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."
GICHIN FUNAKOSHI (1868-1957) is one of karate's great masters. Born in Okinawa, the birthplace of karate, he began training in the secret martial art as a child. In 1922, at the request of the Japanese government, he demonstrated the still-secret Okinawan art of self-defence on the Japanese mainland, which led to karate's introduction to the rest of Japan and subsequently the rest of the world. Funakoshi devoted the remainder of his life to this traditional sport and wrote several classics on the subject, including Karate-do Kyohan and Karate Jutsu, as well as an autobiography entitled Karate-do: My Way of Life.
GENWA NAKASONE (1895-1978), between stints as a schoolteacher and a politician, was an editor and publisher of books on karate and martial arts, among them Karate-do Taikan, a ground-breaking compendium of karate texts and documents. Born in Okinawa, he was an early supporter of Funakoshi, and in an ideal position to compile accurate annotations of the master's twenty principles.
JOHN TERAMOTO was born in Los Angeles, California, and began karate training at the age of 13 under Tsutomu Oshima, reaching the rank of godan in 1990. Since 1998, he has served as the president of Shotokan Karate of America's Black Belt Council.