Karate Styles @ SMA Karate
SMA Karate offers two different yet complimentary styles of karate - Shotokan and Gōjū-ryū. These styles of karate are of Japanese origin and are two of the most recognized styles of karate worldwide.
Shotokan is an exciting karate style that is very well suited to fighting in open spaces as it employs straight-line offense including devastating kicks and powerful punches. It's founder was Gichin Funakoshi Sensei (1868-1957) on Okinawa Island, Japan.
The three major components of Shotokan are basics (kihon), forms & patterns (kata) and sparring (kumite). In kihon, Shotokan practictioners focus on developing powerful devastatingly fast and powerful kicks and punches. Kata implements these strikes into a disciplined pattern to train the body and prepare for combat. Finally kumite allows members to experience combat in a safe enviroment with proper safety equipment.
Shotokan is one of the most practiced and influential forms of karate. The color of a member's belt indicates his/her level of experience and knowledge in Shotokan. All members begin with a white belt and aspire to a black belt, 1st Dan. Once completed, most will continue their journey beyond this to attain progressively higher belt rankings, up to 8th Dan (Master). At SMA Dojo, our leader, Shihan Robert Patry, is a 6th Dan Black Belt, the highest ranking Shotokan practitioner in Kingston & Surrounding Area. Further, there are multiple 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Dan black belts in Shotokan thorughout the club.
Gōjū-ryū (hard-soft style) is a very disciplined type of karate well suited to fighting in enclosed spaces such as alleyways. Gōjū-ryū practitioners concentrate on being grounded and breathing correctly to perform powerful strikes and throws. It was formalized into a style of karate by Chōjun Miyagi around the year 1930.
Gōjū-ryū emphasizes a hard/soft philosophy, where the body is soft and inhaling to absorb contact, but hard and exhaling whilst striking or throwing opponents. Gōjū-ryū builds great character, as its principles of strength through flexibility can be applied to life in general, not only within the dojo. Gōjū-ryū also concentrates on proper distancing from the opponent as well as the concept of 'stickiness,' meaning to follow the opponent and use his/her movement against them.
Like Shotokan, practitioners of Gōjū-ryū begin with a white belt and progres toward a black belt, 1st Dan. Shihan Robert Patry, the leader of SMA Dojo, is a 5th Dan Black Belt in Gōjū-ryū, making him the highest ranking Gōjū-ryū practitioner in Kingston & Surrounding Area. Further, SMA Dojo boasts multiple 1st, 2nd and 3rd Dan black belts in Gōjū-ryū.