“Spirit first, Technique second”
Principle and Distinctive Features
Here at Oxford Shotokan Karate Club we follow the path as laid out by Sensei Kase.
Considering the ideas and the concept that it is based on, Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu karate-do is not a sport but a Budo martial art.
The ultimate goal of Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu karate-do is to reach a level beyond technique and physical power.
The further development in Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu karate-do is based on specific breathing from the lower abdomen, concentration and visualisation as a crucial means of mind’s development. They lead to the highest spiritual level and the the finest energy control.
The authenticity of the Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu karate-do is reflected is one of the major principles which emphasises reality instead of formality as a general target in both kumite and kata application.
Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu karate-do is based on an extremely strong and highly developed defensive system. It involves a variety of blocks with open and closed hands and respective Kamae positions.
Fudo dachi is the basic stance used at black belt level. It is gradually developed from basic stances and satisfies equally defensive and offensive requirements, insuring at the same time ultimate stability and body control.
Inspired by samurai’s use of katana, Kase Sensei developed and implemented in his karate-do, defensive and offensive open hand techniques based ideas from use of the katana.
In Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu karate-do timing principles of Sei-te and Hen-te are clearly and effectively implemented.
Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu karate-do has developed moving system to straight, diagonal, semi-circular and circular directions.
In Budo approach, kata is considered as core of practice in all martial arts. Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu karate-do has a unique treatment including four executing directions (Omote, Ura, Go, Ura-go) and a respective application system (Kata Kumite, Bunkai and Oyo Bunkai).
The Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu karate-do symbol is the ideogram Gi. It means moral duty, the highest form of a warrior’s honour, morality and dignity.
Gi also means to renounce any selfish behaviour, to follow a voice of reason and to contribute to humanity.
Gi also stands for Gichin and Giko (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi, founders of the Shotokan style.
Since the death of Kase Sensei we have been following the teachings of his close assistant Sensei Velibor Dimitrijevic.