Shotokai Karate-do Encyclopedia
Welcome Shotokai friends,
After our 8th anniversary Online (September 2003 we celebrated 8 years online), it's interesting how much has changed since the early days. We are now no longer surprised to see visitors from the most remote places in the world. We are not surprised to see 20,000 visitors a month (only on Shotokai.com alone). We are no longer worried when we get messages from Pakistan, Georgia or Macedonia asking for a membership... things have changed. It's not that we no longer appreciate visits or contacts, it's rather that we now know what to expect and how to react to it.
Internet and the web are powerful tools, today and 8 years ago, that hasn't changed. The power resides in its "democratic" nature. Things have changed in the stucture of internet in the years since it became a commercial enterprise to have presence on the web, people with money are little by little regaining control of it all, but there is still space for small groups without money in gaining public and visitors from the web in a free fashion, only based on how good a work we do in promoting the site on search engines (like Google and Yahoo) and based on how people link back to us, once they see we are a good source of information.
Before Internet appeared, people with money were the people that got their word across, their version of history came across (specially in Karate), presence was gained by paying large amounts of money to magazines, publishing and distributing books (very expensive), publishing in newpapers, TV ads, radio ads, etc. All these methods were extremely expensive and not available for small groups around the world, like Shotokai Karate-do. There was no chance of anyone in Europe or North America ever hearing about SKB or even Shotokai in general. This case is repeated all over the world within Shotokai, maybe with the sole exception of Nihon Karate-do Shotokai which was the owner of the important publicactions of Master Funakoshi and Egami's works, Karate-do Kyohan, Karate-do Ichiro, etc. So before Internet our groups formed a diffuse, unlinked and weak organization of (to call it something) clans of Shotokai participants. This has changed radically after the World Wide Web expanded and groups like SKB seized the opportunity of having a presence on the web. Suddenly SKB, a small group of less than 200 participants with no money what-so-ever, with a little knowledge on web positioning and publishing quality material accumulated in years of research, could appear listed better than large groups like the JKA with millions of participants and big and deep pockets... That surely was a radical change!! It was of course a change that could not be missed or squandered, and we did our best to ride the crest of the wave and I believe we still do.
It's interesting how many things changed after SKB published material on Master Funakoshi, Yoshitaka Funakoshi, Master Egami and other important Budo subjects. Suddenly Yoshitaka was mentioned more and more, Teiji Kase suddenly acknowledged he trained with him (though I doubt it, seeing as Yoshitaka never taught people under Shodan, they may have been in the same room some time), people talk about the Shotokai - JKA conflict, Master Egami has been pulled out of anonymity and is mentioned more and more, I even have a quote out of a new book on "Shotokan" Karate history that quotes this site (wrongly by the way)... so the influence has been larger than expected and we've not been able to see the full effect nor the end of it.
That's why very little surprises us today, but we must keep working and do our best to keep the message out there, that Karate-do is definitively not a sport, it's not even a self-defense method per se. Karate-do is... well I need not repeat myself, just surf the site and you'll soon find out what Karate-do is in our eyes and you'll see why we are so passionate in our endeavour. If you feel you can contribute in any way, please feel free to contact me and we'll see what we can do together.