Funakoshi’s Anxiety?

This article is just my speculation…

The other day I was going through one of Master Funakoshi’s books, “The Essence of Karate”.  In reading it one sentence really caught my eye,Funakoshi_Gichin

“As a child, I suffered from a very weak stomach until I started training in Karate…”

When I think about it, I too had a very weak stomach until I started Karate.  I know that there is no medical data that identifies for certain what condition Master Funakoshi may have had, but I know what was wrong with me.

A weak stomach can be a symptom of anxiety, self-doubt and lack of confidence, as it was in my case. Consequently, my theory is that Master Funakoshi also suffered with anxiety prior to him beginning his training at the age of 13 and that Karate helped him improve his mental health, leading to physical wellbeing.

“Once I started Karate, however, it would seem that my ailment was afraid of karate, as it disappeared, and I have not succumbed to illness for even a single day since that time.”


Working with students who suffer with anxiety like myself I can see how Karate training and positive reinforcement from instructors can improve a person’s mental wellbeing.  It does this by boosting self-confidence and helping to emphasise self-worth through a structured progression.  Given my experience perhaps Master Funakoshi’s revelation that Karate cured his stomach weakness prompted him to promote Shotokan Karate as a holistic system of self-development and self-improvement as well as a martial art.Funakoshi_Gichin2

If my speculation is correct then I believe that this would be the first documented case of Karate helping to fight a mental health condition through structured training methods.  For me this seems quite plausible and would be seen as a positive demonstration of Karate practice leading to health benefits.

Les Bubka
About the author: Les Bubka is an experienced martial artist, personal trainer and therapist who specialises in posture, mobility and Karate.  Les works with a wide variety of clients including martial artists and athletes as well as those suffering with postural dysfunction or those who wish to improve their fitness and wellbeing.

Isshindo Kan Europe Seminar in UK


Dear Budoka

Our club would like to invite you, to take part in our,

Isshindo Kan Europe International Seminar, haled in Guildford, UK.

Every year we meet to celebrate and train together in respect and politics free environment.

On our seminars people like minded can experience first hand what others do, how they train and what their style/system is about.

In a friendly and open atmosphere full of common respect between teachers and students from meditation arts, sports or self-defense systems.

If you would like to join us on this event, please find invitation in PDF file attached to this email.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
• When:
7th of July at 10:00 till 18:00
8th of July 10:00 till 12:00 at the Stoke Park.

• Instructors:
Dietmar Schmidt 9Dan Zendo Ryu Karate Do
Stefan Reindl 5Dan Jiu Jitsu
John Burnes 5Dan Goju Ryu Karate
Artur Marchewka 5Dan Shin Ai Do Karate
Sarantis Theodosiu 5Dan Zendo Ryu Karate Do
Jana Gee 4Dan Shotokan Karate
Marek Mroszczyk 4Dan Jukado Kempo
Les Bubka 3Dan Shin Ai Do Karate/ Taiso.

• Where: Surrey Sports Park (SSP) (for details on how to get there please visit their website here:

• Cost: Entry £20 or £15 prepaid before 30th of April, via “Tickets” section on bottom of the page or tranfer via paments are non-refundable .

• Booking: As space is limited we would really appreciate it if those who are planning to attend either select ‘going’ on the Facebook event or let us know via email at

• Important notices:
o SSP have a policy of not permitting any food or drink to be consumed on site unless purchased at SSP. Please note that there is a Starbucks and Sports Bar onsite for refreshments.
o Please do not take photographs as we require a SSP permit to do so. If you would like photographs of the event please ask us to take them on your behalf (using our camera).

• Acomodation: Unfotunatly we are not able to get discounts.
Hilton Hotel 5min walk from the venue
Travel Lodge hotel 25 min walk from the venue.
Premier Inn 15min by car

– Friday: arrival and registartion at the hotel,
– Saturday:
8:00 to 09:30 grading,
10:00- 18:00 Seminar session at the venue
20:00 – Pub meeting
– Sunday
10:00 – 12:00 training at the local park.

More info about the event can be found on facebook page below:

Registartion for this event can be done via Facebook click GOING, or email