In 1948, the Japan Karate Association (J.K.A.) was formed, with Gichin Funakoshi as the Chief Instructor. The organisation gathered together the leading Karate men of that time allowing them to pool their knowledge and ability. From that time onward, progress was rapid, leading eventually to the development of the three aspects of present day Karate – a method of self-defence, a physical art, and a demanding sport.
Having been through a legal battle that saw several high ranking karateka split from the original home of karate, the JKA has now grown into the most widely recognised martial arts authority in the world and has produced some of the most famous exponents of karate in the world including the former Chief Instructor of JKA Scotland, the late K. Enoeda Sensei 9th Dan JKA.
The Dojo Code was written as a code for all karate-ka to employ not only in the dojo but throughout their daily lives.
- Exert oneself in the perfection of character
- Be faithful and sincere
- Cultivate the spirit of pereverance
- Respect propriety
- Refrain from impetuous and violent behaviour
Karate is an oriental art of defense based upon combined use of the body and mind.
Its history is said to date back over 2000 years and involve development in India, China, Korea among other countries.
Karate as we know it today was introduced to Japan from Okinawa in the early part of the 20th century when Gichin Funakoshi presented a demonstration in Tokyo.
Karate in Okinawa had two primary schools:
- the Shorei School, which was characterized by forceful breathing and short hard movements
- the Shorin School, which was characterized by sharp, fast long movements.
Sensei Funakoshi never named his style of karate, but his students called it "Shotokan". Funakoshi's calligraphy pen name was Shoto, and kan means, building. Thus, we have the translation of Shotokan, or House of Funakoshi.
In the early 1950's many of Sensei Funakoshi's students formed a large organization for the continued propagation of the Art. The organization was named the Nihon Karate Kyokai, which is translated to "Japan Karate Association" (JKA).
Sensei Funakoshi passed away in 1957. However, he had taught many students in Japan, thus assuring the continuing spread of Karate not only throughout Japan, but also throughout the world.
As a result of sensei Funakoshi's leadership, the JKA is now one of the largest karate organizations in the world. It's current leaders, students of Sensei Funakoshi, are some of the most respected karate practitioners in the world.
The major purpose of the JKA has less to do with physical technique than with personal development, as reflected by its motto: "The ultimate aim of the Art of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the individual". This idea is also represented by Mr. Funakoshi's well-known quote: "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill; to subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill."