Shotokan Karate in Vancouver


What are the Major Styles in Karate?

Karate is a distinct martial art that encompasses various styles and techniques that have developed over the years. There are a select few that are widely known and are often seen as the main styles. The top styles you will likely come across are Kyokushin, Shotokan, Goju-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, and Shito-Ryu. Below we will discuss each of these styles in detail so you can compare and contrast them.


Shotokan Karate is considered the most common style found across Karate dojos. It began in 1938 in Tokyo. Shotokan Karate relies on both the upper and lower body for technique in throwing forceful, linear punches and kicks. Shotokan strikes are designed to stop opponents quickly. With Shotokan, you use many parts of your body with linear, defined movements.

Shotokan Karate helps focus your form, balance, breathing and speed.


Shito-Ryu Karate originates in the 1920s and is widely popular in Japan. Shito-Ryu focuses on speed and fluidity in both sparring sessions and kata. In a similar style to sumo wrestling, Shito-Ryu techniques are based on low-to-the-ground and short stances.


Goju-Ryu is inspired by hard and soft. Techniques encompass hard, closed-fist punches as well as soft, open-hand strikes. Goju-Ryu is seen in the Karate Kid movies, especially the Crane Kick.

Goju-Ryu is made up of circular, precise and flowing movements. Angular movements help block opponents while following up with a hard punch or kick.

Goju-Ryu helps improve breathing techniques and harmony between mind and body.


Kyokushin Karate is an aggressive style. It focuses more on full-body contact and sport, as opposed to the other forms. In this school, students learn high kicks and aggressive punching through various sparring training. Guidelines are more open to hard strikes and kick to the head, body and legs. Kyokushin is more combat training for a competition and also helps provide self-defence skills for real-world use when necessary.


Shorin-Ryu puts much more emphasis on establishing a balance between mind and body. Techniques are built upon healthy, upright postures, sharp kicks and closed-fist punches. Many skills teach evasion from opponents with fluid body movements, followed by strong counterattacks to disrupt the opponent’s balance.


All of these Karate styles teach discipline, form, focus, confidence, and strength. While they all have their differences, any student can achieve many benefits, no matter what Karate school they are interested in. If you are looking for Shotokan Karate in Vancouver, The Powerhouse Academy is a black-belt-led Shotokan dojo with a training program designed to meet your needs and help you grow.

continue reading

Related Posts

  • 859 words4.3 min read
    Read More
  • 739 words3.7 min read
    Read More
  • 567 words2.8 min read
    Read More