About Shotokan Karate-do Club
Reigikai S.K.I.F. Las Vegas is a Family-Oriented, Non-Profit Karate program originally organized to cater to Mabel Hoggard Elementary School students, as a low cost after school Martial Arts program. We have since expanded our classes to include adults and teens, with classes being held at Mabel Hoggard Elementary School and the New Reigikai dojo. The support from the community has been amazing and has enabled us to keep our costs down. Class fees are $45 a month.
All of our instructors are Certified Black Belts and have generously volunteered their time. Click here for current class schedules and fees.
Shotokan Karate-do is the most popular style of traditional Japanese Karate. The word KARATE is a combination of two Japanese characters: Kara meaning “hand” and te meaning “empty”, thus meaning “empty hand”. The suffix “-do” has numerous meanings including road, path, route, and way. It implies that karate is not just a self-defense system but a way of life, that the mind of the karateka is in a reflective and clear state and thus free of fear and distraction. As such, through proper training the skilled karateka learns to react with a clear mind and without fear or hesitation in a self-defense or other stressful situation.
Karate was introduced to mainland Japan from Okinawa in 1922 by Master Gichin Funakoshi. Master Funakoshi had studied karate as a young man while living in Okinawa and was a college professor.
Today, karate-do is practiced as a martial art, sport, and proven method of self defense. Like other Japanese martial arts (“budo”), the ultimate aim of karate-do is the perfection of the character of its participants. Through training, karateka learn self-control, mental and physical self-discipline, and the development of highly effective self-defense and fighting techniques. As such, karate training can be an excellent means of attaining and maintaining physical and emotional fitness and self-discipline. Traditional karate training involves basic training (“kihon”), forms (“kata”), and sparring (“kumite”).
Japanese Karate-do techniques are uniquely focused. This requires them to be performed with full mental concentration, proper speed, power, coordination, breathing, and body connection. A karate technique that is properly focused will have the practitioner’s entire body and mind behind it and it will have great force and effect on the target or opponent if contact is made. Karate techniques include punches, strikes, blocks, kicks, sweeps, throws, joint locks, jumps, etc. Karate competition is popular with many karateka and a number of karate organizations sponsor tournaments. In traditional karate tournaments, however, contact to the face and head is prohibited in kumite matches and all techniques must be properly controlled.
Values of Karate
In our modern society, the values are numerous. In our everyday lives we often forget the value of exercise to both our physical and mental health. The practice of karate tones the body, develops coordination, quickens reflexes, and builds stamina.
Also, the serious practice of karate develops composure, a clearer thought process, deeper insight into one’s mental capabilities, and more self-confidence. In this, karate is not an end, but a means to an end. It is an activity in which advancing age is not a hindrance. Rather it encourages proficiency and the keen coordination of mind and body.
Karate may be defined as a weaponless means of self-defense. It consists of dynamic offensive and defensive techniques using all parts of the body to their maximum advantage. Karate practice is divided into three categories
- Kihon (basic blocks, punches, kicks and stances
- Kata (pre-arranged forms simulating combat situations)
- Kumite (sparring)
In each category the beginner is given instruction at the most basic level until the techniques become spontaneous. The trained karate practitioner is able to coordinate the mind and body, thereby allowing maximum physical and mental power to be expressed in most any situation.