Enter The Dojo

Meet The Instructors

Together, James and Michael co-instruct and run the Rising Sun JKA Karate Dojo. Both instructors have been teaching the art of karate for over 12 years, with excellent experience in instructing both Senior Elite and Junior Novice lessons.

James Pretorius

James Pretorius (23), graded to national 3rd DAN Black Belt under the affiliation of SA JKA Karate, affiliated to the headquarters of JKA Shotokan in Japan. He has been practicing karate since the age of 7 years, dedicating 16 years to the passion that he has for the martial art.

James has represented both KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa on numerous occasions, being awarded National Protea colours under the organisation SASCOC and ever since proudly worn the Protea on his chest with humility and respect.

James is also a qualified fitness instructor, having studied through ETA College. He has the professional expertise to construct lessons at Rising Sun JKA Karate Dojo following traditional and current training techniques.

Countries James has travelled to in representation of Karate South Africa:

  • Australia – Sydney (2006)
  • Scotland – Edinburgh (2008)
  • Botswana – Gaborone (2009)
  • Turkey – Istanbul (2009)
  • Zimbabwe – Harare (2010)
  • Namibia – Windhoek (2013)
  • Canada – Montreal (2013)

Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson (22), graded in Johannesburg in 2013, achieving his national 3rd DAN Black Belt under the affiliation of SA JKA Karate, affiliated to the headquarters of JKA Shotokan in Japan. It was at 8 years old when Michael began the study of JKA karate, devoting 14 years of his life to his passion.

Micheal has been in the KwaZulu-Natal and South African karate teams, representing his country at numerous events around the world, being award National Protea colours under the organisation SASCOC and has won countless medals at various provincial, national, zonal and international events.

Michael was chosen as the official development coach for the KwaZulu-Natal WKF Karate team.

Countries Michael has travelled to in representation of Karate South Africa:

  • Scotland – Edinburgh (2008)
  • Botswana – Gaborone (2009)
  • Turkey – Istanbul (2009)
  • Morocco – Rabat (2009)
  • Zimbabwe – Harare (2010)
  • Australia – Sydney (2011)
  • Namibia – Windhoek (2013)
  • Canada – Montreal (2013)

Why Choose Karate

Why Choose JKA

JKA Karate aims at teaching good technique – Leading to “one killing blow”. It uses the body and limbs as instruments to execute effective self-defence and life-enhancing movements and techniques. The physical performance of JKA Karate is characterised by three interdependent elements:

KIHON – The Basic Techniques
In JKA Karate these comprise of an all-encompassing arsenal of blocks, punches, kicks, strikes, throws, sweeps, movements and grappling techniques.

Kata are formalised sets of defence and attack movements in all directions (forward, backward, sideway, upward and downward) by means of which the Karate-ka defends him or herself against a number of imaginary opponents. They use a combination of basic and other unique techniques that characterise the particular kata they are executing. Due to karate being practiced in secret in Okinawa, very few written records are available from that time. The Kata are a living record developed and handed down personally by the teacher to his students.

KUMITE – Sparring / Fighting against Opponents:
In JKA Shotokan, the term “Kumite” refers to a variety of karate training drills used to give the Karate-ka experience against one opponent and finally against more than one attacker. These drills range from simple, five-step sparring with one opponent, to free-sparring vigorously with one opponent, to competing against one opponent in tournaments, to sparring against more than one opponent who attacks bare-handed or with various weapons in real-life situations.

The History of Karate

Okinawan karate master Funakoshi Gichin, born in 1868, has dedicated his whole life to promoting the values of the art, and introduced the way of karate-jutsu to Japan, where it spread across the country. By 1949, his followers had established an association for the promotion of karate; they called it Nihon Karate Kyokai, or Japan Karate Association. The beginning of the JKA.

Supreme Master Funakoshi Gichin, the Father of Modern Karate was born on 10 November 1868 in Yamakawa, Shuri, Okinawa Prefecture. He was of samurai lineage, from a family which, in former times, had been vassals of Ryukyu Dynasty nobles.

In order to popularise the “local” Okinawan martial art in the rest of Japan, Master Funakoshi synthesised a complete system of techniques and theory, and changed the Chinese and Okinawan names of the kata into standard Japanese. In 1929, after much thought and reflection, he also changed the name of karate-jutsu (Chinese-hand martial art) to karate-do (the way of karate, or the way of the empty hand). He then defined the Twenty Precepts of Karate, and established a grand karate philosophy.

At last the way of karate had come into its own and was gaining popularity all across Japan. The number of people wishing to begin training was growing daily, so much so that it became difficult to find a place for them to practice. So in 1939 Master Funakoshi established the Shotokan dojo, which he built at his own expense – “Shoto” was the literary first name he used when doing calligraphy and writing poetry. “Shoto” means “Pine Waves,” and refers to the sound of wind blowing through the pines, which resembles the sound of ocean waves.

In 1948 Funakoshi established the Japan Karate Association (JKA) and he remained the head of the JKA until his death in 1957. Nakayama is responsible for the worldwide development of Shotokan Karate. Nakayama developed a way of logically teaching karate methods. He decided that it was best to devise a way of teaching different abilities easily. He developed the instructor programme and karate’s first ever match system. Nakayama Sensei passed away in 1987, at the age of 74.

The JKA Shotokan that we know today has developed through so many great people, and will continue to develop with the help of those teaching it. It will be the current generation of instructors that will forge the path for future Shotokan Karate. Everyone has an effect. Every time you kiai, a whisper will be heard on the other side of the world.