AShort History of Shotokan Karate

Our style of karate is known as Shotokan Karate.  It's founder was the late Gichin Funakoshi who's picture you will notice at the front of our dojo.  Master Funakoshi was born November 10th/1868 and he passed away April 26th/1957.  He was one of the Okinawan karate masters who introduced karate to mainland Japan in 1922.  He taught karate at several universities in Japan and became the honorary head of the Japan Karate Association when it was formed in 1949.  
In addition to being a karate master, Funakoshi was also a poet and a philosopher.  In fact the name Shotokan is derived from his pen name "Shoto" which means "waving pines" in Japanese.  The term kan refers to a training hall or house.    This name was coined by some of Funakoshi's students when they posted a sign in front of the hall where Funakoshi taught reading "Shoto Kan".

Master Hidetaka Nisiyama

Master Nishiyama was born in Tokyo in 1928.  He began training under master Gichin Funakoshi in 1948.  His accomplishments are many over the course of his career.  In 1952 he was selected as a member of the martial arts combat instruction staff for the United States Strategic Air Command Combat Training Program.  In this position he was invited to the United States to give instruction to the Strategic Air Command.  Later, in 1961, he was again invited to the United States where he eventually set up a dojo in Los Angeles, California.  He is credited with establishing many karate related organizations, not only in the United States, but Internationally.  His work with these many organizations led to the formation of the International Traditional Karate Federation in 1985.  Our dojo is proud to be a member of this same organization which is the true governing body for Traditional Karate today!
For more information on this inspiring man, check out the ITKF website at