In 1609 Japan invaded Okinawa. They extended the ban on weaponry and placed a ban on anyone that studied martial arts.

During this ban on martial arts, three styles of self defense flourished.  They were: Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te. These styles were named after the city that they were developed in.

Eventually these three main styles formed two main styles, Shorin-ryu, which came from Shuri and Tomari, and Shorei-ryu, which came from Naha.

Gichin Funakoshi began studying martial arts at a very young age during the ban on weapons and martial arts.  After the ban was lifted in 1902, funakoshi began to spread the word of his karate.

Tode, the martial arts of Okinawa, could also be pronounced ‘Kara’. Funakoshi gave this the alternate meaning of empty and his training became known as Karate.

The style name ‘Shotokan’ was given to Funakoshi by his Students.  “Shoto’ was Funakoshi’s pen name meaning ‘pine waves’, and ‘Kan’ meaning ‘school’.