Although the ancient origins of karate are extremely vague, we do know that about 1400 years ago while teaching at the Shaolin Temple in China, Daruma Daishi used techniques basic to karate. Later these techniques developed into fighting forms known as Shaolin Boxing.
In the 16th century, Shaolin Boxing found its way to Okinawa from China. It combined with native Okinawan techniques to develop into several Okinawan styles. In 1922, having mastered two major styles in Okinawa, Master Gichin Funakoshi, then president of Okinawa Association of the Spirit of Martial Arts, was chosen to demonstrate karate at the first National Athletic Exhibition in Tokyo. This led to the introduction of the ancient martial art to the rest of Japan. At the urging of friends and officials, he remained in Tokyo to teach.
In 1955, Tsutomu Ohshima, one of Master Funakoshi’s last direct pupils (1948-1953, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan), travelled to the United States. That same year he organized the Southern California Karate Association, which has grown over the years to become a national non-profit organization, Shotokan Karate of America, Inc. (SKA), with affiliations world wide.
Each of the black belt instructors at the Burnaby Dojo received their rank directly from (or had it recognized by) Mr. Ohshima. Upon Ohshima Sensei’s retirement in August 2018 on his 88th birthday, each new black belt promotion in Canada is now approved by the Shihan of Canada, continuing the direct line from Ohshima Sensei to you. This direct line assures you the highest level of instruction.
For a more detailed history of the lineage of Canada Shotokan Karate, click here to go to our lineage page on the Canada Shotokan Karate website.