Shotokan Karate-Do is a style of Karate notable for its linear, direct approach - using punching, blocking and kicking techniques from low stances. Shotokan emphasises correct posture, joint alignment and the formality of basic technique above all else. The Shotokan expert is expected to perform using strictly defined basic techniques even under harsh conditions.
These basic techniques are refined to the minutest detail and performing them with absolute perfection is given the highest priority. The intrinsic mastery of body dynamics to generate fantastic amounts of power is really what sets it apart from other styles of Karate... The modern sciences of Biomechanics and Sports Medicine have been fused with ancient Japanese and Okinawan training methods to produce a phenomenally powerful martial art: SHOTOKAN!
The Shotokan view is that purity of raw technique is most important. The idea behind this philosophy is that one elegant movement - mastered so completely and in its entirety - becomes as natural as flipping a light switch; to finish the opponent both quickly and efficiently.
In situations where there are multiple opponents, such an ability is believed essential because there may not be time to throw more than one technique per attacker. In combat, less is usually more, and more often than not simple techniques win confrontational engagements, whether they are physical, mental or emotional... The Shotokan belief is that nothing is more important than strong basic techniques when defending yourself; this is the Shotokan way.
When attacking, the Shotokan expert will drive directly forward with straight punches and kicks, while sweeping at the ankles to unbalance the retreating opponent. Experts in Shotokan are familiar with other more advanced alternatives, but they generally avoid using them unless they feel confident and secure with their superior skill or firepower at close quarters.
Shotokan fighters are taught to stand their ground when attacked. They may shift a step to the side in order to flank their attacker, but the most common defence used is a pre-emptive strike against an oncoming opponent. Whilst Shotokan is simple in principle, the techniques taught are disigned to be mastered to such a high degree of precision that they can be applied with devastating consequences. When such techniques become easy to use, they then become truly effective weapons.