Shidokan: a Martial Art that’s Good for the Mind and Body

27th January 2020
There are many different disciplines within karate and Shidokan is found among them. It's a martial art that doesn't involve the use of weapons and it can also be practiced by any age group.

Although it’s not good to generalize, we can safely say that martial arts are beneficial for both the mind and body. In the following article, we’ll focus on Shidokan.

Characteristics and history of Shidokan

Shorin Ryu Shidokan is a branch of the Shorin Ryu style of karate. It’s a discipline that finds its origins in Okinawa, Japan. It was created by a Dan named Katsuya Miyahira. Some people confuse classic Shorin Ryu Shidokan with modern Japanese Shidokan which was created in the eighties by Yoshiji Soeno.

Shidokan was created in 1948 and it’s a relatively new style compared to other martial arts. Miyahira opened the first Shidokan dojo in Kanehisa, Okinawa.

It was based on ancestral techniques of the Japanese samurai, the main difference, however, was that it didn’t employ weapons (since the general population was not allowed to use them). Shidokan was able to make unarmed men equally lethal, through the use of precise movements and techniques.

The Dan chose to name this new discipline or “dojo”, Shidokan. In Japenese, this word means, ‘House of the Road Warrior’. The teachings of the dojo can be found in the Confucius books and they are as follows:

  • Listen to your heart and always follow the path.
  • Stay close to the sun of virtues. Don’t deviate from them.
  • Trust in the power of benevolence and support.
  • Enjoy your skills.
Women, shidokan class

The Shidokan that we know today

Currently, it’s one of the most practiced martial art styles in Asia. In Okinawa, there are more than 25 dojos dedicated to practicing Shidokan. There are even international tournaments.

In addition, Shidokan is practiced in Argentina, the Philippines, the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, the Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Israel, Russia, and Italy.

The katas (forms or figures) that are practiced in Shidokan vary according to the dojo. However, there are a few common katas such as the Kihon, Pinan, Naihanchi, Teisho, Chinto, Gojushiho, Jion and Koryu Passai (the last two katas were not invented by Miyahira).

This karate discipline has different techniques such as punches (medium, high or ‘from the hand of the knife’), kicks (frontal, lateral, push, circular and stomp), grabs (high, outer, inner, lower, low) and postures or katas (attention, natural, basic, horse, cat or cross leg).

Benefits of practicing Shidokan

This martial art so similar to karate believes that self-defense techniques should be practiced without weapons. It’s not a sport, but rather a martial art and it should be treated as such. In addition, the practice of Shidokan should be performed with respect.

One of the main benefits of Shidokan lies in its teaching to respect oneself and opponents. During classes, participants are taught to help each other, to pay attention to professors and more advanced students. Participants are also taught to increase self-confidence.

Another advantage of Shidokan is that it allows you to reach your maximum potential. It also teaches that the real ‘enemy’ is inside us. During each class, self-improvement is encouraged rather than the desire to defeat opponents.

And of course, we cannot forget the fact that since it’s a type of martial art, it can be used in self-defense.

Shidokan martial arts

Suitable for all

During classes, participants are challenged with the aim of increasing their confidence. This pushes students to give the best of themselves! As we previously mentioned, Shidokan is perfect for all age groups. Here are just a few of the benefits that it provides to different age groups:

  • Women: it gives women the necessary skills to face potential dangers and challenges in life.
  • Children: Shidokan builds strong bodies, it also teaches values such as respect, and patience. It helps to increase self-confidence, making it perfect for children.
  • Elderly: it helps maintain balance, agility, coordination, flexibility, and vitality. In addition, it’s a great practice for socializing and increasing self-confidence.

Shidokan provides many advantages, that’s why it’s a recommended practice from an early age. However, keep in mind, it’s never too late to incorporate it into your routine. Try it out and experience it’s great benefits!

  • Piepiora, P. A., Szmajke, A., Migasiewicz, J., & Witkowski, K. (2016). The karate culture and aggressiveness in kumite competitors. Ido Movement for Culture. https://doi.org/10.14589/ido.16.2.5
  • Shidokan Karate Open World Championship. 2016. http://internationalbudokai.weebly.com/uploads/2/9/3/0/29301887/world_championship_2015_-_english_all.pdf