We bow to the Shomen wall at the beginning and end of every class. One of the photos we acknowledge every time we come together as a team is a photo of a man named Gichin Funakoshi (November 10, 1868 – April 26, 1957).

Gichin Funakoshi is often referred to as the founder of Shotokan karate, which is the most commonly known style of karate. Referred to as the ‘Father of Modern Karate’, Gichin Funakoshi was one of the Okinawan masters of karate that introduced karate to Japan’s mainland in the early 1920’s. He became the head of the Japanese Karate Association upon its establishment in 1949.

You can read more about Gichin Funakoshi and Shotokan Karate in his works ‘Karate-Do: My Way of Life’, an autobiography, as well as ‘The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate’.