A Japanese word meaning "empty" (Kara), "hand" (te), and "way of" (Do). It is a system of attack and defense that uses all parts of the body (hands, feet, elbows, fingers, etc.). To kick, punch, chop, butt, or any other move that is effective in defending yourself. Many movements may seem odd to the average person, however, you must keep in mind that these techniques have analyzed and geometrically calculated them. So whatever the action, a block or punch, it is the maximum the body can achieve. One quickly learns that it is not the size and strength alone that wins. Instead, speed and knowledge that is the deciding factor in who will emerge victorious in physical combat.
This system of Karate was passed on from Mr. Itosu and Mr. Higaonna. In Kanji, the first two letters in their names spell "Shi" and "To". Mr. Kenwa Mabuni combined them to name and form our style as they handed it down to him. Born in 1893, Mr. Mabuni was the 17th generation son of a famous samurai named Onigusuki. In 1929, he moved to Osaka, Japan and instructed many students, among them - Ryusho Sakagami, who in turn taught new generations including Mr. Fumio Demura. Today, Shihan (Master) Demura is the Chief Instructor of the Shito-Ryu Karate-Do Genbu-Kai International.
Besides teaching Karate, Shihan Demura is the stunt man for Pat Morita in all of the "Karate Kid" movies. Other films he has been in include "Island of Dr. Moreau", "Bring 'Em Back Alive"; "Bad News Bears go to Japan", "Rising Sun", and "Mortal Combat". Today, he spends the brief time away from his Dojo to demonstrate at tournaments and charity events.
The 3 K's
Each class is broken down into three categories, which we call the three Ks'. Some classes we focus more on one than the other, but there is always a balance kept.
Which consists of kicking, punching, blocking, stances and much more. You may be standing in place or moving back and forth across the mat. No matter what rank you are, you will always practice the basics.
Kata (forms, set patterns of movements)
As one moves up in rank, they will learn more complex katas while having to always maintain the previous ones. Kata is a very important part of our training. It helps us in many ways to improve our karate skills. The more we practice and the smoother and more natural our movements become, the better our timing becomes. Our bodies begin to find the rhythms of the kata, and from that the rhythms of fighting. As we continue to practice our katas, we begin to study how to use the movements from the katas in fighting situations, which we call "bunkai" (applications). The more experienced we become, the more we are able to use the movements when we spar, and to develop more advanced applications from them, which we call "oyo". The most important thing we can do with kata is to practice, practice, practice!
Kumite (fighting or sparring)
Beginners start off very slow and are supervised with prearranged moves and then work their way up to free fighting. Kumite is something we take very seriously so no one is ever injured. It is not until the teacher and the student feel comfortable that they can begin fighting other students.