Karate Martial Arts: A Brief History, Its Basic Principles And Why It Is Good For You

Karate Martial Arts: A Brief History, Its Basic Principles And Why It Is Good For You

Karate martial arts is one of the most widely practiced forms of martial arts in the world. It is primarily a striking art that trains practitioners to use kicks, punches, elbows, knees and open hand strikes to disable a person’s opponent. Thousands of people all over the world practice Karate as a sport, as a form of physical fitness, or simply as a hobby. There are many benefits that one could gain from practicing this sport such as: improved coordination and reflexes, increased performance in all types of physical activities, better strength and stamina, increased flexibility and best of all, the ability to defend oneself.

How and where did Karate martial arts start?
This type of martial art developed in Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa Japan. It initially started as an indigenous martial art called Te ”hands”with what they had learnt in China and called it To-De, Chinese Hands.
When Chinese families began to move to the islands, the art was then influenced by Chinese styles particularly that of the Fujian White Crane. For hundreds of years, the natives of Okinawa honed a large variety of combat styles with the use of only their bodies. When the political situation in the area worsened, people were not allowed to use weapons, which is why, karate developed initially as a form of martial arts that used only the body to defend a person from his opponents.
From this, 4 main styles of Karate developed - Goju Ryu, Shorin Ryu, Uechi Ryu and Shorei Ryu. Gichin Funakoshi, who trained under several Okinawan Karate masters, developed his own style of Karate that he named Shotokan.
Funakoshi introduced Shotokan to Japan in the early 20th century. Other Okinawan masters soon followed him - Chojun Miyagi with Goju Ryu and Kenwa Mabuni with Shito Ryu. From these masters many new styles were soon developed. For example Kyokushinkai by Mas Oyama, Goju Kai by Gogen Yamaguchi, Wado Ryu by Hinonori Ohtsuka.
There are now hundreds of different styles of karate across the world.
In the early 20th century, an Okinawa native named Funakoshi Gichin took the art of Karate beyond its geographical roots. He was responsible for bringing together various elements from different combat techniques and introduced them to mainland Japan. The rest as they say, is history.

What are the basic techniques and principles of Karate?
Karate is a system for taking different forces of a fight into a person’s own advantage. The basic principle for all types of attacks is that the karateka should focus all of his strength into a small area. The force then spreads throughout the person’s palms, fingers and over a wide area. Once the force hits the opponent he would feel a strong and blunt force.
This type of concentrated attack is a lot more effective therefore it should be mastered and learned by practitioners well. Most karatekas are trained to strengthen their hands and feet so that they can attack their opponent without hurting themselves.
In addition to that, they are also trained to use the maximum force of their whole body into any punch or kick to make the impact heavier. This way, the energy flows throughout their entire body along with the energy from their arms and legs. In order to maximize each hit, karatekas are also trained to practice hitting with speed.

What are the advantages of practicing Karate?
If you are looking to engage in some form of physical activity, you might want to consider enrolling yourself in karate classes in your area. The typical karate training regimen involves extensive movements of the entire body.
The drills and exercises are designed to heighten a person’s pulse rate to improve overall cardiovascular strength. Karate is highly recommended for women because it helps develop the lower abdomen, hips and inner thighs. Karate training helps restore muscles, helps tone different parts of the body, and helps improve your overall physical strength.
As a bonus, you get to learn how to defend yourself should you get attacked by strangers on the street. Since it is a sport that involves sparring partners, this is also a great way for you to make new friends that share the same interests.

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