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The origin of Karate dates back more than a thousand years.
In 1922, the Japanese Ministers of National Education invited an expert from Okinawa to give a Karate demonstration. Gichin Funakoshi, the modern master of this art, impressed the audience so much that two years later Keio University founded Japan's first Karate Dojo.
Loosely translated, Karate means 'empty hand'. More specifically, it is a system of fighting without weapons where the feet, knees, elbows, fists, edges of the hand and finger tips play primary roles.
To Master Gichin Funakoshi, karate was not just a martial art, but it was also a means of building character. His meaning of karate was 'The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of the character of the participant'.
He also wrote the five maxims of Karate: CHARACTER, ETIQUETTE, EFFORT, SINCERITY, SELF-CONTROL
Funakoshi Karate South Africa is characterised by its smooth sliding techniques and a number of unique kata which incorporate the kamae stance within the fighting combinations.
Though the style was originally strongly influenced by Shotokan and has direct, forceful attacking techniques, it nevertheless possesses a number of individual features, not least of which is its progressive, free-thinking approach to Karate.
At present its Head of Style is Chris Botha Kancho (9th Dan) and Chief Instructor is Sanette Smit Hanshi (8th Dan).