Shudokan Karate-do is a composite system encompassing all three major Okinawan styles: Shuri-te, Naha-te, and Tomari-te, as well as Chinese styles and kobujitsu (the study of weapons). It is the combination of these arts that gives strength and uniqueness to the Shudokan system. Shuri-te, sometimes known as Shorin-Ryu, or Itosu-ha, is a component of Shudokan. Its kata represent light, quick motions and a variety of external power sources. The Naha-te system's forms, sometimes known as Goju-Ryu, Shorei-Ryu or Higashionna-ha, represent strong rooted motions with an emphasis on internal breathing. Power sources include both external, or hard, and internal, or soft. The Tomari-te style is generally considered an extinct system, except in a few composite styles such as Shudokan. It is characterized by the speed of the Shorin-Ryu and the strength of the Naha-te, but also has its own soft type of power. Tomari-te includes some tight yet sophisticated motions; in appearance it is both graceful and noble.
Shudokan is a classical form of Okinawan karate. The majority of the training is accomplished through the use of kata. Kata is a formal pattern of stances, footwork, blocks, strikes, and kicks. Self-discipline, including mental and physical development is a major principle of Shudokan Karate-do. Shudokan is true to the classical style of karate by promoting careful development of fundamental skills in the basic techniques. These foundational techniques are what separate traditional systems from the recreational sports widely pursued in this country and world wide.
Shudokan is a partially hard, partially soft style taught using orthodox karate methods. Hand and feet are utilized almost equally for total development of the body's natural weapons. Kata are emphasized to enhance stances, balance, power, speed, endurance, combinations, and continuous movements. Kata helps the student understand what each of the movements mean and their application. Shudokan is characterized by large circular motions with an emphasis on covering. The practice of extension of motions develops power and physique. Deep, narrow stances give the ability to change directions quickly. Soft power is taught along with sophisticated applications of the motions, which include throws, blocks, and chokes. Because of the balance between expansion and contraction, this system promotes good health.
Shudokan Founder, Kanken Toyama 1888-1966
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