Tri-State Martial Arts Center

Martial Arts: Shotokan Karatedo

"Wind through the Pine Empty Hand Way"

What's Shotokan?

Shotokan is a style of Karate.  Shotokan is a "Kiai" martial art charaterized by forcing one's energy into moves.  It is distinguishable from other martial arts forms by it's linear, direct punching , blocking, kicking technique, and deep stances.  The Shotokan expert is expected to perform even under harsh conditions.  An exciting martial art style, Shotokan Karate Do practice includes "Kihon" (Basics), "Kata" (Forms), "Kumite" (Free Sparring), "Kobudo" (Weapons), "Kobudo Kumite" (Weapons Sparring), and Situational Self Defense.

Who is responsible for Shotokan?

Shotokan was developed from various Okinawan martial arts by a man named Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957).  Funakoshi trained most of his early life in Okinawa, Japan learning several karate styles of the island.  He was taught not only formal Karate styles, but also many family styles of karate as well.  This gave him a greater understanding of martial arts that we enjoy today. 

"Shoto" is Funakoshi's pen name. "Kan" means place. 

So the place where Funakoshi taught was called Shoto's Kan...Shotokan. 

"Kara" means "empty".  "Te" means hand.  So karate means Empty Hand.

So how'd it get to TMAC?

After World War II, many American servicemen and women were stationed in Japan and Okinawa.  They learned Shotokan from students of Funakoshi and brought their knowledge back here to the States.  One of these Servicemen was Bill Wallace.  He learned his karate while stationed overseas.  Once he returned to the US, he began teaching at Memphis State University.  Jeff Mullen was one of his students there and soon opened his dojo in Memphis.  Marshall Porter became one of Jeff's first students.  Later, after a his military service, Marshall opened his karate school known as TMAC.