Karate was developed in Okinawa, from indigenous fighting methods used as a form of self-defence. Shotokan is a style of karate, which was developed and modernised by Gichin Funakoshi. His demonstrations helped to popularize karate, which in turn lead to the development of university karate clubs throughout mainland Japan. Funakoshi’s legacy continues to this day, as the UL Shotokan Karate Club was established due to widespread public interest. The club is run by a team of traditional karateka. Tradition is the main aspect which keeps a club like ours strong, much like the traditional fun and games associated with the club; Pancake Parties, the Clubs and Socs Ball, nights out, nights in, Pizza parties, movie night’s and of course, the coveted Bi-annual Japan trip! January 2018 saw another successful trip in Japan. 11 of our members travelled to the home of modern Karate, Tokyo, where they trained under Grand Master Kanazawa along with the other sensei at the Honbu Dojo. As well as improving our kata and kumite, we also experienced Japan’s unique culture. We visited beautiful temples, the world famous Tokyo Skytree, Mt. Fuji and even tried a bit of karaoke while taking in the city’s vibrant nightlife. In the dojo we had the honour of celebrating New Years with the Sensei. For the next trip we hope to bring even more members and create even more memories! The many achievements of the clubs are the result of the continued commitment of its members. Last March the karate intervarsities were held in the Mardyke in UCC and 5 of our members travelled down to compete, all of which came home with at least one medal, accumulating 10 medals in total. Many of our senior grades provided both entertainment and skill to the day’s events, and while the majority of the squad were novices with only six months experience, they earned 5 medals, of which 2 of which were gold. This again is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our members. We usually grade our students twice a year with Sensei Payne (7th Dan). The last grading saw everybody pass and one member double grading, proving that the club breeds and attracts talent! Throughout the year the club has seminars with leading figures in Irish Karate, such as Sensei O’Donovan (5th Dan), who is a former national squad captain. As a member of the club you will be part of a welcoming, dynamic family. We cater for all styles of karate and all styles of people! Whether you have a ‘bog-toe kick’, an interest in learning some self-defence, getting fitter or meeting new people, you’ll find the perfect balance in our karate club.
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