What is Karate?
Karate is a system of unarmed combat in which the participants specialise mainly in kicking, punching, striking, blocking & other defensive movements, mainly using their hands and feet. This style of karate is called Shotokan and is one of the old "Hard" styles of linear karate and can trace its roots back to the 1600's, hence we use the term traditional to set it apart from the newer more westernised forms of karate. It originated on the small Island of Okinawa near Japan.
Why Shotokan Karate?
It is an Ancient Japanese Martial Art & differs from many westernised versions of Karate because it remains rooted in a strong & long martial arts tradition. It is more than just the mastering of defensive techniques, the training is mental as well as physical & should teach discipline, confidence & self control.
Is a Traditional Martial Art. This means that improvement in character and mental discipline are as important as the physical martial art skills – if not more so. Shotokan Karate is structured and programmed to be accessible and trainable by all, including those without great athletic ability.
Can sometimes be slow & repetitive. Remember that there are no shortcuts to achieving excellence. The highly prized and coveted Black Belt is not beyond the capabilities of one who practices.
Is ideal for children. It teaches self discipline, builds confidence, encourages team spirit & esprit de corps, teaches respect for others & also the art of self defence.
For over active children it can usefully channel excess energy into a constructive learning process. Training engages all of a child's muscle groups & helps him or her to develop grace, co-ordination, balance & timing.
Is suitable for everyone regardless of age, gender or creed. Karate exercise & training methods improve & maintain good circulation. It is a perfect aerobic exercise increasing your stamina, strength and fitness.
Is one of the few sports, which uses both sides of the body equally, therefore utilising both sides of the brain. It can help you manage the stresses & strains of everyday life.
Shotokan Karate, Is Not.........
Anything to do with chopping planks of wood or slicing bricks & tiles in half, that anyone can do that with a little practice & cunning.
"Most of the Martial Arts - developed thousands of years ago in the orient - evoke images of high-speed punches & whiplash kicks. But that's only part of the picture. Karate, all the rage among youngsters, offers a great cardiovascular workout whilst teaching self defence techniques, it enhances coordination and strength. In karate training, students learn to develop a sense of fair play. After every contest contestants bow to one another in a demonstration of mutual respect.
Quote taken from Dr Shapiro's "Picture Perfect Weight Loss" book.
Updated: Monday, 06 September 2010