Our Approach

In this dojo you will learn a style of martial arts that has its roots in traditional Shotokan Karate.

Shotokan, like most of the traditional Japanese systems, is a style that tries to strike a balance between speed, power and flexibility, while preserving traditional training methods, philosophy and attitudes. To perform and apply techniques properly, students must train diligently and practice regularly (at all levels). The practice of traditional Karate instils self-discipline, conscientiousness, and introduces students to practical applications in controlled situations.

Despite the importance of traditional forms and thinking, most traditional systems have their limitations. Most styles of Karate have been around for quite some time; some of the systems of kung fu have been around even longer. This means that the forces driving their initial development may no longer exist in the modern world, and the applications for which they were developed may have faded into history. For instance, today one might legitimately question the application of a fighting system specifically designed to let an unarmed fighter pierce samurai armour with the bare hands. Even the newer systems – some developed as recently as thirty or forty years ago – may have been developed for purposes that aren’t relevant to us, or may involve training methods that modern sports medicine has proven to be counterproductive or dangerous. However, many of the traditional practices continue to be relevant today for new or different reasons. For instance, we at PNHK continue to practice traditional kata, not only for physical benefits, but as a means of learning to visualize the physical confrontation and to prepare ourselves emotionally and psychologically.

For these and other reasons, the approach taken in this dojo deliberately combines traditional Shotokan principles, methods and applications with the modern physical training principles, and with the elements drawn from other martial arts – particularly boxing, escrima and kickboxing. These modern elements are introduced gradually, as the student’s basic skills and techniques improve over time. The emphasis gradually broadens as one grows closer to achieving the rank of Shodan (first degree black belt), which, you will discover, is your real beginning in the martial arts. Thus, as a student, you will be exposed to non-traditional techniques and methods when you achieve a sufficient grounding in traditional basics. Ultimately, the purpose is to let you experience the best approaches and the methods from a variety of disciplines, while ensuring that you master the techniques and skills of the traditional karateka. In this way, we believe, you will be better educated in the martial arts, more controlled and more disciplined. This control and discipline will extend to your own sense of balance and your physical fitness, as well as to your ability to defend yourself effectively when the need arises.

 

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