Karate

KarateBrief History and Background of Karate

Karate originated in Okinawa Japan through the Ryukyuan people of the Ryukyu Islands, it is believed that Chinese people introduced Chinese Kenpo and other martial arts to the islands when trade relations were opened in the late 14th century, although it is quite possible that the precursors of the art were around for many hundreds of years before this in India and other parts of Asia.

From then there were many masters teaching many forms and styles which were developed over a very long period of time. Many of the styles came about due to restrictions on the use of weapons and so the empty hand combat was the only form of defence.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century that art made it to mainland Japan which was generally being taught as Shotokan Karate by founder Gichin Funakoshi.

Karate was practised by immigrating Japanese in the early 20th century in many countries and it was gradually taught to others in these countries. It’s wide popularity grew enormously with it’s use in movies of the 60’s/70’s.

KarateThere are a large variety of different styles and organisations of Karate, some will concentrate more on kata, others on kumite (see training below) and many will use it as an art, sport or for defence and even as a showcase using Freestyle Karate. Two of the larger federations are the ‘World Karate Federation (WKF)’, which is responsible for any Karate in the Olympics games and the ‘World Union of Karate-do Federations (WUKF)’, which has many different organisations under it’s wing.


KarateKarate Training

A practitioner of Karate is known as a ‘Karateka’.

Much of the training is based on striking, such as punching, kicking, kneeing, elbow strikes and various open hand strikes, but will also include many blocking moves and some schools may also include, throws, grappling and locks.

There is such a variety of different Karate systems, some mainly traditional kata based and others going full-force contact. Training is normally split into basics, Kata (set pieces of sequential moves) and Kumite (free fighting (sparring/full force), some will use semi contact, others full contact).

There’s usually a lot of physical conditioning and mental attitude training. Most schools will look to develop a pupils character, teaching them to have self control, be courteous, honest, conscientious, sincere and have good etiquette.


Karate Equipment/Gear Used

Suit/Uniform (Karategi)

Belts Ranging from white, orange, red, yellow, green, purple, blue, brown and black.

Competitive and Semi/full contact gear, usually consisting of a head guard, foot guards and gloves/mitts. Others may include a groin guard, blue/red belts, shin guards, body protector and face mask.


Celebrity Karate Practitioners

Sean Connery
Dolph Lundgren
Richard Norton
Wesley Snipes
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Chuck Norris
Cynthia Rothrock
Jennifer Aniston
Emma Bunton
James Caan
Phil Collen
Courtney Cox
Jesse Jackson Jr
Lorenzo Lamas
Guy Ritchie
James Murdoch
Elvis Presley
Christian Slater
Forest Whitaker
Sonny Chiba


Movies featuring Karate

Title
Year
Karate, the Hand of Death
1961
Karate Kids USA
1969
Way of the Dragon
1972
Enter the Dragon
1973
The Karate Killer (Guai ke)
1973
Black Belt Jones
1974
Champion of Death
1975
Dragon Princess
1976
Karate Kiba
1976
Karate Warriors
1976
Karate Bear Fighter
1977
Karate Bullfighter
1977
Karate for Life
1977
Karate Sabuk Hitam
1979
The Little Dragons
1980
The Karate Kid
1984
The Karate Kid 2
1986
Karate Warrior
1987
Karate Warrior 2
1988
Karate Wars
1989
The Karate Kid 3
1989
Karate Cop
1991
Karate Warrior 3
1991
The Next Karate Kid
1994
Fighter in the Wind
2004
The Karate Dog
2004
Black Belt (Kuro-obi)
2007
High Kick Girl
2009
The Karate Kid
2010
Karate Girl
2011
Karate-Robo Zaborgar
2011

 

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