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Shidokan (???, Shidokan?) karate encompasses knockdown (otherwise known as bare knuckle) karate, Muay Thai, and grappling. Tournaments are full contact and are normally held in a boxing ring. Shidokan Karate was created by Yoshiji Soeno and originated in his training in Kyokushin karate.
The meaning of the name can be translated thus:
KAN–group or training hall.
Shidokan should not be confused with Shorin-ryu Shidokan, another style of Karate.
Yoshiji Soeno (?? ??, Soeno Yoshiji?) was born September 9th 1947, in TokorozawaShi, Saitama, Japan. From childhood, he was very interested in martial arts, and learned both Judo and Kendo. Originally he found that Karate was not strong compared to Judo, but when he was fifteen Karate had evolved and was becoming much stronger. He first studied Wado-ryu and then joined Oyama Dojo (Kyokushinkai) under Masutatsu Oyama.
After entering Johsai University, he founded the Karatedo club and taught karate and kick-boxing. He also practiced Muay Thai in Bangkok, and Karate in the United States.
After graduating he opened ‘Soeno Dojo’ and ‘Soeno Gym’, giving lessons in both karate and kick-boxing. In 1981 he founded The World Karatedo Association Shidokan and The Japan Fighting Association New Fighting Shidokan.
Today, Shidokan has dojos all over the world, in Japan, USA, Sweden, France, Arab countries, Greece and Britain, taking an active part in increasing the awareness of Karatedo. The first Shidokan dojo in Britain started in May 1991 when Jean Jacques Burnel returned from Japan and was graded by Soeno as 2nd Dan.
Shidokan USA, led by Shihan Eddie Yoshimura, has been one of the more successful branches in the last two decades. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Shidokan USA sponsors the World Shidokan and Team USA tournaments. Shihan Yoshimura coined the term “The Triathlon of Martial Arts” to reflect the nature of the tournaments, which feature two to three rounds each of bare-knuckle, full-contact karate, Muay Thai kickboxing, and MMA-style grappling.
Training includes all the traditional waza (techniques), Judo, Jujutsu, Muay Thai and Kata. Holds, pull-downs, locks, throws, and strikes with the tibia and elbow are all part of the style.
The Dojokun is recited at the beginning and conclusion of every training session, allowing the students to reflect upon the guiding principles of Shidokan: