Shotokan-ryu,  which was founded by Gichin Funakoshi in Tokyo in 1938.  Funakoshi is considered to be the founder of modern karate.  Born in Okinawa,  he began to study karate with Yasutsune Azato,  one of Okinawa's greatest experts in the art.   In 1921 Funakoshi first introduced Karate to Tokyo.  In 1936,  at nearly 70 years of age,  he opened his own training hall.  The dojo was called Shotokan after the pen name used by Funakoshi to sign poems written in his youth. Shotokan Karate was influenced  directly by Shuri-te (Shorin-ryu),  and is characterized by powerful linear techniques and deep strong stances.  This style was one of the first styles to be introduced to Japan in the 1920's.  Powerful kata such as Bassai (Shuri-te) are typical of this style.

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Updated: Friday, 10 September 2010