VALLEY MARTIAL ARTS CENTER
ABOUT SHOTOKAN KARATE
Our school of karate is called Shotokan (JKA - Japan Karate Association style). The founding father was Gichin Funakoshi. We are a member of the most historic and renowned national traditional karate federation, the American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF www.aakf.org). The AAKF is the sole US national representative of the International Traditional Karate Federation (WTKF www.wtkfkarate.org)
Like our associates our goal is to develop and nurture karate as Budo as was taught to us by Sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama (1928-2008). We want to share its benefits and better the life of as many people in the community and worldwide.We also have a very tight bond with both the TKA - Traditional Karate Academy (www.truebudokarate.com) and the NKI - National Karate Institute (www.nkidojo.com). These dojos are both located in Los Angeles. Various students from both dojos train with us throughout the year as we do with them.
Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957)
A Brief History
Shotokan is developed from various martial arts by master Gichin Funakoshi and his son Yoshitaka. Funakoshi was the man who officially brought karate from Okinawa to mainland Japan."Shoto" was the pen name Funakoshi used in his poetry, which means "pine waves", while "kan" means house. Hence "shotokan" was the name of the hall where he trained his students.
Funakoshi had trained in both of the popular styles of Okinawan karate of the time: Shorei-ryu and Shorin-ryu. After years of intense study of both styles, Master Funakoshi arrived at a new understanding of martial arts, and a simpler style was created, that combined the ideals and modified the styles. The karate that he transmitted to his students reflects the changes made in the art by Anko Itosu, including the Heian/Pinan kata series.
Hidetaka Nishiyama (1928-2008)
Sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama (founder of ITKF and AAKF) was a Japanese martial arts master, instructor, author, administrator and pioneer. A student of Funakoshi, Nishiyama is considered one of the great masters of the style.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Nishiyama started kendo training in 1933, followed by judo training in 1938. In 1943, he began training in Shotokan karate at the Hombu dojo. By 1946 he had his black belt in karate and by 1948, he would have his second dan. At the time of his death, he was respectfully 10th dan.
To name a few honors: on November 3, 2000, the Emperor of Japan awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Rosette. On the occasion of the first Traditional Karate World Cup in 2001, the Republic of Poland honored Nishiyama with the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
Sensei taught daily at Central Dojo (NKI) in Los Angeles, CA, until he died.
VALLEY MARTIAL ARTS CENTER