Ancient Japanese Cultural Event Comes to Cordova Traditional Martial Arts Karate Tournament Press/ca
Contact Name: Steve Ethridge

Contact Phone: 901-331-7026

Ancient Japanese Cultural Event Comes to Cordova Traditional Martial Arts Karate Tournament

Press/cameras welcome

Cordova, TN (MMD Newswire) April 8, 2013 -- Just imagine: ancient Japanese warriors -- skilled martial artists -- battling it out, in hand-to-hand combat. And you get to watch up close, without any harm to yourself. That's what you'll get to see, hear and feel when you come to watch Memphis Shotokan's Third Sparring (Jiyu Kumite) Seminar and Tournament, April 12 and 13, 2013 at the Cordova Family YMCA (for related video click here.).

Come and see high level Black Belts from across the country train and demonstrate their realistic, fascinating fighting skills. See their fearless mental focus. Hear the sounds of their powerful, empty-hand combat. Get a feel for real, traditional Japanese martial arts.


Cultural arts groups in metro areas like Memphis often pay "big money" to bring in cross-cultural events to broaden the education and international relations of its citizens -- at high ticket prices to the viewing public. Yet, this rare, ancient Japanese cultural event will be free to the viewing public.

This tournament will be sponsored by local affiliates of one of the oldest and best respected karate organizations in the world, headed by the first karate master to bring karate from Japan to the U.S. and start an official karate school (dojo) in 1954, Mr. Tsutomu Ohshima. Mr. Ohshima is world renowned as one of the few remaining top students of the founder of Shotokan karate, Master Gichin Funikoshi. In 1957 Mr. Ohshima received his Fifth Degree Black Belt (Godan) rank from Master Funakoshi, the highest rank awarded by Master Funakoshi and still the highest rank achievable by Mr. Ohshima's nonprofit organization, Shotokan Karate of America (SKA). Black Belt Magazine describes Mr. Ohshima as "a legend in his own time."[1] Karate/Kung Fu Illustrated Magazine agrees, calling him "a living martial arts legend."[2] Shotokan Magazine says he is "one of the most senior Shotokan masters in the world."[3] SKA has schools (dojos) in over 100 U.S. cities and affiliate schools in 17 countries worldwide. All SKA Black Belts are directly ranked under Mr. Ohshima.

This exciting event will be conducted by two of SKA's local affiliate schools, Memphis Shotokan and Cordova Shotokan Karate. The event will be led by Memphis Shotokan's Dojo Leader, Fourth Degree Black Belt (Yodan), Robert Bird. The event will be hosted by Cordova Shotokan Karate and its Dojo Leader, Black Belt Steve Ethridge.

The tournament will include separate competition divisions for children, adult females, and adult males, ranging in rank from White Belt beginners to the most advanced Black Belts. While the seminar and tournament are both free for members of the public to come and view, participation in the seminar practice and tournament will be limited to include only current Members of SKA.

The event will be at Cordova Family YMCA on April 12 and 13, 2013. The seminar will begin at 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12. (Friday night is optional for out-of-town participants). The main practice will begin Saturday April 13 at 10:00 a.m. The tournament will be from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. The address is7950 Club Center Cove Cordova, TN 38018. For more information contact Memphis Shotokan (901-230-7063, or Cordova Shotokan Karate (901-331-7026, or


[1]Sulak, Tom, (July, 1975), "Tsutomu Ohshima," Black Belt Magazine.

[2]Beaver, William, ( "Kata, Tournaments and Personal Honesty: An Interview with Funakoshi student Tsutomu Ohshima," Karate/Kung Fu Illustrated Magazine.

[3]Cheetham, John, (Issue 85, October, 2005), Editorial in cover issue of Shotokan Karate Magazine, titled: "Tsutomu Ohshima, 'Strict Eyes,' A Lifetime Dedicated to the Preservation of Traditional Karate-Do."

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