Shotokan Karate of America has become a prominent, worldwide educational
and cultural institution. It currently has over 100 dojos nationwide,
20 dojos in Canada, and SKA affiliates in Belgium, France, Gabon,
Israel, Morocco, Spain, and Switzerland, with over 10,000 U.S.
and international members.
As the boundaries of SKA's influences continue to expand, it is
important to ensure that the legacy of this ancient martial art
is preserved and passed to future generations. To meet this challenge,
SKA plans to build an international headquarters, the Shotokan
Center, and invites you to help make it a reality.
Since 1981, SKA has been pursuing the dream of a world-class training
and educational facility. It has acquired right to a spectacular
parcel of land overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the hills near
Santa Barbara, California. SKA developed plans to build this facility
in order to focus the teaching efforts of the organization, to
host vistors from around the world, and to sponsor international
events. The campus, designed by alain Gabrielli, a leader of France
Shotokan and an architect of international acclaim, will include
a training hall, or dojo, with a library and administrative offices,
a dormitory, and a residence.
The dojo, literally, the place to find "the way" is the focal point of all SKA's activities.
While it is technically a training hall, the word traditionally
carries a deeper philosophical meaning. It is a place to polish
one's character. In Shotokan Karate, the dojo serves as a place
for improving oneself through harmony with others.
"We have the responsibility to pass on
to the next generation something we have received from our seniors
in the past"-TSUTOMU OHSHIMA
Under the instruction of Mr. Ohshima, SKA has played and impressive
role in the introduction of Eastern art and culture to the West.
The traditional practice of karate-do as an art and a way of life
provides a direct link to the ancient art and philosophy of the
East. For Shotokan members, the synthesis of East and West in
the pursuit of education and self-cultivation is not simply an
abstract concept but an actual experience gained through rigorous
physical and mental practice.
Now, that the 20th century has ended, SKA is preparing
to ensure that this legacy will continue for future generations.
Since the essence of karate-do is rooted in basic human values,
its most fundamental principles transcend cultural boundaries.
The Shotokan Center will provide the ideal location for members
from around the world, bound together through the practice of
karate-do, to meet, to study, and to expand their mutual understanding.
In 1981, SKA created a building fund for the Shotokan Center.
In the years since, all SKA members have participated either through
individual donations or through local projects, thus demonstration
their deep commitment to the Shotokan Center Project. To date,
SKA members have raised $500,000.
Currently, 18 acres have been acquired for the site of the Shotokan
Center. The total cost of the project, including completion of
the road accessing the site and construstion of the dojo and other
buildings, is estimated at $1,500,000.
We invite you to make a donation to the Shotokan Center Project. Your tax-deductible donation helps SKA to build and maintain its dream.
SKA, the oldest
karate organization in the United States, has introduced the culture
of Japan and the study of one of its ancient arts to thousands
of people around the world.
Karate's origins reach back 1500 years to ancient China and India, but its immediate predecessor evolved in Okinawa as a martial art deeply
imbued with philosophical principles. In 1922 Gichin Funakoshi, the "Father of Modern Karate," was chosen by his colleagues and Okinawan
government officials to demonstrate this martial art in mainland Japan. Master Funakoshi stressed its practice as a path toward physical and
spiritual development. In response to the enthusiastic reception, Master Funakoshi devoted himself until his death in 1957 to the teaching of karate-do,
or the way of karate, primarily in universities throughout Japan. Derived from the Master's artist name, Shoto, his students became known as members of Shotokan, or House of Shoto.
"The ultimate aim of the art of karate
lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the characters
of its participants." - GICHIN FUNAKOSHI
Mr. Tsutomu Ohshima,
one of Master Funakoshi's last direct pupils, began to teach karate-do
in Southern Cailfornia in 1955, becoming the
first person to do so in the United States. The following year, he founded what has become Shotokan Karate of America, a non-profit,
non-commercial national association with international affiliates. Its mission is to promote the traditional practice of karate-do as taught
by Master Funakoshi. All black belt members of SKA must receive their rank directly from Mr. Ohshima, ensuring that the lineage and
integrity of Master Funakohi's teaching is preserved and perpetuated.
"We are very few; still we create a good atmosphere and train together and try polish ourselves to be better human beings." - TSUTOMU OHSHIMA