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Shotokan Karate Club

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This website is updated regularly (Spring 2014).  Also see our Facebook Page!

The William & Mary Shotokan Karate Club is dedicated to teaching the principles of the true martial artist spirit to members of the William & Mary community.  We welcome all interested students, faculty and staff at William & Mary to attend our trainings.

Emphasis is on skill training, in line with the principle of Shoshi ni kaeru or "back to the beginning."  This concept means that whatever grade or Dan rank the student has earned, he/she should always take instruction and guidance as if learning for the first time, and always practice as if he/she is practicing for the first time.  The baseline will move, but the openness to correction and awareness of execution is best when the notion that "one knows what one is doing" is put aside.  

Physical fitness will improve in Shotokan training, but it is not the point of training.  Shotokan karateka practice the principles of Dojo Kun on and off the Dojo floor.  Karate as a training method for self defense is extremely effective, in part because students learn how to avoid confrontation when possible and are strongly encouraged to defuse rather than escalate tense situations.

Dojo Kun and Niju Kun were formulated by Shotokan founder Funakoshi Gichin Sensei in the early 20th Century when karate was becoming available to Japan via collegiate karate clubs.  Funakoshi Sensei recognized that the Japanese were culturally different from Okinawans and lived under different social pressures, including military control of most of the nation at the time.  The Dojo and Niju Kun were his way of keeping karate true to the spirit and history of Okinawan practice.  The collegiate tradition is foundational to Shotokan karate, and the William & Mary Shotokan Karate Club is a founding member of the East Coast Collegiate Karate Union (ECCKU) and the National Collegiate Karate Association (NCKA), in turn affiliated with the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF).