Shotokan is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957) and his son Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi (1906–1945). Gichin was born in Okinawa and is widely credited with popularizing "karate do" through a series of public demonstrations, and by promoting the development of university karate clubs.

Many of the founders of the Nine Kwans of Traditional Taekwondo studied Shotokan Karate under Gichin Funakoshi. For this reason, many of the traditional taekwondo forms are based on karate forms ("kata").

Shotokan training is usually divided into three parts:

  • kihon (basics) - note the similarity to the taekwondo terminology kibon, as with Kibon Hana aka "basic 1"
  • kata (forms or patterns of moves) - called poomsae, hyeong, or teul in taekwondo; see Taekwondo Forms by comparison
  • kumite (sparring) - called gyeorugi or matseogi in taekwondo; see Taekwondo Sparring by comparison

Techniques in kihon and kata are characterized by deep, long stances that provide stability, enable powerful movements, and strengthen the legs.

Shotokan is regarded as a dynamic martial art as it develops anaerobic, powerful techniques as well as developing speed. Initially strength and power are demonstrated instead of slower, more flowing motions. Those who progress to brown and black belt level develop a much more fluid style that incorporates grappling, throwing and some aikido-like techniques, which can be found even in basic kata. Kumite (fighting) techniques are practiced in the kihon and kata and developed from basic to advanced levels with an opponent.


The following table is excerpted from the Wikipedia Karate kata. It shows many of the forms (kata) used in Karate, and it highlights which of these forms are used in Shotokan Karate. The third column here shows which of these forms are also seen in Traditional Taekwondo.

Kata Shotokan Karate Traditional Taekwondo
Ananku Hedan- Shodan
Annan Headan _nedan
Annanko hedan-sundan
Chatanyara Kushanku hedan-yondan
Chinte Yes
Chintō/Gankaku Yes
Gojūshiho Yes
Jiin Yes
Jion Yes Yes
Jitte Yes Yes
Kusanku/Kanku-dai Yes
Naihanchi /Tekki Yes Yes
Niseishi/Nijushiho Yes
Passai/Bassai-Dai Yes Yes
Passai/Bassai-Sho Yes Yes
Pinan/Heian Yes Yes
Rōhai/Meikyo Some Yes
Seisan/Hangetsu Yes
Sōchin Yes
Suparinpei/Pechurin/Hyaku Hachi Ho
Taikyoku Yes
Ten No Kata Yes
Unsu/Unshu Yes
Wankan Yes
Wanshu/Enpi (Empi) Yes Yes

See Also Edit

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