You are here

Shotokan Karate

Traditional Shotokan Karate is an old Martial Art originating on the island of Okinawa.   Karate means "Empty Hand", thus the hands/feet and entire body are used in training, rather than weapons.   The student in Shotokan learns basic punches, kicks and blocks as an effective means of self defense.
Shotokan Karate is a wonderful Martial Art for overall physical fitness and conditioning.   The benefits of training in Shotokan are almost unlimited, but flexibility, coordination, breath control, focus, and increased muscle mass are all included.


Kata is the foundation of Shotokan Karate.   Historically, the Katas practiced in Shotokan were created by many of the old Masters who were guards to the Emperor of Okinawa.  There are 26 Katas in the system of Shotokan.  Kata development takes many years of practice and helps the student further improve their techniques, breathing and the ability to defend themselves from any direction.

Learning Kata and the techniques within the Kata are central to training.   The student will study not only the basic movements of the Kata, but also the Bunkai.  Bunkai is the application of each movement, or how the movement could be used in a real life situation if attacked.  

The techniques learned in Kata are put into practice during Sparring.  The students at Guerrero's Shotokan including the children, participate in Sparring.  This gives the student practice in defending themselves, in being harder to grab or restrain by proper movement and evasion and it keeps the student from freezing if ever attacked.  Sparring practice is a beneficial component to overall training in Shotokan.

A Few Demonstrations

Recommended Literature

Below is the recommended literature for Shotokan Karate. These texts come highly recommended by Sensei Guerrero. 


Karate-Do Kyohan: The Master TextGichin Funakoshi
Hardcover: 266 pages
Publisher: Kodansha USA; 1 edition (January 25, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1568364822
ISBN-13: 978-1568364827
Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1.1 x 7.6 inches

Nineteen kata ("forms") of karate-the art of self-defense without weapons-are presented here in complete detail. They are the ones selected by the great master and teacher, Gichin Funakoshi, to give comprehensive training in Karate-do, the way of karate. 

Fully illustrated demonstrations by the translator cover not only every technique of the kata but also the fundamentals and applications: how to make a fist; the correct form of the open hand; preliminary training in blocking, striking and kicking; the seven stances; and sparring. 

The author presents, besides kata that he himself originated, beginning and advanced kata from both the Shorei school and the Shorin school, the former remarkable for their forcefulness and development of strength, the latter characterized by their gracefulness and lightning swiftness. 



The Way of Kata: A Comprehensive Guide for Deciphering Martial Applications -  Lawrence A. Kane, Kris Wilder
Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: Ymaa Publication Center (August 30, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594390584
ISBN-13: 978-1594390586
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches

The ancient masters developed kata, or "formal exercises," as fault-tolerant methods to preserve their unique, combat-proven fighting systems. Unfortunately, they deployed a two-track system of instruction where an 'outer circle' of students unknowingly received modified forms with critical details or important principles omitted. Only the select 'inner circle' that had gained a master's trust and respect would be taught okuden waza, the powerful hidden applications of kata. 






Shotokan's Secret: The Hidden Truth Behind Karate's Fighting Origins -  Bruce D. Clayton PhD
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Black Belt Communications; Expanded edition (May 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0897501888
ISBN-13: 978-0897501880
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inchess

About the Author

Bruce D. Clayton, PhD, has studied the art of karate since 1973. He holds a seventh-degree black belt in Shotokan karate and he is the creator of Jein Do, a self-defense course for young women. He is the author of the Black Medicine series, Fallout Survival, Life After Doomsday, Life After Terrorism, and Thinking About Survival. He has appeared on 60 Minutes, the CBS Evening News, Today, and the Tomorrow Show. He lives in Yosemite, California.


Beginning with a thorough historical analysis of its 19th-century origins, the lore behind the art of Shotokan karate is dissected in this revised handbook. Describing how this style was invented by the world's only unarmed bodyguards in Okinawa, this account depicts the impossible odds these men endured in order to protect their king and avoid a costly bloodbath. Featuring five chapters of new material and a striking array of illustrations depicting the Heian katas, this overview demonstrates how each kata contains a precise lesson outlining the necessary skills to meet a specific threat. Going beyond the bare-handed application and revealing a more innovative, holistic approach to an ancient style of self-defense, this reference is ideal for martial arts historians and practitioners alike.

Guerrero's Shotokan Karate
Roberto Guerrero
2240 South 7 Highway
Blue Springs, MO 64014