Martial Arts of Tucson Logo
Contact Info: 5250 E. Pima Street, Tucson Arizona, 85712. 520-325-0790

Karate — Power. Focus.

Karate is a martial art of Okinawan origin which means 'empty hand.' It is known primarily as a striking art, featuring punching, kicking and open handed techniques. The particular style of Karate taught at Martial Arts of Tucson is called Shotokan Karate. Shotokan, literally, the house of pine waves, is a school of karate, reflecting the style of the initial students of master Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957). Funakoshi is said to have found other traditional martial arts to be too focused on combat, and he put more emphasis on health, breathing, releasing energy and outstanding mind and body control. Shotokan can be regarded as a 'hard' and 'external' martial art.

What You Will Learn

Training is usually divided into three sections: kihon or "basics", kumite or "sparring", and kata (set forms or patterns of moves). Shotokan techniques in kihon and kata are characterised by deep, long stances which provide stability, powerful movements and also helps strengthen the legs. Strength and power are often demonstrated instead of slower, more flowing motions. Karate shows the distinctive emphasis on forms training that characterizes Karate as a whole; also the method of twisting the hips to generate power and tensing the body at the moment of impact to focus power called 'kime.'

The term "empty hand" carries with it Japanese Zen connotations that go beyond the obvious inference that the practitioner carries no weapon. The Zen process of emptying the heart and mind of earthly desire and vanity for oneself through perfection of one's art.


In keeping with the nature of Karate, there is a great emphasis on improving oneself at Martial Arts of Tucson. It is said that there is no first strike in Karate, meaning, among other things, that the art is for self-defense; not injuring one's opponent is the highest expression of the art. Thus, one of the greatest benefits in studying Karate is for self-improvement.

"The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants."
-- Gichin Funakoshi