The Shotokan Timelines: History of Karate

Behind Funakoshi’s back a group of supporters were building him his very own purpose built karate dojo and named it after Funakoshi’s pen name (Shoto). The hall had a plaque above the door saying ‘Shotokan’ meaning Hall of the waving pines.

This is when Funakoshi decided to call his type of karate, Shotokan. He also then created ‘the dojo kun’ which were karate rules and also Kyu and Dan which are the belt system we still use today. As he was in Japan he realised the martial art could not be called Kara-te meaning Chinese hand or okinawa-te meaning okinawa hand. He soon took the Chinese character that was used to signify “Chinese hand,” as karate was known, and adapted it to mean “empty hand.”, because this martial art was for everyone now to learn (not just Okinawa or China) and it also showed the fighting with no weapons.

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