Karate is a martial art from Japan and literally means "empty hand" in Japanese.
It's heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism as karate involves self-restraint and introspection (meditation). Shotokan karate was developed by Master Gichin Funakoshi in modern day Okinawa, and was introduced
to the rest of Japan in 1922. It quickly gained popularity and the Japan Karate Association (JKA) was established in 1948 by Funakoshi's students.
During sessions we practice the standards of training and competition set by the JKA:
- Kihon (fundamentals): Correct breathing, form, stances, movement, spirit and attitude.
- Kumite (meeting of hands): Includes structured and free sparring. It is about overcoming fear and accepting the possibility of pain while
showing respect for your opponent. To help realize one's strengths and weaknesses.
- Kata (form): Choreographed sequence of forms based on kihon: "meditation in motion"/ "moving Zen". To demonstrate control and good form and to simulate
the movement of a fight.
|zenkutsu dachi||front stance|
|hachiji dachi||natural stance|
|kokutsu dachi||back stance|
|kiba dachi||horse stance|
|sochin dachi||immovable stance|
|neko ashi dachi||cat stance|
|shizen tai||ready stance|
|oi zuki||stepping punch|
|gyaku zuki||reverse punch|
|kizami zuki||jab punch|
|age uke||rising block|
|soto uke||outside block|
|gedan barai||downward block|
|uchi uke||inside block|
|shuto uke||knife hand block|
|kakiwake uke||two-handed separating block|
|mae geri||front snap kick|
|mawashi geri||roundhouse kick|
|yoko kekomi geri||side thrust kick|
|yoko keage geri||side snap kick|
|ushiro geri||back kick|
|jo dan||head level|
|chuu dan||middle/stomach level|
|ge dan||lower level|
|gohon kumite||five-step sparring|
|sanbon kumite||three-step sparring|
|ippon kumite||one-step sparring|
|jiyuu kumite||free sparring|