The word Karate literally means "empty hand" and is a Japanese martial art whose exponents are known as Karateka. The way of Karate or Karate-Dō incorporates mental and physical training and rules of etiquette and respect for all. This martial art develops character through the discipline of hard work and the drive for technical excellence so that the karateka can surmount obstacles, tangible or intangible in his/her life.
Gichin Funakoshi founded Shōtōkan Karate in the early 20th century from a combination of a synthesis of Okinawan Karate styles with the strategies and philosophies of Japanese martial arts (Budō). The name "Shōtōkan" comes from the name "Shōtō," which was Funakoshi's pen name and the word Kan that means “house of”.
Shōtōkan Karate-Dō is characterized by its linear, direct punching, blocking, and kicking techniques in deep strong stances. Shōtōkan emphasizes correct posture, correct joint alignment, and formality of basic technique above all else. The mastery of one’s body dynamics to generate considerable amounts of power is what sets Shōtōkan Karate-Dō apart from other styles. Shōtōkan is the most widely practiced style of Japanese Karate in the world today.