GITCHIN FUNAKOSHI, the father of modern-day Karate.  He was born in Shuri, Okinawa on November 10th 1868 and at the age of 11 began to study Karate under two top Masters.  In time, Funakoshi became an expert in his own right and in 1922 he was invited to demonstrate Karate to the Japanese public for the first time.

His demonstration so impressed his audience that he was requested to stay in Japan and teach.

This he did and in 1936 he established the "Shotokan", a great landmark in history of Japanese Karate, and several years later the Japan Karate Association (JKA) was formed with Funakoshi as the Chief Instructor.

On the 26th April 1957 Funakoshi passed away at the age of 88, but the instructors of the JKA who trained under him remained, ensuring that the art which he taught did not die with him.

Since then Karate has spread all over the world, popular both as a powerful system of self-defense and as an exciting sport.