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The Shotokan Fudokan Karate-do of Northern Virginia club blends traditional Japanese Shotokan karate with the modern enhancements of Fudokan karate.

 

Karate, itself, is the use of "empty hands", a system of unarmed self-defense which originated in Okinawa, then moved to Japan, and eventually to the entire world.


Shotokan and Fudokan are variations of traditional karate which both apply time-honored principles and knowledge to train the muscles and joints of the body to work together in coordinated movement and balance. Attention is given to kihon (basic techniques), kata (forms), and kumite (sparring). The warrior's size and muscle did not matter as the training enabled the warrior to prepare to defend himself in battle.  We learn to use the body as a whole complete entity to protect from the attacking forces. Yet, in the modern warrior, these same skills of balance, kime(mind focus), strategy and calmness under pressure are equally as effective in the boardroom as they are in the dojo.

Gichin Funakoshi, born in 1869, is credited with being the first man to introduce karate to Japan through a series of exhibitions between 1917 and 1922. Funakoshi encouraged his students to pursue karate as a means to build their spirit and personal character thorough courage, honesty, perseverance and humility. He wrote many books on the martial arts and encouraged the development of men, women and children with this martial art.

 

In 1948, the Japan Karate Association was organized with Sensei Funakoshi as Chief Instructor.  He led the best students and instructors in a movement that has touched nearly every continent on the planet, spreading the principles and premise of traditional karate.

Sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama, was a student of Funakoshi and helped spread karate across the world.  He co-founded the JKA and its related organizations, the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF) and the American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF) continues to promote the sport. Nishiyama also wrote about the martial arts.

 

Professor Dr. Ilija Jorga, a doctor of sports medicine, pioneered karate in former Yugoslavia incorporating his knowledge of physiology and basic anatomy into the sport. He founded Fudokan in 1980 as a modern adaptation of traditional Japanese karate and is head of the World Fudokan Federation. The Fudokan style specifically relates to the bio-mechanics of the human body and the martial art. It is an even mixture of traditional karate styles including Shotokan, Shitu Ryu, and Goju Ryu.  Predominantly practiced in Europe and Africa, Fudokan is said to be the fourth largest modern karate organization in the world. He is joined by his brother Professor Dr. Vladimir Jorga, also a doctor in sports medicine, who has long contributed key decisive scientific factors in today's modern karate.

Shotokan and Fudokan share the same essential training principles and strive to build personal strength and character through exercise, discipline, correct breathing, and psychological focus.  Training focuses on developing techniques associated to creating attacks, blocking attacks, throwing, twisting joints and more.  These techniques are applied to correct positioning and movement of the hands, feet, body stance, posture, weight shifting.Our goal is to share our knowledge through the practice of Shotokan and Fudokan karate with as many individuals as possible. Modern life is fast and competitive. Traditional karate allows people of every age to train safely and vigorously.  It offers enough interest to activate the minds and bodies of the young. Self-defense, self-discipline, staying fit and losing weight are obvious goals that naturally benefit and attract people to the sport of karate.

"Fudokan has only one difficulty - it is difficult to follow because it is not mere kicking and punching. It is a specific closed philosophical system which provides answer quite clear: It creates a complete man, of free spirit and will, educated and moral, ready to take a stand and fight for the true human values. It maintains that modesty, honor and pride are virtues. It emphasizes that the phenomenon of sensei is obliging and highly esteemed." -- Dr. Ilija Jorga