Gichin Funakoshi

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GICHIN FUNAKOSHI, known as the legendary "Father of Modern Karate," was born in Okinawa in 1868. He became one of karate's great masters and the founder of the Shotokan school. He began training as a child in secretive martial arts techniques that had been passed down for generations in Okinawa, a region that would be-come known as the birthplace of karate. In 1922, at the request of the Japanese government, he gave a demon-stration of these still little-known arts of self-defense on the Japanese mainland, thus giving rise to karate's intro-duction to the rest of Japan and subsequently the world. He devoted the remainder of his life to karate and wrote several classics on the art including Karate-do Kyohan, Karate Jutsu, and The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate, as well as an autobiography entitled Karate-do: My Way of Life. He passed away in 1957.

HIROKAZU KANAZAWA was born in 1931 in Iwate prefecture, Japan. The most respected figure in the karate world today, he was a close disciple of Gichin Funakoshi. Kanazawa founded the Shotokan Karate-do In-ternational Federation in 1979, after gaining his impressive reputation in Hawaii, the U.S. mainland, and Europe as an official trainer for the Japan Karate Association. The Shotokan Karate-do International Federation now has branches in more than 100 countries throughout the world. Kanazawa is the author of Karate Fighting Tech-niques, Black Belt Karate, and Karate: The Complete Kata, published by Kodansha.

GISHO FUNAKOSHI was born in Okinawa in 1925. He worked in administration and was the director of public affairs of the Ryukyu government. He was a poet, writer, and essayist. He wrote an impressive number of serialized stories in newspapers, as well as dramas and songs for creative dance. His most noted work is The Poems of Gisho Funakoshi. He passed away in 2007.
RICHARD BERGER was born in Rochester, New York, in 1963, and began training in Shotokan karate in 1982 while attending university in Southern California. He moved to Tokyo in 1990 and has been training at Hiro-kazu Kanazawa's SKIF headquarters since 1993.

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Essence of Karate

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Karate's prodigious rise from obscure, secretive Okinawan self-defense techniques to one of Japan's most revered and recognizable martial traditions can be attributed to one manGichin Funakoshi, the Father of Modern Karate.

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