Shotokan Karate is an Okinawan karate style that became popular in mainland Japan when teacher Funakoshi Gichin arrived by boat in 1922. According to Rob Redmond’s blog,
“Shotokan emphasizes correct posture, correct joint alignment, and formality of basic technique above all else. The Shotokan expert is expected to perform using strictly defined basic techniques even under harsh conditions. Creativity and free-lancing are not rewarded by most Shotokan teachers.”
While this may seem like a harsh description you don’t get that feeling when walking into Skyline’s very own Shotokan class. Don’t get me wrong, this class is about form and training hard if you want to do well. But it also seems like a fun class where you can get a good workout if that’s what you’re looking for.
“It’s only 20 bucks for a semester while you’d spend a lot of money enrolling at a dojo,” says instructor and fourth degree black belt Eric Larson.
This is true especially if you’re looking for a good deal and a great exercise. For students of this class their reasons for being in their fall into two different categories, exercise or training. What Larson says about his pupils is that, “Some students train for tournaments. But some are just curious and just want to sample a karate class.”
Students like this is one such Brian Delacruise, a brown belt who has been a Shotokan practitioner for three years says that,
“I’m in this class so I can train for sparring and kata tournaments, and to keep fit.”
For those readers who don’t know, a Kata is a set of maneuvers that people train to do overtime perfectly.
As Redmond says, “Some say that kata are a form of shadow boxing using obvious maneuvers, and then there are people who perform kata in competitions as a form of war dance – beautiful and yet dangerous displays of both fighting ability and skillful, coordinated movement to rhythm.”
Some students who are hardcore martial art enthusiasts like Melanie Cuesta, who not only is a black belt in Taekwondo but she also has trained in basic Karate, Shotokan, and Kenpo. Yet she’s in the class because of her training in Taekwondo, which is a kicked based art, leaves her arm power lacking. So for Melanie it helps to, “balance out my skills.”
So if you want to learn a martial art or just get a good workout sign up for Skyline’s Shotokan class it’ll be well worth it.