago while teaching at the Shaolin Temple in
China, Daruma Daishi used techniques basic to karate. Later these techniques
developed into fighting forms known as Shaolin Boxing. In the 16 th Century,
Shaolin Boxing found its way to Okinawa from China. It was combined with native
Okinawan techniques and developed into several Okinawan styles.
In 1922, having mastered two major styles in Okinawa,
Master Gichin Funakoshi, then president of The Okinawa Association of the Spirit
of Martial Arts, was chosen to demonstrate Karate at the first National Athletic
Exhibition in Tokyo. This led to the introduction of the ancient martial art to
the rest of Japan. At the urging of friends and officials, he remained in Tokyo
In 1955, Tsutomu Ohshima, one of Master
Funakoshi's last direct pupils (1948-1953, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan),
came to the United States and was the first person to teach karate in this
country. That same year he organized Southern California Karate Association,
which has grown over the years to become a national non-profit organization,
Shotokan Karate of America Inc. (SKA). All of the instructors at Garden Grove
Shotokan have personally received instruction and ranking from Tsutomu Ohshima
in an effort to insure lineage.
Special Trainings are practices are unique to SKA and its
affiliated groups. They are practices which last from 2-4 days and are designed
to push your body and mind to their maximum potential. It is said that one
special training is worth 6 months of regular practice. Special Trainings take
place throughout the year across North America. Additionally, Garden Grove hosts
"mini" special training for kids - a unique 24 hour event with many special
SKA Ranking System
SKA charges no additional fees for Belt tests.
In SKA, your rank indicates your level within a 14
step system. Master Funakoshi's original ranking system is still used which
consists of : White Belt-5 kyus, Brown Belt 3 - kyus, and Black Belt-5 dans.
Gradings for the kyu 8 through 1, to determine rank are held in November and
April (the months of Master Funakoshi's birth and death). At the grading, a
panel of black belts evaluates your level based on your technical ability, your
age, your length of practice, special circumstances, the number of special
trainings you have attended and your training mentality. How much your rank
increases at a grading is not as important as using the feedback from the Black
Belt Council to improve your level in the future.
Gradings for dan (black belts) are held
once a year after Summer Special Training. The candidate must attend Summer
Special Training to be eligible for black belt grading. Ranks for other styles
are honored but are handled and evaluated on an individual basis
Those seriously interested in
the study of a martial art are welcome to join us.