Dragon Strom Karate Club

Maintaining the balance between respect, disciplne and knowledge


Founded on September, 1998

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Dragon Storm Karate Clubs - Styles Page

We teach two different styles at our club Kenpo and Chin-na'. They are two styles that compliment each other almost perfectly. Kenpo, with its fast paced strategic striking and hard blocks. Then Chin na' with its more passive and trapping type locks, pressure holds and control tactics. This provides our students a well rounded, complete core style that is a two dimensional learning experience.

Want to learn about the history of martial arts and the orgins of Kung-Fu. Then Click Here: History

Below is a list of styles and information gathered on each one


Hieroglyphics from Egyptian pyramids drawn over 6000 years ago showed fighting techniques that resemble karate of today. In the Eastern world, India had karate-like techniques as early as 3000 B.C. and Chinese Kempo boxing (Chuan-fa) is thought to be 5000 years old it is referred to as the Shaolin Five Animal Style. The five animals are the Snake, Tiger, Leopard, Crane, and Dragon. Kenpo was so diverse that even Greeks used its style in their free-for-all fighting (Pankration) in their Olympics.

Although primitive boxing and wrestling were developed throughout the world and known to all races, Karate, in it's present form is definitely Oriental. It was India and China, primarily China that was the birthplace of modern kenpo. Even though Kempo is some times known better for its philosophy they are one in the same. The Kenpo martial arts style is known for multiple hand strikes, kicks, circular and linear movement, which is the hard and soft style. Some of our Masters interpret the hard and soft as the "Yin" and "Yang." The Indian Buddhist priest Bodhidharma, known to the Japanese as Daruma Daishi, came to China in the 6th century A.D. and brought karate techniques and yoga meditation together as one in an effort to unite mind, spirit and body. Bodhidharma taught meditation and Chinese Kenpo, the direct forerunner of modern karate, at the Shaolin Ssu Monastery. It was this religious connection with the ancient Shaolin style of Kenpo that founded the Zen sect. For centuries only the monks knew Shaolin Kenpo but because marauding bandits plagued the countryside the secret techniques were taught to neighboring farmers for self-defense and these techniques then spread throughout China. As nations made war or allies with each other, the Kenpo techniques gradually spread throughout the entire Orient and now throughout the world.

Why should you train in Kenpo?

Kenpo Karate opens your mind, body, and spirit to every single arena in the martial arts. Kenpo is the whole core of the martial arts. Kenpo does not only have the high kicks from Tae Kwon Do, it also has hip throws, grabs from Judo, submission holds, arm-bars from Jiu-Jitsu, slow movements from Tai Chi, elbows and knee strikes from Muay Thai boxing, and low smashing kicks from Wing Chung Kung Fu. Kenpo allows you to learn skills on your feet as well as on the ground. This system is a more practical line of self-defense in case you are attacked.

Is Kenpo the best martial art?

This depends because each student is looking for a specific need or interest. They may be of the following: stress reduction, weight loss, muscle tone, discipline, weapons training, Cardio Kickboxing, self-defense, tournaments, coordination, flexibility, and/or women's self defense classes. A student does not have to be a certain size, weight, shape, or age to learn Kenpo. Kenpo is for anyone starting at ages six and up. Why not learn all about the best ways to defend yourself, instead of just one type?

How does their belt structure work?

Kenpo's belt system employs the five animal style.

The Tiger ( yellow - fire ) emphasizes an aggressive linear style.

The Crane ( purple - wind ) represents the opposite element of defense and evasive counter-striking.

The Leopard ( blue - water ) it's speed incorporates the Tiger's aggression and the Crane's rationality.

Kenpo takes the Tiger-Crane-Leopard sequence to be the student level stages principally emphasizing a firm foundation in physical strength and coordination along with an exposure to the fundamental techniques of our system.

The Dragon ( green - mountain ) it's attitude is noted for its emotion of controlled fury, so the mental/spiritual, rather than the physical component of an individual, is the focal point of the Dragon.

The Snake ( brown - earth ) stands for Ch'i (Ki in Japanese), spiritual power--derived from the unification of mind and body.

In Kenpo, the practitioner's personality is broken down into these five component aspects, each represented by a corresponding animal. Then each of these facets is worked on singly, and following that, all five are again reunited into one developed whole. Each finger of the fist stands for one of the five animal facets, and the fist they make when united may be taken to be the hidden sixth animal, the Monkey.

The Monkey ( black - void ) is the first step to mastery, to complete humanness, to the final level of Sage. The Monkey combines the intellect with the physical and emotional disciplines of the preceding five animals into a single rich whole. As each individual is comprised of relative natural strengths and weaknesses, due to stature-strength coordination, each Monkey is different and exhibits a natural preference. Thus a Monkey may be decidedly Crane or Dragon in his her execution and attitude. Nevertheless, every Monkey has worked on all facets of their character and not just those most comfortable.

Chin Na'

Chin Na was founded by an Indian Priest who was visiting Chinese monasteries in the year 527 AD. The priest was disturbed by the frail condition of the monks and proceeded to meditate on this problem for nine years. The result was a regime of physical conditioning which included methods of self defense for the physically challenged monks. Today, many police departments use Chin Na as a "pain compliance" technique to restrain unruly prisoners without causing injury.

Chin Na is the study of how to control your opponent. It uses joint locks to limit mobility, and attacks acupuncture cavities and other sensitive parts of the body with strikes, grabs and other techniques. Chin Na is part of the course of study in almost all Chinese martial styles, and it can be a valuable addition to any other martial system. Chinese Chin Na is the root of the Japanese arts of Jujitsu and Aikido, and practitioners can use the study of Chin Na to increase their understanding of the theory and principles of their own arts.

Martial arts students typically learn to kick, punch, and knock their opponents down -- methods that require a lot of energy, agility, and strength. Chin Na, which can be translated as "catch and hold," involves twisting of the joints, applying pressure to blood vessels, choking, tripping, throwing, and grappling. The basis of Chin Na is understanding the body's anatomy and attacking vital areas. For example, by controlling a single finger, a 100 pound person can cause great pain to a 300 pound attacker.

Chin Na is not a martial art, but a subset of kung fu. It aids in the completion of a system, and compliments any fighter's ability, but it does not stand alone. Since Chin Na is a Chinese style, most Japanese or Korean oriented schools will not offer Chin Na. Look for a school that offers Chinese style martial arts and emphasizes hands-on classes.


Aikido's founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was born in Japan on December 14, 1883. As a boy, he often saw local thugs beat up his father for political reasons. He set out to make himself strong so that he could take revenge. He devoted himself to hard physical conditioning and eventually to the practice of martial arts, receiving certificates of mastery in several styles of jujitsu, fencing, and spear fighting. In spite of his impressive physical and martial capabilities, however, he felt very dissatisfied. He began delving into religions in hopes of finding a deeper significance to life, all the while continuing to pursue his studies of budo, or the martial arts. By combining his martial training with his religious and political ideologies, he created the modern martial art of aikido. Ueshiba decided on the name "aikido" in 1942 (before that he called his martial art "aikibudo"and "aikinomichi").

On the technical side, aikido is rooted in several styles of jujitsu (from which modern judo is also derived), in particular daitoryu-(aiki)jujitsu, as well as sword and spear fighting arts. Oversimplifying somewhat, we may say that aikido takes the joint locks and throws from jujitsu and combines them with the body movements of sword and spear fighting. However, we must also realize that many aikido techniques are the result of Master Ueshiba's own innovation.

On the religious side, Ueshiba was a devotee of one of Japan's so-called "new religions," Omotokyo. Omotokyo was (and is) part neo-Shintoism, and part socio-political idealism. One goal of Omotokyo has been the unification of all humanity in a single "heavenly kingdom on earth" where all religions would be united under the banner of Omotokyo. It is impossible sufficiently to understand many of O-sensei's writings and sayings without keeping the influence of Omotokyo firmly in mind.

Despite what many people think or claim, there is no unified philosophy of aikido. What there is, instead, is a disorganized and only partially coherent collection of religious, ethical, and metaphysical beliefs which are only more or less shared by aikidoka, and which are either transmitted by word of mouth or found in scattered publications about aikido.

Some examples: "Aikido is not a way to fight with or defeat enemies; it is a way to reconcile the world and make all human beings one family." "The essence of aikido is the cultivation of ki [a vital force, internal power, mental/spiritual energy]." "The secret of aikido is to become one with the universe." "Aikido is primarily a way to achieve physical and psychological self-mastery." "The body is the concrete unification of the physical and spiritual created by the universe." And so forth.

At the core of almost all philosophical interpretations of aikido, however, we may identify at least two fundamental threads:

(1) A commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict whenever possible.

(2) A commitment to self-improvement through aikido training.

Jeet Kune Do

BRUCE LEE (1940-1973) is considered the greatest martial artist of the 20th century. A true renaissance man, Lee was a talented artist, poet, philosopher, writer and actor, apart from being a formidable fighter. His insights into philosophy, physical fitness, self-defense, and movie making, have been enjoyed and lauded by millions of people around the world for well over two decades. He is the founder of Jeet Kune Do, the first martial art to ever be predicated on total freedom for the individual practitioner. A learned man, Lee attended the University of Washington where he majored in philosophy. His personal library contains over 2500 books on topics ranging from Eastern Yoga to Western Psychoanalysis. His philosophy and example continue to inspire athletes and artists from around the world.

BRUCE LEE was born in San Francisco in 1940. He returned to Hong Kong with his parents at the age of three-months. While growing up in Hong Kong, Lee made a total of 18 films. At the age of 18, he boarded a ship that returned him to America. After staying briefly in San Francisco, Lee finally settled in Seattle where he went on to study philosophy at the University of Washington. Lee published his first book in 1963 entitled Chinese Gung Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self-Defense. After thoroughly researching the human sciences of kinesiology and physiology, Lee began to create his own method of self-defense - predicated for the first time in the history of combat on unconditional freedom of expression for the individual practitioner.

As a direct result of his personal applications of his research, Bruce Lee quickly emerged as the leading martial artist of his generation, eventually opening three schools located in Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles. He married in 1964 to American Linda Emery, then a student in one of his Seattle gung fu classes. Together they formed a perfect example of yin-yang; with each one complementing the distinctive qualities of the other. Their union also brought forth two children; Brandon Bruce Lee, (born February 1, 1965) and Shannon Emery Lee (born April 19, 1969). Lee was a devoted family man, who much preferred staying home with his wife and children than attending parties, film premieres and the resulting celebrity trappings that attend a successful career in film.

During his lifetime, Bruce Lee cultivated a personal philosophy, a synthesis of Eastern and Western insights into the human condition, which helped him overcome many adversities and to achieve unparalleled greatness in his career. Lee passed away at age 32 on July 20, 1973, the result of hypersensitivity to a pain medication he had taken to alleviate a headache. Despite his passing, Lee's thought continues to inspire and influence thousands of individuals from all walks of life, while Lee's contributions to the action film genre opened the door for all of the action films and action film stars that have followed in the years since his passing


The founder of Judo Jigoro Kano was born in 1860, he graduated with a degree in literature from Tokyo Imperial University in 1881 and took a further degree in philosophy the following year. Apart from being the founder of judo, Kano was a leading educationalist and a prominent figure in the Japanese Olympic movement.

When Kano began his study of ju-jutsu as a young man, the ju-jutsu masters of the martial arts were struggling to earn a living. Although they were willing to teach the skills handed down to them over many generations, there was little interest among people of the succeeding generation, additionally the demise of the samurai (warrior) class had reduced the need for instruction.

At the age of 18 Kano studied the ju-jutsu of the Tenshin Shinyo Ryu under Fukudo and Iso, both instructors at the prestigious Komu Sho. Following the death of Fukuda, Kano remained briefly with master Iso before finishing his pupillage with master Ilkubo.

By 1883, Kano had clarified his analysis of ju-jutsu and related methods to the point at which he felt able to instruct the public through a school of his own. To that end he borrowed a small room at Eishoji temple and opened the first Kodokan for the study of Kano judo.

A number of machi dojo (backstreet gyms) decided that the Kodokan was conceited and ought to be put in its place. They visited its premises and caused damage so that if honor were to be satisfied a challenge match would have to be arranged. At such matches the Kodokan was represented by Sakujiro Yokoyama, the outstanding player of his day, and the result was invariably a win for Kano judo.

Judo entered many countries from 1902 to the 1930's. In the United States judo gained an early foothold because of the interest shown by President Theodore Roosevelt. As an expression of goodwill Kano sent Yoshiaki Yamashita, a high ranking member of the Kodokan, to America in 1902 to be his personal instructor. Roosevelt trained regularly , if clumsily and in due course a room was set aside at the White House for judo purposes. It was thirty-odd years, however, before an American reached dan grade in the USA itself. Clubs were set up in Seattle in 1903 and Los Angeles in 1915. Brisbane Judo Club was the first founded in Australia in 1928 by DR A J Ross, a Kodokan dan grade. Judo later reached New Zealand via Australia in 1948 when G Grundy, a 2nd Dan from the Budokwai, opened a club in Auckland.

The most successful "newcomer" so to speak is the USSR. Strictly speaking a form of judo has been practiced in the Soviet Union since about 1930. The Russians practice a wrestling system called Sambo. This is a synthesis of many different wrestling systems, however because of the absence of international competition outside of the USSR, the Russians turned their attention to judo. In 1962 a Soviet judo team comprising Sambo men in judo suits collected five medals at the European Judo Championships. Sambo is a close cousin of judo, but it lacks the same conceptual framework. It can be seen as an implied compliment that the Russians have stepped up considerably the emphasis on judo during recent years

Tae kwon do

Tae kwon do (The Way of the Fist and Foot) is an advanced systems of martial arts known for its aggressive linear attacks and its refined elaborate kicking techniques. Tae kwon do is the most practiced martial art system in the world and was introduced as an Olympic Sport in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.

What is known as Tae kwon do today, has gone through a long process of evolution since its inception at the end of World War II. In post war Korea, with brutal Japanese occupation lifted, Korea went through a period of cultural revitalization. During this process, the martial arts, which were banned by the occupying forces, found a new resurgence. The Korean people, who swore to never be over powered again, embraced the proliferation of the martial arts through out the nation. From this, came the birth of the modern Korean martial arts.

Lee, Won-kook opened the first martial art school in post war Korea in the Yong Chun district of Seoul in 1945. He founded Chung Do Kwan or the Chung Do school of martial arts. Soon after this, also in Seoul, Hwang Kee established Moo Duk Kwan, which later became more popularity known as known as Tang Soo Do (Way of the Knife Hand). In that same year Sup, Jun-sang established Yun Moo Kwan. In 1946, Chang Moo Kwan was founded by Yun, Pyung and Chi Do Kwan was created by Pyang, Yon-kue. These were the five original Kwans of the modern Korean martial arts which laid the foundation for what was to become Tae kwon do.

In 1953 Yoon, Gae Byong founded Ji Do Kwan, Byung, Chik-ro created Song Moo Kwan, and in 1954 Choi, Hong Hi, in association with Nam, Tae-hi founded the Oh Do Kwan.

These modern Korean martial art Kwans were created by integrating a combination of ancient indigenous Korean martial arts, mainly Tae Kyon, and the various schools of Japanese and Chinese martial arts which the founders were exposed to during Japanese occupations. Though each of these new schools possessed their own individualized techniques, their reliance on Tae Kyon gave them more similarity then difference.

In 1955 the leaders of the Kwans came together and agreed upon the name Tae kwon do to unify their individual schools. This name was submitted by General Choi Hong Hi, who had not only created the Oh Do Kwan but by this point was a pivotal military leader.

It was not until 1961 when the leaders of the various Kwans could fully formalize into one body. This affiliation became known as The Korea Tae kwon do Association and General Choi, Hong Hi was elected its president.

Hwang Kee, the founder of Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bak Do (Tang Soo Do), could never fall into agreement with this governing body and wished to keep his art free from organizational constraints. Thus, Tang Soo Do, though closely resembling Tae kwon do, remains a separate entity.

In 1966, due to on going conflicts and ideological differences within the organization, Choi, Hong Hi resigned his post, founded the International Tae kwon do Federation and relocated to Montreal, Canada. The Korea Tae kwon do Association was then passed to the hands of Dr. Un Yong Kim.

Believing that Tae kwon do was a Korean martial art and its governing body should be based in Korea, Dr. Kim dissolved the relationship between the Korea Tae kwon do Association and the International Tae kwon do Federation. In 1973 the World Tae kwon do Federation was formed. Dr. Kim was elected its president. This organization has lead the martial art of Tae kwon do into its status as an Olympic Sport. Dr Kims always said "No Body Bothers Me"


Yong Shul Choi, the founder of Hapkido, was born in Taegue, Korea in 1904. In 1909 Korea came under Japanese occupation. Japanese troops took Young Shul Choi from his homeland at the age of seven to be assigned work in Japan. It was a very common practice at this period of history for the Japanese occupying forces to relocate young male Korean children to Japan for various types of labor.

As fate would have it, Choi was assigned to Sokaku Takeda (1860-1943) the 32nd patriarch of Daito Ryu Aikijitsu. Takeda was forty-four years old at the time Choi, a seven year old boy, came to his service. Choi was given the Japanese name Yoshida, Asao. The first or given name Tatjutsu which is propagated as being the name Choi used in Japan, is not a valid Japanese name. Therefore, it is historically inaccurate to believe he went by this name.

Choi; now living under the employee of Takeda in Hokkaido, was not treated as an adopted son by Takeda, as many Hapkido practitioners are led to believe. A little known and rarely revealed fact is that Choi was, in fact, assigned the duties of a "house boy" and later personal "manservant," to Takeda.

We must place this association into historical perspective to understand the relationship between Takeda and Choi. Takeda, was the last in a long spanning illustrious samurai family. The Japanese viewed themselves as the "Divine race." Koreans to the Japanese, at this time period, were simply thought of as pawns in the game of life. Takeda, perhaps came to be found of Choi, but due to his cultural programming, he would never have accepted him as a son.

Morihei Ueshiba, an older contemporary of Yong Sul Choi and founder of Aikido studied Daito Ryu Aikijitsu for seven years during the period Choi was in Takeda's service. This is the reasoning many historians draw a comparison between the two martial art systems. Though Hapkido and Aikido have similar origins and, in some cases possess similar techniques, there exists a large difference in martial philosophy between the two martial art styles.

Choi remained in the employ of Takeda for thirty years, until April 25, 1943 when Takeda died. At that point he took his leave from the house of Takeda and returned to Taegue, Korea. Soon after that, Korean independence came and Choi set about founding Hapkido.

Initially, Choi taught his students a very pure form of Daito Ryu Aikijitsu. As time progressed and other Korean martial art pioneers, such as General Hong Hi Choi (Taekwondo), and Hwang Kee (Tang Soo Do), were rediscovering and expanding upon the offensive nature of Tae Kyon. These discoveries influenced Choi and his early students, who slowly began to incorporate these very aggressive punching and kicking techniques into his overall understanding of Hapkido.

Hapkido's final criteria came through a slow testing period, as did the other martial art systems born on the newly independent Korean Peninsula. The name of the art, which finally became known as Hapkido, went through various changes, including: Yu Kwon Sul, Yu Sool, Ho Shin Mu Do, and Bi Sool. Finally, in 1963, the name and the system of Hapkido became formalized.

Ju Jitsu

Although the origin of Jujitsu is not clear, and no fixed date of its first appearance can be ascertained, there is no doubt that it is a purely Japanese art. Further, it has not been derived from ancient Chinese Martial Arts as some scholars of the martial arts have proposed. It has been a common belief of various researchers that a Chinese priest named Chin Genpin brought the art of Kempo, "kicking and striking", to Japan around 1659. In 1659, Chin Genpin became a naturalized Japanese subject and died in 1671.

While engaged in the practice of Jujitsu at the Kokushij Temple in Tokyo, he taught three ronin (out of work samurai) named Fukuno, Isogai, and Miura. After extensive development of their skills, they founded three different Jujitsu Ryu independently of one another. It is not possible that Chin Genpin first introduced Jujitsu into Japan, because Chinese Kempo - which may have been brought over by him - is quite different from Japanese Jujitsu, and because some arts resembling Jujitsu can be traced back to before the time of Chin Genpin in Japan.

Evidence that Jujitsu prevailed in Japan in ancient times is indicated by an incident, which occurred in 24 B. C., when the Emperor Suinin ordered two strong men named Sukune and Kuehaya to wrestle in his presence. This struggle to test the strength and courage of the two ancient giants consisted mainly of kicking, hitting, and gouging with Sukune gaining advantage of his opponent by breaking his ribs, after which he "trampled" upon his loins and back until Kuehaya was fatally injured. Although this incident is generally cited as being the origin of wrestling in Japan, it would seem that it was actually more in the nature of Jujitsu in view of the fact that Kuehaya was kicked and gouged to death.

Sumo wrestling is the national sport of Japan, but it is not the only nationalistic sport derived from the ancient court wrestling of the Nara emperors. When wrestling was banned by edict in 1175 A. D., an atmosphere fostering creative development of all types of hand -to-hand fighting arts was started under the influence of the military. This developmental period lasted several centuries and continued even after the Portuguese explorers arrived in 1543. Ultimately, no less than 725 official documented systems of Jujitsu were developed all of which concentrated on situations in which no "major" weapons were involved. All together, these systems were called Jujitsu.

As it is not possible to discuss all of the different branches (Ryu) of Jujitsu, this writing will mention a few of those, which are generally considered to the most significant developments in the art. The oldest Jujitsu movement is the Takenouchi-Ryu, purported to have been originated by Takenouchi Hisamori, a native of Sakushu, in the year of 1532. This branch taught Kogusoku, or the art of seizing, which is somewhat different from the pure art of Jujitsu. The Takenouchi-Ryu may be regarded as the primal system for the teaching of arts similar to Jujitsu. Fukuno Schichiroemon of Temba originated a second system called the Kito-Ryu. This Ryu `appeared in the middle of the seventeenth century. Prominence of the "Art of Throwing" (Nage-waza) and "Form Practice (Kata) gave the Kito-Ryu great prestige and popularity. In close connection with this branch was a third branch called the Jikishin-Ryu, whose founder was Terada Kanemon, a native of Unsho, and the contemporary of Fukono. Both Fukuno and Terada lived about the middle of the seventeenth century in somewhat close relationship to each other. They established two separate systems of Jujitsu some years before the time of Chin Genpin. These two systems appear to be the oldest of all the varied systems of Jujitsu.

Inugami Nagakatsu of Omi founded the Kiushin-Ryu. The date of its founding is uncertain, and there are some reasons to believe that this branch was derived from the Kito-Ryu. Inugami Genpin, the grandson of the founder, attained such eminence through his skill at the Kiushin-Ryu that he came to be regarded as the founder of the school. The Sakiguchi-Ryu, Founded by Shinbukawa Bangoro, are two other well-known Ryu of Jujitsu. The Yoshin-Ryu, or the Miura-Ryu, and the Tenjin-Ryu were also prominent systems.

The Yoshin system, founded by Yoshin Miura, taught that many illnesses were the result of a disproportionate use of mind and body. Miura devised several Jujitsu methods involving "arresting devices". After a lengthy study with two of his disciples, he developed fifty-one arresting methods, His students, following his death, established systems of their own, further expanding his teachings.

The Tenjin-Shinyo-Ryu was founded by Matayemon Iso, a student of the Yoshin-Ryu. After several years of studying, Iso set out to tour the country and, at the same time, test his ability. Every where he traveled he competed with renowned masters in Jujitsu tournaments. His proficiency was such that he never lost a contest.

The branches of Jujitsu grew during the feudal period, particularly during the time of Iyemitsu, the third and ablest of the Tokugawa Shogun, under whose government feudalism was completely established in Japan. The art of Jujitsu continued in various provinces in Japan until the later part of the eighteenth century, when it began to decline with the impending fall of feudalism. Later, Jujitsu fell into disuse with the abolition of the feudal system (1860-1865) and became almost extinct.


In its earliest stages, the martial art known as "karate" was an indigenous form of closed fist fighting which was developed in Okinawa and called Te, or 'hand'. Weapons bans, imposed on the Okinawans at various points in their history, encouraged the refinement of empty-hand techniques and, for this reason, was trained in secret until modern times. Further refinement came with the influence of other martial arts brought by nobles and trade merchants to the island.

He continued to develop over the years, primarily in three Okinawan cities: Shuri, Naha and Tomari. Each of these towns was a centre to a different sect of society: kings and nobles, merchants and business people, and farmers and fishermen, respectively. For this reason, different forms of self-defense developed within each city and subsequently became known as Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te. Collectively they were called Okinawa-Te or Tode, 'Chinese hand'. Gradually, karate was divided into two main groups: Shorin-ryu which developed around Shuri and Tomari and Shorei-ryu which came from the Naha area. "It is important to note, however, that the towns of Shuri, Tomari, Naha are only a few miles apart, and that the differences between their arts were essentially ones of emphasis, not of kind. Beneath these surface differences, both the methods and aims of all Okinawan karate are one in the same" (Howard, 1991). Gichin Funakoshi goes further to suggest that these two styles were developed based on different physical requirements (Funakoshi, 1935). Shorin-ryu was quick and linear with natural breathing while Shorei-ryu emphasized steady, rooted movements with breathing in synchrony with each movement. Interestingly, this concept of two basic styles also exist in kung-fu with a similar division of characteristics (Wong, 1978).

The Chinese character used to write Tode could also be pronounced 'kara' thus the name Te was replaced with kara te - jutsu or 'Chinese hand art' by the Okinawan Masters. This was later changed to karate-do by Gichin Funakoshi who adopted an alternate meaning for the Chinese character for kara, 'empty'. From this point on the term karate came to mean 'empty hand'. The Do in karate-do means 'way' or 'path', and is indicative of the discipline and philosophy of karate with moral and spiritual connotations.

The first public demonstration of karate in Japan was in 1917 by Gichin Funakoshi, at the Butoku-den in Kyoto (Hassell 1984). This, and subsequent demonstrations, greatly impressed many Japanese, including the Crown-Prince Hirohito, who was very enthusiastic about the Okinawan art. In 1922, Dr. Jano Kano, founder of the Japanese art of Judo, invited Funakoshi to demonstrate at the famous Kodokan Dojo and to remain in Japan to teach karate. This sponsorship was instrumental in establishing a base for karate in Japan. As an Okinawan "peasant art," karate would have been scorned by the Japanese without the backing of so formidable a martial arts master (Maliszewski, 1992).

Today there are four main styles of karate-do in Japan: Goju-ryu, Shito-ryu, Shotokan, and Wado-ryu:

Goju-ryu developed out of Naha-te, its popularity primarily due to the success of Kanryo Higaonna (1853-1915). Higaonna opened a dojo in Naha using eight forms brought from China. His best student, Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953) later founded Goju-ryu, 'hard soft way' in 1930. In Goju-ryu much emphasis is placed on combining soft circular blocking techniques with quick strong counter attacks delivered in rapid succession.

Shito-ryu was founded by Kenwa Mabuni (1889-1952) in 1928 and was influenced directly by both Naha-te and Shuri-te. The name Shito is constructively derived from the combination of the Japanese characters of Mabuni's teachers' names - Ankoh Itosu and Kanryo Higaonna. Shito-ryu schools use a large number of kata, about fifty, and is characterized by an emphasis on power in the execution of techniques.

Shotokan was founded by Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957) in Tokyo in 1938. Funakoshi is considered to be the founder of modern karate. Born in Okinawa, he began to study karate with Yasutsune Azato, one of Okinawa's greatest experts in the art. In 1921 Funakoshi first introduced Karate to Tokyo. In 1936, at nearly 70 years of age, he opened his own training hall. The dojo was called Shotokan after the pen name used by Funakoshi to sign poems written in his youth. Shotokan Karate is characterized by powerful linear techniques and deep strong stances.

Wado-ryu, 'way of harmony', founded in 1939 is a system of karate developed from jujitsu and karate by Hienori Otsuka as taught by one of his instructors, Gichin Funakoshi. This style of karate combines basic movements of jujitsu with techniques of evasion, putting a strong emphasis on softness and the way of harmony or spiritual discipline.

Tai Chi

There exists a very ancient history in China of movement systems that are associated with health and philosophy. In some sense one can see all of these as contributing to the climate in which Tai Chi was born.

In the period of the Three Kingdoms (220 to 265 AD) there was a physician Hua-tu'o who relied not only on medicine but also taught the 'movements of the five creatures' -- tiger, deer, bear, ape and birds -- a system he called Wu-chi chih hsi. He believed that the body needed to be regularly exercised to help with digestion and circulation and only by doing so could a long and healthy live be achieved. He advocated a system of imitating the movements of these animals to help exercise every joint in the body. His teaching, and its connection with the movements of animals, is probably the earliest pre-cursor of Tai Chi.

In the sixth century A.D. Bodihdharma (called Ta Mo in China) came to the Shao-Lin Monastery and seeing that the monks there were in poor physical condition from too much meditation and not enough movement, his Eighteen Form Lohan Exercise. Over time these grew to be the precursors of the Wei Chia (outer-extrinsic) school of exercise, by which is meant all the schools of kung-fu and other martial art forms which take an 'external' approach. This is in contrast to the Nei Chia (internal-intrinsic) school of which Tai Chi is a member, that take a fundamentally 'internal' approach.

The apocryphal founder of Tai Chi was a monk of the Wu Tang Monastery, Chang San-feng to whom have been ascribed various dates and longevity's. Some scholars doubt his historical existence, viewing him as a literary construct on the lines of Lao Tzu. Other research and records from the Ming-shih (the official chronicles of the Ming dynasty) seem to indicate that he lived in the period from 1391 to 1459 (he may have been born earlier and lived later: these are simply some dates associated with him). Linking some of the older forms with the notion of yin-yang from Taoism and stressing the 'internal' aspects of his exercises, he is credited with creating the fundamental 'Thirteen Postures' of Tai Chi corresponding to the eight basic trigrams of the I Ching and the five elements.

His exercises stressed suppleness and elasticity and were opposed to hardness and force. They incorporated philosophy, physiology, psychology, geometry and the laws of dynamics. His theories, writings and practices were elaborated sometime later by Wang Chung-yueh and his student Chiang Fa. Wang apparently took the thirteen postures of Chang San-feng and linked them together into continuous sequences, thus creating something which resembles the contemporary Tai Chi Chuan form. His student Chiang Fa taught Tai Chi to the villagers of a town on Honan (almost all of whom were called Chen) and thus began the first family school of Tai Chi Chuan. From Chiang-Fa and the Chen villagers in Honan emerge all of the surviving branches of Tai Chi Chuan: