Sep 16

Shito-Ryu Classical Karate

The Powell Street Festival celebrates the heritage of Japanese Canadians. There is art, comedy, music, food, dancing and ceremonial displays that are free for the public to attend.

Learn these skills and many more by studying Karate-do

Originally a technique for taking you off your horse!

The weather was beautiful and I encourage everyone with an interest in Japanese culture to attend next year.

This year the Powell Street Festival celebrated the martial arts, in various forms, at its 36th annual event in Oppenheimer Park, Vancouver.

According to its website, Vancouver Shito-Ryu Karate came together decades ago and was brought here by Shihan Yoshiaki Akira Sato.

Karate itself stems from the 1800s when the tradition of martial arts had long taken root in Okinawa, Japan, courtesy of the many business trips by “Chinese masters.”

How to Warm Up

A karate training session, much like other demanding physical pursuits, requires a considerable work out to warm up. In the following clip you can see some of the exercises that are typical.

These exercises continue in this next clip. Shihan Yoshiaki Akira Sato also demonstrates the importance of sit-up.


My view has always been, and remains to be, that karate is not sport. It is essentially a way of defending yourself from attack, but if one ever has the opportunity to evade combat, one must do so.

Practice, Practice, Practice

If karate is a lifetime study, then the various katas could take your lifetime to learn. These steps are designed to simulate combat. Each kata has a variety of imaginary foes attacking you in different ways. Your moves are not just choreography to follow. Once you have learnt the steps, their application begins in earnest. Every move, strike and block is to be carried out with muscle tension, just as though you are actually fighting.

Fun for Kids

There are many things to be gained from learning karate. Fitness, discipline, respect and so on. More things than I will go into here. The next clip shows two children fighting with sticks, a common weapon back in the day.

Wood Break

Not so much a test of strength, but more a test of skill. A flying kick, and a man (Shihan Yoshiaki Akira Sato) being restrained and beaten:

Big thanks to the BC Shito-Ryu Seiko-Kai Association for holding such an enjoyable demonstration.

Wael Elazab