Shotokan Karate Club of Madison Shotokan Karate Club of Madison Wisconsin
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Shotokan Karate is the most popular style of traditional Japanese karate. Karate means "empty hand" in Japanese. Karate-do means "empty hand way." Karate was introduced to mainland Japan from Okinawa in 1922 by Master Gichin Funakoshi. Master Funakoshi had studied karate as a young man while living in Okinawa and was a college professor.

Like other Japanese martial arts, or "budo," the ultimate aim of karate-do is the perfection of the character of its participants. Through training, karate students learn self-control, mental and physical self-discipline, and they also develop valuable self-defense reflexes. As such, karate training can be an excellent means of attaining and maintaining physical and emotional fitness and self-discipline. Traditional karate training involves basic training, forms or "kata" training, and sparring.

It generally takes three (3) to five (5) years of regular training under a qualified instructor to reach the level of first (1st) degree black belt (dan) in traditional Shotokan karate. At that point, the karate practitioner, or "karateka," should have mastered the basics of karate and be ready to begin training at a more advanced level. The Shotokan Karate Club of Madison organizes three (3) testing sessions every year: in the fall, in the winter, and in the summer

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