Explore Shotokan Karate
What is on this site
The goal of this site is to provide members of the ASKF and those interested in Shotokan Karate with information about the ASKF and Karate in general. This site has several main areas:
Clubs contains homepages for the various local ASKF clubs with contact information, training schedules, and other items of interest.
Events is a listing of upcoming events and event information. History has brief overviews of the origins of Shotokan Karate and a mini-biography of Shotokan’s founder, Master Gichin Funakoshi.
Dojo has topics like karate terminology, kata descriptions, ASKF belt rankings, rank exam requirements, customs and courtesy, and tournament scoring.
Links has links to other online sites of interest and suggested reading materials.
Members contains areas of interest to registered ASKF members.
About the ASKF
The American Shotokan Karate Federation is an association of clubs devoted to providing low-cost, high-quality instruction in traditional Okinawan karate of the Shotokan school. The ASKF was founded in 1983 by Richard Gould sensei, with the goal of providing American practitioners of karate the opportunity to learn karate from world-class instructors in local clubs at the lowest possible tuition. Since its inception, the ASKF has remained committed to the development of strength of all individuals in the organization through the highest level of karate instruction.
Other founding members of the ASKF include Tom Langrehr, Jerry Larson, Stu Giere, Twyla Fritz, Ron Trimble, Doug Scheible, Doug Raitz, Al Morland, and Jeri Morland.
What is Shotokan Karate?
Shotokan karate is the system of Okinawan karate created for the Japanese by karate founder Gichin Funakoshi. The name Shotokan translates to “Shoto’s Place”, and was the name of Master Funakoshi’s first permanent dojo. Shoto was the pen name used by Master Funakoshi in his writing. The name was taken from the Japanese word shoto which means “pine-waves”. Master Funakoshi chose this for his pen name as it reminded him of the sound the wind made in the pines on Mount Torao, where he would go to meditate. The word torao means “tiger’s tail”, and the mountain was called this because it resembled a tiger’s tail from a distance. The tiger symbol of the Shotokan school is reminiscent of this special place.
A Short History
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