top of page
Blackbelt Breaking a Stack of Boards


What is Shotokan karate?

Shotokan is one of the major styles of karate, developed from various martial arts systems by master Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957) and his son Yoshitaka. Funakoshi is recognized as the individual who officially introduced karate from Okinawa to mainland Japan, although others like Kenwa Mabuni and Motobu Choki from Okinawa had been actively teaching karate in Japan before him. The name 'Shotokan' comes from Funakoshi's pen name 'Shōtō', meaning 'waving pines', and 'kan' means 'house'. Therefore, the dojo (training hall) where he taught his students was called 'Shoto-kan'. Shotokan is particularly characterized by its deep stances and strong, linear techniques. The core philosophy behind its techniques and movements is that the shortest and fastest path between two points is a straight line.


Shotokans sentrale læresetninger

the Dojo Kun, a set of five fundamental precepts developed by Gichin Funakoshi that encapsulate the philosophy of karate. These precepts serve as the foundation for the etiquette and rules of the training hall (dojo) and are meant to guide not only behavior within the dojo but also in daily life. Funakoshi believed that for a true karate practitioner (karateka), the Dojo Kun should be a guide for everyday living, not just a set of rules for conduct in the dojo.

The Dojo Kun is traditionally recited aloud collectively after training sessions, initially in Norwegian for lower grades and later in Japanese.

The text then lists the five precepts in Japanese, followed by their English translations:

  1. "Hitotsu! Jinkaku Kansei ni Tsutomuru Koto!" - Strive for the perfection of character.

  2. "Hitotsu! Makoto No Michi O Mamoru Koto!" - Be faithful and sincere.

  3. "Hitotsu! Doryoku No Seishin O Yashinau Koto!" - Cultivate the spirit of perseverance.

  4. "Hitotsu! Reigi O Omonzuru Koto!" - Respect others.

  5. "Hitotsu! Kekki No Yu O Imashimuru Koto!" - Refrain from violent behavior.

These principles are integral to the practice and philosophy of karate, emphasizing character development, sincerity, perseverance, respect, and non-violence.


Kata" means "form" and is a simulated fight against multiple opponents. A kata consists of logical combinations of blocks, strikes, and kicks arranged in a fixed pattern. The katas are performed in a specific direction of movement, forming a distinct pattern or diagram.

In JKA (Japan Karate Association) Karate, there are 25 different kata. Each kata has its unique sequence and set of movements, designed to develop various skills and techniques in karate practitioners.

  • Heian shodan

  • Heian nidan

  • Heian sandan

  • Heian yondan

  • Heian godan

  • Tekki shodan

  • Tekki nidan

  • Tekki sandan

  • Bassai dai

  • Jion

  • Hangetsu

  • Kanku dai

  • Enpi

  • Jitte

  • Gankaku

  • Kanku sho

  • Sochin

  • Bassai sho

  • Nijushiho

  • Gojushiho sho

  • Gojushiho dai

  • Chinte

  • Meikyu

  • Unsu

  • Wankan

bottom of page