The Launch of Total Shotokan Karate

Introduction

Total Shotokan Karate was formed in 2018, by senior instructors Adam Cockfield & Dan White.

At Total Shotokan Karate we truly believe that Karate is for everyone and offer a structured teaching programme to cater for all ages and abilities.

We are proud of and celebrate the Japanese roots of our art, however we are not slaves to tradition and our instructors are consistently exposing themselves to new training methods and ideas to ensure that the style of Karate that we teach in the club is progressive and does not stagnate.

Our Ethos

Our ethos is that Shotokan Karate should be taught and practiced as a well rounded Martial Art. Therefore in our Clubs we aim to teach the full spectrum of Karate, which not only focuses on the traditional three “K’s” of Kihon (Basics), Kata (Forms) and Kumite (sparring) but also Kata Bunkai (analysis/applications), impact work, grappling and self protection (which also contains a focus on prevention and the law).

We do not view each of these as separate entities but interlinked and interdependent parts of the bigger jigsaw which makes up the complete art. We also feel that each should be viewed with equal importance relevant to a Karateka’s age and progression.

Broadly speaking we characterise our training into 3 areas;

1. Karate for Fighting – Fighting is two individuals engaged in an encounter within a set of rules. This could be dojo sparring, Competition Kumite (Shobu Ippon, WKF, Full contact), MMA etc. The aim of this training is to teach the techniques and tactics required to “win” those fights.

2. Karate for Survival – Karate’s original intention was as a civilian self protection system. The Kata and their applications are rooted in these principles. This significantly differs from fighting, as in these situations rules do not apply and the only aim is to survive. Some of the techniques and tactics derived from learning to “fight” have an obvious cross over into this area, but it is important to understand that they are two different approaches.

3. Karate for the Art – Karate is both brutal and beautiful and the stylistic beauty aspect shouldn’t be overlooked in training. Karate is an individual activity and the Art aspect allows a Karateka to strive to constantly develop themselves and their technique, giving a lifetime of study relevant to all ages. This aspect also helps to develop efficient movement, which has obvious benefits for the other areas.

In recent times we feel that Karate, and Shotokan in particular, has fallen into two camps, both of which sit at opposite ends of the spectrum. At one end some groups focus almost exclusively on the Art of Karate and competition Karate at the expense of the more practical elements (Kata bunkai, self protection, grappling & impact) and the other, you can find purely practical clubs whose “Function over Form” ethos can lose the benefits that the Art of Karate and aspects like competition Karate can bring to the development of a Karateka.

Our aim is to bridge the whole spectrum and develop students in a holistic manner and give them access to the full spectrum of Karate. The lead Instructors of Total Shotokan Karate and many of their peers & friends embody this approach and we aim to develop our students in the same manner.

Our Mission Statement

“Striving to train and pass on a version of Shotokan Karate that covers the art, fighting techniques and self protection”

Our Name

Our name was chosen as we feel it represents what we stand for, to teach and train the full spectrum of Shotokan Karate. It also reflects that we feel that Shotokan Karate, when trained in the correct manner, can be a complete Martial Art. We want to be complete, we want to be the best. We are Total Shotokan Karate.

Our Badge

Our badge reflects our training influences. Through the Shotokan Tiger in the badge, we respect and are proud of the Japanese heritage and influence on the Art of Shotokan Karate. However, we aren’t tied to our only influence being from Japan, as in our experience and opinion many of the best and most influential Instructors we have trained with are from the West. We are therefore also proud to be English/British Karateka and the flag in our badge demonstrates this.

 

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