History Of Shotokan Karate
Founder of Shotokan Karate
(1868 – 1957)
Gichin Funakoshi, known as the founder of modern karate, was a professor at the Okinawan Teacher’s College and president of the Okinawan Association of Martial Arts. In 1922, he was invited to lecture and demonstrate the new art of karate at the First National Athletic Exhibition in Tokyo. The demonstration turned out to be a great success, due to the inspiring personality of Master Funakoshi, and he was flooded with requests until he was able to establish the Shotokan in 1936, a great landmark in the history of karate.
Funakoshi Sensei was not only a genius in martial arts but also a literary talent and signed his work “Shoto,” his pen name. Hence, the school where he taught came to be known as Shoto’s school or Shotokan. He combined the techniques and katas of the two major Okinawan styles to form his own style of karate. As a result, modern day Shotokan includes the powerful techniques of the Shorei school and the lighter, more flexible movements of the Shorin school.
When the Japan Karate Association was established in 1949, Gichin Funakoshi was appointed as the chief instructor due to his advanced skills and leadership capabilities. Although Funakoshi Sensei was famous as a great karate master, he always emphasized the most important benefit from karate training is the development of spiritual values and the perfection of character of its participants. After training and teaching karate for more than 75 years, Master Funakoshi died in 1957 at the age of 88.
History Of Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association
SHIHAN KENNETH FUNAKOSHI
FUNAKOSHI SHOTOKAN KARATE
Kancho Kenneth Funakoshi was the founder of the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association (FSKA) and is a direct descendant of Gichin Funakoshi. He started judo training in 1948 under Arakaki Sensei at the Fort Gakuen Japanese Language School in Honolulu, Hawaii. He attended Farrington High School in the Kalihi District and was on the football team and captain of the Territory of Hawaii (Hawaii was not a state yet) Championship swim team. While attending the University of Hawaii on a swimming scholarship, Funakoshi Sensei started Kempo training under Adriano Emperado from 1956 to 1959.
In 1960, Kancho Funakoshi started Shotokan training when the Japan Karate Association (JKA) assigned its first grand champion, Hirokazu Kanazawa to teach at the Karate Association of Hawaii for three years. For the next three years, Funakoshi trained under Masataka Mori, another instructor from the JKA. From 1966 to 1969, he trained under the third and last instructor sent by the JKA, the legendary Tetsuhiko Asai; another former grand champion from Japan. In 1969, after training 10 years under three of Japan’s top instructors and winning the grand championship of the Karate Association of Hawaii for five years in a row (1964 – 1968), Kenneth Funakoshi was appointed as the Chief Instructor for the Karate Association of Hawaii (JKA).
Funakoshi moved to San Jose, California to teach karate in December 1986. In 1987, the non-political Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association (FSKA) was founded with its world headquarters now in Milpitas, California, and affiliates throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe, South America, Africa and India. It should be noted that many dojos from other countries are always inquiring for FSKA affiliation information on a weekly basis! FSKA was incorporated in 2003 in the state of California. Corporate officers were Kancho Kenneth Funakoshi, Shihan Kyle Funakoshi and Mrs. Theresa Funakoshi
Kancho Funakoshi retired in 2018; his younger son, Kyle Funakoshi, assumed the Chief Instructor position in Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association.
KYLE YOSHINOBU FUNAKOSHI
Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association Premier
Shihan Kyle Yoshinobu Funakoshi was born on April 21, 1973 in Honolulu, Hawaii. When he was five years old, he began training in 1978 under his father, Kancho Kenneth Funakoshi at the original main dojo (Puck’s Alley) in Honolulu, Hawaii. Shihan Funakoshi trained directly under Japan Karate Association (JKA) instructors Asai and Kanazawa Senseis. As a youth, Kyle Funakoshi trained at seminars conducted by Asai Sensei and Kanazawa Sensei, two world renowned senseis and competitors.
Shihan Kyle has been training in Shotokan Karate for 41 years and currently instructs full time at the FSKA Headquarters, teaching all youth and adult classes, beginner through Black Belt. In addition to his teaching schedule, he attended San Jose State University, graduating with a BS Degree in Business, with emphasis on Accounting & Finance.
Shihan Kyle competed at the national and international levels as a youth and adult. His skills were such that, by age 16, he competed in the adult divisions where he continued his winning record. In numerous FSKA competitions, Shihan Kyle consistently demonstrated his skill and talent
During Shihan Kyle’s competition career, his stellar performance placed him in competition with other outstanding martial artists. Shihan Kyle retired from competition at an early age because his expertise and abilities gravitated toward teaching and inspiring people to realize their abilities and potential in karate and in their daily lives.
Shihan Kyle presents seminars at the FSKA World Headquarters and at FSKA affiliates nationally and internationally. Additionally, he is a highly rated Tournament level Official.
Quote by Kancho Kenneth Funakoshi, “Shihan Kyle is my best Competitor, Official, and Instructor.”
You may have seen Shihan Kyle on the cover of various martial arts publications. He has been featured in “Ki Masters” in 2001, the “Shotokan Way” on-line magazine in 2009, “Black Belt Magazine” in January 2010, and “Black Belt Magazine” in February 2019.
Shihan Kyle Funakoshi assumed leadership of FSKA in June 2018 upon the retirement of Kancho Kenneth Funakoshi. The name of the organization was modified to “Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association Premier” to distinguish it from other organizations with similar names. The Chief Instructor for FSKA, Kyle Yoshinobu Funakoshi, holds a Ku-dan (9th Degree) Black Belt rank.