About Karate (空手)
Karate is a martial art that originated in Japan and is characterized by striking techniques with the fists and feet.
There are many styles of Karate, and each style has different rules for matches.
Karate, which has been developed in the Japanese tradition, refines the mind through the practice of techniques. It also serves as a rich human education that develops high moral values such as civility, courage, patience, and compassion through physical training and developing an attitude of respect for civility and tradition.
Today, Karate is popular not only in Japan, but all over the world, and Karate practitioners have appeared in many cartoons and movies.
The beginning of Karate
Karate, the martial art of controlling an opponent with a single blow with your bare hands, was born in the Ryukyu Islands (now Okinawa). It is said that Karate is a combination of “tee” (hand), a martial art that originally existed, and Kenpo, which was introduced from China, and became “to-dee” (Karate). However, since the art was taught by word of mouth from master to disciple, there are few surviving books on the Karate, and the exact history is unknown.
Gichin Funakoshi is said to be the man who promoted the development of Karate.
In 1922, Jigoro Kano (founder of judo), who appreciated Funakoshi’s performance, did not hesitate to help popularize Karate. Later, Karate became popular among college students.
Karate is characterized by the art of self-defense in order to protect oneself from an opponent’s attack. The phrase “no first move in Karate” is also famous in Japan.
In Karate, there are two types of Karate: Kumite, in which you fight with your opponent and compete for points, and Kata, in which you compete for the beauty of your technique.
Kata always starts with a “receiving (defensive posture)”.
There are five types of Karate techniques.
“Tsuki” (push) is a fist-pushing attack technique, “Keri” (kick) is a leg-based attack technique, and “Uke” (receive) is a defensive technique. The “Uchi” (beat) can be used for both offensive and defensive technique.
Although “Ate” is effective as a self-defense technique, it is not allowed in matches.
The main Karate techniques are explained.
Push the opponent with a clenched fist. Tighten your sides and push out in one go so that your fists and wrists are in line.
Keri is a Karate technique that uses the legs. There are a variety of kicks, including a front kick, a back kick, and a turn kick.
Uke is a technique to catch or eliminate an opponent’s attack. The Kata competition must begin at the beginning from Uke.
Use different parts of the hand, such as the sides of the hand and the back of the fist. It is a technique that strikes or eliminates the opponent’s attacks.
In Karate, there is a word “Sundome”. Not only do you have to stop before you hit, but you also have to set your target at the very edge of your opponent’s body and control the force so that the maximum impact force can be applied there.
Nowadays, full contact Karate, a sport where people wear protective gear and strike directly (full contact karate), is becoming more and more popular around the world.
The phrase “no first move in Karate” (空手に先手なし)
Karate is about defending oneself from the attack of the opponent, not attacking the opponent first.
Gichin Funakoshi’s words indicate the spirit of Karate. There are many words left behind that emphasize the spiritual side of Karate, such as “Remember that Karate begins and ends with bowing.
“Kata” (型) of Karate
There are many characteristics of Karate, but one of them is “Kata”.
We have passed on the “mind” and “skill” through the unique and excellent tradition of “Kata” and the method of learning. The “Kata” of Karate is performed by one person, and everyone can practice at their own pace according to their current abilities, regardless of their physical strength, age, gender, or congenital qualities. This is one of the great features of Karate that no other martial art can match.
By practicing “Kata,” you will be able to harmonize your mind and body and move your body back and forth, left and right, and up and down almost evenly. In addition, it is an ideal full body workout because it fully utilizes muscles that are rarely used in normal movements.
Also, by understanding and practicing “Kata” correctly, we can develop our ability to concentrate.
Karate as a new event at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021
Karate has been officially adopted as a sport for the Tokyo Olympics, which are scheduled to be held in 2021. This is the first time that Karate has become an Olympic event. Karate is a global sport that is loved by 100 million people in 193 countries on five continents.
We are looking forward to seeing it held.
Tokyo Olympics 2021, Karate venue, Nippon Budokan