About Shotokan Winnipeg

International Shotokan
Karate Federation

Shotokan Winnipeg headquarters is located in South Winnipeg, close to the University of Manitoba. Sensei Larry Loreth is the chief instructor of the dojo, which has branches in the community of St. Norbert, as well as Fort Garry. In total, the dojo has approximately 60 students. Children's classes, beginners, intermediate and advanced classes are offered. Prior to developing Shotokan Winnipeg, Sensei Loreth was Chief Instructor of the University of Manitoba Shotokan Karate Club for 22 years. He has studied / taught karate for over 58 years and holds the rank of 8th Dan. He is a graduate instructor of the International Shotokan Karate Federation kenshusei (Instructor's Training Program) and sits as a member of the ISKF Shihankai. Sensei Loreth was educated as an economist, receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Winnipeg and a Masters Degree from the University of Manitoba. Sensei enjoyed competition, and was actively involved in provincial, national and international tournaments. He represented Canada at Pan American events and the 1975 world championship of the Japan Karate Association in which the Canadian team placed fourth. From 1968-1978 he was a regular winner at the Manitoba Karate Championships. He won kumite (sparring) four times and placed second or third in kata (form) and kumite on numerous occasions. In 1978 Sensei Loreth was the captain of the Manitoba team that won the Canadian championship.

His students have also participated very successfully in competition. Ernest Kwan has won kata and kumite many times in the youth (under eighteen) and adult divisions. He has won first place in kata (form competition) seventeen times in Manitoba and five times at the Canadian National Championship. In sparring, Ernest won first place at the provincial and national level on numerous occasions and also placed second or third many times. Ernest has been a semi-finalist on the Canadian team at Pan American and World Events (Shoto Cup).

Brad Katona, a former black belt of Sensei Loreth, recently won the BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Championship. Katona formerly competed in the UFC and was the Featherweight winner of the Ultimate Fighter 27. Brad and his entire family all trained together and achieved their black belt at Shotokan Winnipeg.

Sensei Loreth

Sensei Loreth is presently involved in administering the provincial and national organization of ISKF Canada. He is President of ISKF Canada and the Chief Instructor of ISKF Manitoba and sits as a member of the ISKF Shihankai. The Shihankai consists of a small group of the ISKF's most senior instructors. They provide advice and counsel to the Chief Instructor on all matters Technical and Administrative.

Shotokan Winnipeg involves family participation (parents and their children train together in the same class) On Tuesday and Thursday, classes take place at Parc LaSalle School in St. Norbert. The first class (6:00 p.m.) is for children 6-11 years of age and their parents, as well as individuals 12 years of age and over who have just started training. Basically, White to Green belts train in the 6:00 p.m. class. New students recieve private instruction for the first month or until they are comfortable with regular class participation. The 2nd class (6:45 p.m.) is an Intermediate class for Purple and Brown belt level. Black belts train from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Classes on Sunday morning accomadate all levels.

Although one of the most senior karate instructors in Canada, Sensei Loreth has kept the cost of instruction down to accommodate family participation. The style of karate that Sensei Loreth teaches (Shotokan) focuses on perfection of character, self-defence, sport and fitness. Respect for others is a very important element in his classes.

About Shotokan Karate

What is Karate?

Yaguchi pose

Demonstration by Shihan Yutaka Yaguchi

“One of the most striking features of karate is that it may be engaged in by anybody, young or old, strong or weak, male or female.”

Master Gichin Funakoshi

Karate is many things. It is an excellent and well-balanced form of exercise. It is a highly evolved Asian means of self-defense. There are many different styles of karate just like there are many different languages in the world. But, as all language seeks to communicate, so all karate seeks to enhance self-defense. Karate is an art since the karateka must reach beyond just the mechanics of technique toward creativity in the application of karate skills in order to be proficient. It is also an art in the sense that karate represents a body of accumulated skills gained through considerable experience. It is a well organized, highly-competitive sport. Karate can also be a way of life. Most importantly, karate is a means of personal character development and improvement.

There is karate and there is Karate-do. Karate is a general name for a type of Okinawan and Japanese martial art using only empty hands. In the past, karate was written using the characters for "empty hand" a purely physical way to describe karate. Yet, there is a deeper aspect to serious karate training which deals with character development.

master funakoshi

Master Gichen Funakoshi

the founder of Shotokan Karate

Master Funakoshi, the founder of our style of karate, modified the way karate was written by changing the character used for "kara" from empty in a physical sense to empty in a spiritual sense. In the former context, "kara" conveyed only a physical aspect of karate which was just concerned with technique. However, Master Funakoshi recognized that there is also a more profound dimension of the "empty hand" martial art which is concerned with psychological development and is often referred to as development of the spirit. This is Karate-do.

“Students of any art, clearly including Karate-do, must never forget the cultivation of the mind and the body.”

Master Gichin Funakoshi

Karate is not a religion or a philosophy, but it may complement religion and philosophy in one's life. Karate is not merely a sport or form of exercise although it does incorporate these elements. Karate is not merely a form of moving Zen or active meditation although karate also contains these benefits.

Karate is a way for an individual to realize greater potential and expand the limits of that individual's physical and mental capabilities. Karate is an excellent, time-proven method of personal development.

According to the International Shotokan Karate Federation, karate is not a martial art whose ultimate aim is to win. It is based on hard physical training that demands strict mental discipline by which one attempts to mold an ideal character through physical and spiritual trials.

As Master Funakoshi stated: "True Karate-do is this; that in daily life, one's mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility; and that in critical times, one can be devoted utterly to the cause of justice."

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