Australiasian Fighting Arts magazine Vol 9 No 6
Continuing Traditions of Shotokai Karate From Karate-Do Shotokai Association Australia
FOLLOWING MASTER Gichin Funakoshi in the style of Shotokan Karate (later to be formed Shotokai Soyu Juku) was senior Shigeru Egami. After the loss of these two masters came another, who is still active in training today Master Yasuo Ikeda, (passed away in 1994).
Master Yasuo Ikeda, who trained under Master Egami, is respected as the highest ranked practitioner of the Shotokai system today. After many years of teaching at universities and his other dojo's, Master Ikeda formed the Soyu Juku Karate circle.
Shotokai Karate is relatively unknown in Australia (Soyu Juku being just the club name ... ) It was introduced to Victoria (Swan Hill) about nine years (1976) ago by a local chemist, David Stynes who, while importing various products, visited Japan quite often. He then helped introduce the style into many country areas.
The Melbourne proponent of the style is Graham Slater, 2nd Dan, who studied many styles but eventually settled on Shotokai as the most suitable and effective for his personal taste and needs. He and his contemporaries practiced in the old, unevolved Shotokai style. However now, with the link with Swan Hill, a strong bond has been created with Japan and a 'new stronger style has resulted.
As instructor of the Melbourne group, Graham Slater has visited Japan twice now (1983 & 85), most recently with a group of Student for training and grade testing. The group of Victorian Karateka experienced three weeks of hard training but emerged from Japan feeling they had learned some important lessons. The Melbourne club has earned Ikeda Sensei's respect and interest, and he is now dispatching his organisation's Chief instructor, Kazunobu Maekawa, 5th Dan, for a month long series of training seminars and demonstrations.
Much of the Karate philosophy and practice of Shotokai Karate is expressed in Master Egami's books, 'The Heart Of Karate' (also known as 'The Way of Karate: Beyond Technique'). The emphasis is on suppleness and flexibility, and generating power with full hip/body movement, and not the half hip recoil action anymore ...
It is also interesting to note that Ikeda Sensei's rank the highest in the Shotokai system is Godan, or 5th Dan. This is because the Shotokai has retained the traditional system, in which Godan was the highest level of the grading hierarchy.
Australiasian Fighting Arts magazine Vol 11 No 1
Re-introducing our popular – and most requested – former regular feature covering the Martial Arts Stylescene By Graham Slater