Shotokan in Japanese Writing

What is Shotokan Karate?

Shotokan Karate is an excellent form of exercise with many benefits to the body and mind such as:


Shotokan is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi (18681957) and his son Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi (19061945). Founded in Japan in 1939, Shotokan training is usually divided into three parts: kihon (basics), kata (forms or patterns of moves), and kumite (sparring).

Techniques in kihon and kata are characterized by deep, long stances that provide stability, enable powerful movements, and strengthen the legs. Shotokan is often regarded as a 'hard' and 'external' martial art because it is taught that way to beginners and coloured belts to develop strong basic techniques and stances.


Ranks can vary between clubs but here at Lea Hall Shotokan Karate Club we use the following Ranking system:

White Belts - Beginner to 6th Kyu
Yellow Belts - 5th Kyu
Orange Belts - 4th Kyu
Green Belts - 3rd Kyu
Blue Belts - 2nd Kyu
Brown Belts - 1st Kyu
Black Belts - From 1st Dan upwards