A BRIEF HISTORY The art of Karate can be traced back to the fighting method known as Shao-lin- tssu which was originally brought to China by the Buddhis monk Bodhidharma around 5th or 6th century. Bodhidharma, the 26th patriarch of Buddhism, believed that an individual who achieved harmony between the body and the spirit could achieve enlightenment. While he was in China he taught the monks a specialized system of combat (developed in India) and combined it rigorous meditation techniques to help them progress towards enlightenment Over many years this system of combat evolved with the influence of Chinese culture and eventually became known as Kempo (Chinese fist). As a result, the Buddhist monks that later travelled to Korea and Japan to spread Buddhism also taught this Martial Art. As each ntry would integrate it's own culture with Buddhism a new and unique evolution of the original fighting system occurred. Buddhism and this Martial Art eventually landed in Okinawa where the system evolved to into something that resembles the Japanese styles of Karate today. In 1923 the Karate Master Gichin Funakoshi formally introduced Okinawa karate to Japan. He is believed to be the first person to teach Karate publicly in a dojo (training hall His style was given the name Shotokan, (from his pen name Shoto and he attracted numerous students. One of his top students was a young man named Mas Oyama who at the age of 20 had achieved a Black Belt Fourth Dan After many years of training Oyama felt that Karate was missing certain essential elements of effectiveness and to find the answer he retreated to the mountains in isolation. He dedicated himself to daily meditation and vigorous training for 18 months. With h greatly refined he returned to society and held public demonstrations to prove his Karate effectiveness. He could be seen breaking stones, tiles boards, and even fighting bulls. Due to much interest by the public in his skill he opened his own dojo and named his new style Kyokushinkai (way of ultimate truth). The style incorporates full contact blows to the body and is often referred to as knockdown karate In the 1960's Mas Oyama accepted a French student, Roger Lesourd Roger lived and trained in Japan directly under Mas Oyama and was eventually awarded a 3rd Dan Black Belt along with the title of Branch Chief for Canada. In 1968, Roger brought Kyokushinkai Karate to Canada and trained many of the big names known in Karate today. In 1973 Roger Lesourd found that the knockdown karate he was teaching intimidated the masses and wasn't reaching those whom it was meant for. He chose to formulate a new style, Samourai Karate hich was named in honour of the movie "The 7 Samurai" where the Samurai defend the village from ruthless warlord. Samourai Karate was designed by incorporating the effectiveness of Kyokushin Karate and the traditional spiritual practices used by the Samurai. This style was very successful and became well respected throughout the martial communit

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