ShotO Federation

South Africa

Find a dojo near you!

Find a dojo near you!

Wearing a black belt does not mean you are invincible…

It means you never gave up. It means you worked past the pain, overcame the disappointments, did not cave into your doubts, faced your fears and learnt enough to realise how little you actually know…

Who we are

JKS South Africa is a non-profit organisation that looks after the Shotokan Karate style as developed by Tetsuhiko Asai Shuseki Shihan. Tetsuhiko Asai Shuseki Shihan added 5 Junro and 16 Koten Katas into Shotokan Karate, thereby enriching the style with the practice of lesser-used moves like double fist hits and open hand strikes.


The dojo kun (training hall rules) is said to be a concise outline of Sensei Gishin Funakoshi’s Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate and is the ultimate reason for practising karate. The dojo kun is typically posted at the entrance or front of the dojo and recited at the end of each class. The word ‘hitotsu‘ means ‘first’ and is placed as an indication that each rule is equally important. 

Hitotsu, jinkaku kansei ni tsutomeru koto

Strive for the perfection of character

Hitotsu, makoto no michi wo mamoru koto

Protect the way of the truth

Hitotsu, doryoku no seishin wo yashinau koto

Foster the effort of spirit

Hitotsu, reigi wo omonzuru koto

Respect the principles of etiquette

Hitotsu, kekki no yū wo imashimuru koto

Guard against impetuous courage


The great Sensei Gishin Funakoshi was the pioneer responsible for bringing karate to Japan and, ultimately, the world. The name of his karate style eventually became known as Shotokan, based on Mr Funakoshi’s pen name being ‘Shoto’, combined with the word ‘kan’, meaning ‘training hall’… thus ‘Shotokan’ came into being, eventually growing into one of the biggest karate styles in the world. Some of his students used to refer to themselves as ‘Mr Shoto’s group’: ‘Shotokai’. Soon after his death in 1955 there was a split amongst his students, and two ‘styles’ came into being – Shotokan and Shotokai.

Robert Rousseau tells the story this way: The history of the Shotokan karate begins with Gichin Funakoshi, a man that is given great credit not only for its birth but also for helping to popularize karate in general. Let’s put it this way, Machida knows how to strike with devastating force before anyone even realizes he’s considering it.
In a nutshell, this is what Shotokan karate looks like in battle: the karateka knows how to strike with devastating force before anyone even realizes he’s considering it.

Early History of Shotokan

Gichin Funakoshi was born around 1868 in Shuri, Okinawa. While in elementary school, he became friends with Anko Asato’s son and eventually began to train under Asato in Okinawan karate. Later, Funakoshi would also train under Shorin-ryu master Anko Itosu.

Interestingly, Funakoshi never actually named the fighting style that he refined from Itosu and Asato’s teachings, just preferring to call it karate. But when he started a dojo in 1936, his pen name of shoto (meaning pine waves) was used along with the term ‘kan’ (house) by his students to erect a sign above the entrance to the establishment that said Shotokan.

Image Gallery