A History of Shudokan Karate

A History of Shudokan Karate

Soon, Karate West will be hosting a Japanese Shudokan Masters Seminar event, during which 10th degree black belt masters Ishida Hanshi and Miyachi Kenji Hanshi will be teaching two different kata. With that event in mind, we thought it would be an appropriate time to explore the historical development of our school of karate. Kanken Toyama’s Okinawa Seitou Karate-Do, also known as ‘Shudokan’ in America, was originally developed by Kanken Toyama when he opened his first dojo in Tokyo on March 20th, 1930. When he established the school, it was called Shu Do Kan, which literally translates to “the hall for the study of the way of karate” or more figuratively translates to “an institution for cultivating the way.”  Thus, its establishment was to discover a more natural and right way to live through the methods taught in karate. While Shudokan is commonly accepted to be its own school of karate today, Toyama-san never claimed to have invented something new. He was originally a student of Ankō Itosu, the man famed to be responsible for the development of modern karate. Toyama-san always felt that what he taught was merely an extension of Itosu-san’s original form of karate. He once wrote on the topic that “the exquisite skill of karate that is based on self-protection does not need to contain several different ‘styles,’ but a combination of what works or is effective.” As a result of this position, Toyama-san never appointed a successor when he passed away in 1966, ultimately causing the school to take many new forms. Today, Shudokan karate has developed into a school primarily made up of two...
Fitness Done Right – Young to Old

Fitness Done Right – Young to Old

At Karate West, we celebrate life skills that are most deserving of our attention each month of the year with our Twelve Months to Personal Power. With the nice summer weather quickly approaching, we’ve chosen to recognize April as Fitness month. In honor of that ever-important habit, we thought we’d tell you a little about why getting active is so paramount to lifelong success for children and adults. We take pride in teaching children the merits of quality fitness because those lessons learned early in life will resound with healthy habits far into the future. You may be thinking, “but my child is already active. They hardly ever sit down.” While it’s true that children are naturally disposed to be more active often while running, jumping, kicking, and playing all on their own, that does not necessarily mean that they will be as energetic later in life. At Karate West, we teach that although there are benefits in one exercise session, a healthy discipline in maintaining regular exercise habits is far more beneficial. By establishing those habits early in life, the results can be astounding including a lower risk of blood pressure, stronger development of muscles, bones, and joints, as well as various social and mental advantages. Amongst a higher capacity for learning and self-confidence, those who exercise consistently  will also show reduced risk of depression and anxiety. With all of that said, it’s important to make children want to be active. Physical activity should be something that they find fun. If your child can associate exercise with something that engages them, it will become an activity that they...
The Dangers of Too Much Screen Time for Kids – And Why Parents Must Get Their Kids Active

The Dangers of Too Much Screen Time for Kids – And Why Parents Must Get Their Kids Active

Sleep Deprivation There are many dangers of too much screen time for kids, among the most concerning, is sleep deprivation.  Any of us that are addicted to our screens know this. It is a constant struggle to put down the screens and allow our minds to drift off to sleep. But how does this affect kids? If you, as an adult, don’t get enough sleep, you’re apt to be less productive at work and may have trouble holding up your eyes as they grow ever heavier throughout the day. However, sleep deprivation is detrimental to children’s developing minds and bodies. The average child requires 10-12 hours of sleep every night; however, the average child only gets 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation in children can lead to obesity, short attention spans, crankiness, lack of decision-making skills, lethargy that leads to poor performance at school, and health problems. Why does screen-time get such a bad rap? The blue light emitted from the screen is interpreted by the body as a signal to wake up. So if a child is interacting with a screen at night, instead of feeling sleepy when it is bedtime the child is more likely to be wide awake, even long after the screen has been shut off. Obesity Another one of the dangers of too much screen time for kids is obesity. Screens make you sit. The struggle to keep kids active these days is real! Especially when there are so many screens tempting them to sit and stare for hours. Children have the natural urge to run, jump, and kick, and when this...