A Brief History

October 19, 2014 by Webmaster

In 1922 Gichin Funakoshi (pictured left) travelled to mainland Japan to give a demonstration of karate to the All Japan Athletic Exhibition in Tokyo. Shortly after, he was asked to perform again at the Kodokan Judo Hall to Jigoro Kano (The founder of Judo) and his instructors. This is known to be the point in which the teachings of karate were introduced to Japan. Master Funakoshi taught in a small dining hall in the Meisojuku. After a couple of years, Funakoshi began to teach at Universities and other institutions from which numerous clubs were opened. During this time concepts such as Budo were introduced to 'Japanise' the art.

The name Kara-te was changed from the original meaning of China-hand (the character for China originally being 'Kara' being changed to mean 'empty') to Empty-hand and the Kata renamed. The Shotokan of this time was different to modern Shotokan encompassing a large number of throws, which were eventually removed from the style.

Sensei Funakoshi (Yoshitak)

Shotokan continued to develop and in the mid 30's Gichin Funakoshi handed control of his Dojo's to his son Yoshitak (pictured right). Yoshitak made a large number of the changes to the original Shotokan style, which led to the modern style of Shotokan. In 1939 due to the success of the clubs a new central dojo was formed and opened by Master Gichin Funakoshi known as "The hall of Shoto" - Shotokan, Shoto being the pen name Gichin Funakoshi used to sign his poetry. Unfortunately, during the Second World War, Yoshitak was killed and the Shotokan dojo destroyed.

Sensei NakayamaIn 1955 the Japan Karate Association was founded with Master Funakoshi as the Chief Instructor and the late head of the JKA, Masatoshi Nakayama (pictured left) on the committee as principal active instructor. Master Funakoshi died in 1957 at 89 years of age at which point Sensei Nakayama took his place as Chief Instructor.


Sensei Enoeda

A direct descendant of Sensei Nakayama's teaching is Sensei Enoeda (pictured right). Sensei Enoeda left Japan to expand the influence of the JKA around the world and founded the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB). Sensei Enoeda, along with KUGB's hierarchy of Karateka, made the KUGB a leading power in British, European and International Karate with renown for excellence.

He also coached many celebrities for their fight scenes in films - Lee Marvin, Michael Caine, Sean Connery and Edward Fox have all defeated their 'enemies' with his instruction.

Sensei OhtaSensei Enoeda passed away on 28th March 2003. He will be fondly remembered by Ataru as Sensei Thomson trained under him many times and gained both his Shodan and Nidan with Sensei Enoeda as his examiner.

The summer after Sensei Enoeda's death, the Japan Karate Association England (JKAE), was founded by Sensei Ohta (JKA 6th dan) who was Sensei Enoeda's assistant instructor for over 20 years. This step by Sensei Ohta, was made with the intention of continuing to cultivate the true spirit of karate-do within the United Kingdom, as per the wishes of Sensei Enoeda.

Sensei Ohta is one of the most talented and respected Shotokan Instructors in the world. Sensei is a graduate of the JKA Instructors Course, which is world renowned for it's excellence of karateka.


Ataru are committed to teaching Shotokan Karate the 'JKA Way'; however we also integrate practical self-defence techniques, which are taken from a multitude of martial arts such as Aikido, Jui-Jitsu, Tae-Kwon-Do and Kickboxing.



Ataru SKC are strictly a non-profit making club