What is Karate?
“The Ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat,
but in the perfection of the character of the participant”
~Master Funakoshi Gichin
Karate is a traditional Japanese art of unarmed self-defence. More than method of combat, karate emphasizes and fosters self-discipline, positive attitude, and a sense of purpose and high morality.
True karate is based on Bushido. In true karate, the body, mind and spirit—the whole person—must be developed simultaneously.
This harmonious unity of mind and body is intensely powerful. Even the greatest physical strength and skill are no match for the power of wholeness.
Shotokan Karate is meant to be accessible to all—Men, Women, Children and those without great athletic ability. Shotokan Karate develops strength, coordination, discipline and confidence through the graceful art of Karate-do.
Japan Shotokan Karate Association (JSKA)
Keigo Abe Sensei (1938–), trained for three decades under NAKAYAMA Masatoshi Sensei, a student of FUNAKOSHI Gichin Sensei, the founder of modern Shotokan Karate-do, originating in Okinawa. ABE Sensei's teaching is based on traditional Shotokan style but also includes ABE Sensei's unique style.
Sensei Abe was a former senior instructor at the JKA Honbu, having graduated from the instructors' program. He held the office of Director of Qualifications in the original, pre-split JKA. However after the split in 1990, he became the Technical Director of the JKA (Matsuno Section), during some of the association's most turbulent years. In his youth, Abe took 3rd place in the very first JKA National Championships; was the captain of the Japanese team at the second World Championships in Paris, France; won 1st place at the JKA International Friendship Tournament (1973); and took 1st place in the second and third JKF National Championships as a representative of Tokyo.
Sensei Abe was also responsible for formulating the Shobu Ippon tournament rules, which are used by most Shotokan stylists today.
Renowned for his strong traditional approach to Shotokan karate, he retired from the JKA in 1999 to form his own international organization—the Japan Shotokan Karate Association (JSKA).
Abe Sensei: "Unlike most leaders of Karate organizations, I do not want my organization to grow very large. Very large organizations mean very large problems. I want a smaller organization where I can be an active part of everyone's life and a high degree of quality can be maintained. At this point there will be no representatives. I want to avoid any type of political tension. I've had enough of that for 10 lifetimes. All instructors and dojos will be directly affiliated with the J.S.K.A. in Japan. I understand the needs of Karateka today and I am doing my best to build a non-political atmosphere of friendship and good will. We have a modern open-minded approach and we welcome anyone who wants to train hard, study deeply and has a desire to be an active part of our Karate family." 2002-New York
Two of the senior instructors supporting Abe in the JSKA are Matsuru Nagaki 8th dan, Assistant Chief Instructor and Makoto Matsunami 8th dan, Technical Director.
Sensei Abe says the following about karate:
"My feeling is that nowadays karate is mostly focused on championship in competitions and each person strives to become a champion one day. This aim is far from the reality of karate. It is my belief that the main purpose of the study of karate is constant practice with the aim of cultivating a strong mind inside a strong body. This is something which can be put to use in all walks of life."
Keigo Abe sensei was awarded 9th dan in 2008.
Keigo Abe sensei passed away on December 21, 2019.