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Gichin Funakoshi studied the traditional Okinawan styles of martial arts including Shorei-Ryu and Shorin-Ryu, from which he helped further develop Karate into what we know it as today. This development of Karate built upon the framework left by his teacher, Anko Itosu, and hence they sometimes are known to share the title of “The Father of Modern Karate."

Funakoshi changed the kanji for “karate” to mean “empty hand” instead of the traditional “Chinese hand” in order to give it a unique Japanese identity and to separate it from traditional Chinese kempo, although still borrowed much from it. Both a poet and philosopher in conjunction to being a martial arts instructor and assistant teacher in the Okinawan school system, Gichin Funakoshi wrote many philosophical martial arts works that are still in circulation today


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The Essence of Karate by Gichin Funakoshi

Gichin Funakoshi is a legendary figure and the founder of Shotokan karate, the most popular style of Japanese karate, with millions of practitioners worldwide. In The Essence of Karate, Funakoshi creates, in his own words, a narrative of modern karate. He explains the philosophical and spiritual underpinnings and includes memories of his own training, as well as recollections of other karate masters and the history of the martial art. He also discusses the importance of winning without fighting, and the reason why many great martial artists improve with age.



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The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate: The Spiritual Legacy of the Master by Gichin Funakoshi

Gichin Funakoshi, "the father of karate," once said that "the ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants."



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Karate-Do: My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi

Linking the time when karate was a strictly Okinawan art of self-defense shrouded in the deepest secrecy and the present day, when it has become a martial art practiced throughout the world, is Gichin Funakoshi, the "Father of Karate-do."

Out of modesty, he was reluctant to write this autobiography and did not do so until he was nearly ninety years of age. 



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