What is Karate?

Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom and introduced to the mainland of Japan in the early 20th properly in Japan after the Taisho era. It uses various actions, such as punching, knee strikes, kicking and elbow strikes, as well as open hand movements, such as spear-hands, knife-hands and palm-heel strikes.

karate, what is karate, Karate is often taught by a professional teacher often known as a karateka, and people of any age can learn it. It has become very popular all around the world in recent years and many places can be found to teach it. Searching for a provider of this activity can be easy once you know how. If you live in Chelmsford for example, you will simply need to type ‘karate Chelmsford’ into a search engine and a range of results for local teachers in the area should come up. Be sure to check a few of them out and do not just go for the first one that comes up. You may want to check out any reviews from past students, the price list and any other benefits that each provider may offer. Compare them against one another in order to find the best one.

There are various different types of karate taught. These include shotokan, shito-ryu, goju-ryu and wado-ryu, all recognised by the World Karate Federation. The World Union of Karate-do Federations (WUKF) has a slightly different list, also including shorin-ryu, kyokushinkai, and rengokai. Many schools in Japan teach one or more of these styles. Some forms of the art include techniques like throws, grappling, joint locks, vital point strikes and restraints.

Karate is taught for a number of different reasons. It can be taught as a sport, art, combat sport or as self defense training. It can improve fitness, strength and confidence. It helps to provide a sense of self security, as individuals can learn to protect and defend themselves in a dangerous position if being attacked for example. Karate also helps with weight loss as it can be a great way to stay fit, healthy and burn lots of calories. It increases cardiovascular health and improves muscle mass, reflexes and general mood.

Traditional karate is based around self-development as an art, while modern training is more about the psychological aspects, which includes attitude, perseverance, virtue, fearlessness, and leadership. Weapons can also be taught in some forms of karate. Karate is made up of kihon (basics), kumite (sparring) and kata (forms).

Coloured belts are used to define a person’s level of karate skills as part of a rank system. Beginners often start with a white belt, whilst the highest rank is a black belt. The belts are worn during taking part in karate and easily display to others what level of skill that person has earned.

With the increase in martial arts films and the influence that it has been having on the modern world, more and more people of all ages are taking up karate. It has many benefits and is well worth you learning so you know how to escape any situation without incurring physical harm.

Image credit: bbc.co.uk

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