Karate is a Japanese word meaning “Empty Hands” indicating that Karate is a Martial Art that does not require weapons other than the parts of the body, but, also means that the practitioner of Karate should strive to empty his/her mind of aggression. The essence of Karate technique is Kime. The meaning of Kime is an explosive attack to the target using the appropriate technique and maximum power in the shortest possible time. It may be accomplished by striking, punching, or kicking but also by blocking. The two Chinese characters ‘Kara’ and ‘Te’ make up the ideographs in Japan for the world Karate, and thus denote that it is Chinese origin. It appears that this evidence points towards the fact that Karate was practised in China first before it was ever practised in Japan or the Ryukyu islands. The master behind Karate was Gichin Funakoshi. He was born in Shuru, Okinawa Prefecture in 1868. It was whilst he was lecturing at the Okinawa Teacher’s college that he was given the opportunity, in 1922, to lecture and demonstrate his art of Karate. The event was sponsored by the ministry of education. After such a demonstration, Funakoshi received a multitude of requests for him to teach in Tokyo. In 1936 Funakoshi formed “Shotokan”, a true land mark in karate’s history. In our style we teach both Shotokan and Shito-Ryu techniques.
After the death of Gichin Funakoshi his student Masatoshi Nakayama was selected as the Chief Instructor of Japan Karate Association. Masatoshi Nakayama was a ninth degree Black Belt and he was among the first to send instructors overseas and to encourage the development of Karate as a sport along scientific lines.
To the true practitioner, karate becomes a way of life; it is a path, full of pitfalls and tests both mind and body. It requires disciplines and self- motivation from the first day you enter a training hall and every day thereafter. Karate is also a training of the mind. Training to bring oneself back to the natural state of mind he was born with, dispelling delusions. The real mind is a mind soiled by evil thought and impressions through the experience of life. Budo, aims to restore this soiled, vicious mind to its natural state of purity, as it was at birth. Karate is first and formed a fight with oneself.
Benefits of Karate for children
Karate is without doubt one of the best means of building self-confidence. Traditional Karate training helps to prepare a child for life (the school bully, pressure of exams, the building of self esteem). The children in karate classes know that more is expected of them and with a little encouragement and support from their instructor, and parents, will rise to the occasion, A child’s school achievement often improves after a period of Karate training, probably because of improved self-confidence and enhanced concentration. The disciple of training, and Karate’s emphasis on self-control may calm an aggressive child.
SHOTOKAN KARATE KATA teaching in our Dojos