JKA Shotokan Karate Vol. 1
JKA Shotokan Kata Vol. 1 is the first part of the official English language version of the Shotokan Kata Series of programs produced by the Japan Karate Association, Tokyo, Japan, under the technical direction of its Chief Instructor, Masatoshi Nakayama.
By the time the concept of this technical series was born, the Japan Karate Association had become the largest karate organization in the world, with affiliated groups spread across every continent. Regrettably in some ways, the growth of the JKA had been too rapid. The availability of high quality technical instructional material was so scarce that, as JKA Shotokan evolved, it began to change, and some claimed, degrade, in the absence of intense cultural and technical support from Japan.
Quite naturally, the belief was that if more high grade, high-quality instruction was available, standards and attitudes would improve internationally.
Therefore, the video format was chosen to augment the best-selling “Best Karate” book series by Nakayama Sensei by adding visual, dynamic instruction to what previously had been two-dimensional images on paper and in print.
This was the birth of the JKA Shotokan Kata series.
Presumably, because the original series was made for the PAL format (Japan & Europe), distribution in the American market was somewhat limited due to the cost of conversion to the VHS format used in the United States.
Many duplication agencies did not have the necessary equipment to perform the transfers successfully, and limited demand for such a specialized product created the insufficient corporate incentive for significant investments in this sort of technology to be made. The US was, therefore, hardly aware that the Japan Karate Association Shotokan Kata series even existed.
With the advent of the DVD format in the 1990s, the official English language version rights to the series were licensed through the current copyright holder to Dragon Associates Inc. They converted the five-part series to the DVD format, comprehensively re-editing it and adding a complete set of navigational menus as they did so.
To take advantage of the benefits of the production company’s state-of-the-art equipment and the advanced techniques it brought to the project, the producers wanted to take it one step further.
Therefore, in partnership with Classical Fighting Arts magazine, they developed historical introduction and conclusion sections to add to the original material, including film footage of JKA Shotokan practiced in the 1950s and 1960s. This served to put modern JKA Shotokan practices into an accurate historical context that adds significantly to the overall value of the original product.
The series that resulted is a unique record Japan Shotokan Karate Shotokan at the very peak of its Golden Age, shown by the instructors that earned it world dominance in the field of modern Japanese karate. Masatoshi Nakayama can be viewed as the father of Shotokan and every instructor included in this presentation became famous internationally for the prowess and achievements.
This is therefore both an authoritative guide to correct technique and a well-researched record of its formation and development. The JKA’s tradition of excellence continues with instructors such as Naka Sensei