Karate is a sport and system of unarmed self-defence which originated in eastern Asia and involves the use of the hands, elbows, and knees, or feet for kicks and blows to vulnerable parts of the body such as temples, throat, and groin. Karate should not be confused with a similar Asian sport, ju-jitsu, sumo, and judo which involve wrestling, throwing, and holding an opponent on the ground.
Karate during the seventies was actually referred to as an acrobatic boxing. This involves a little personal contact, and the opponent becomes immobile because of powerful and well-directed blows which are delivered far from the opponent as possible. Experts in Karate can crush a large block of ice using his fist, he can splinter a six-inch thick pine wood by a single kick, and he can shatter stacks of tiles using his head or an elbow.
Calisthenics, an area in karate, involves rigorous, acrobatic flexibility and speed. Another area in karate is called Kumite which involves training in specific karate blows, kicks, chops or blocks with the use of one’s knuckles, the ball and outside edge of the foot and the blade of the hand.
This sport can strengthen the extended fingers which can be very effective when used as a spear point. Katas, which is the third area in karate involves acrobatic forms of kicking, punching, blocking, turning, leaping, dodging and are often practice with an imaginary adversary. Those who are trained in karate school or dojo are barefoot on the wooden floor without mats when they do their training.
Punching bags, weights, bamboo blocks, and deep boxes of any dry beans or coarse sand used to strengthen the extended fingers of the hand. A loose-fitting jacket and pants called GI is the traditional costume in karate.
The rank of someone who does karate can be indicated by the colour of his belt. Black belts are of course for experts and those using white belts are amateurs. Next to the beginner are the following in respective order – yellow, green and brown. The holders of black belts also have different degrees which are based on their skills and effectivity in teaching. Today, schools are only up to the 8th Dan.
Karate is still to this day very popular, however the sport was incredible popular during the seventies. Many movies were released like Bruce Lee’s Game of Death and David Carradine’s Kung Fu. The spirit of this sport has not died today. In fact, there are still movies today that are patterned using this theme. The most recent are the newly released Karate Kid’s third installment with Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith, son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.
In addition to this, plenty of animated kids TV shows have adopted the sport into their storylines including the very popular Kung Fu Panda and Spongebob and Sandy’s famous Karate scenes (a snippet is shown in the video below) from the hit show Spongebob Squarepants.
The inclusion of this sport in kids shows has lead to a massive increase in participation of the sport from youngsters globally, which is proving crucial for the sport. In general, Karate has never been in a better place. Its a great time for kids and adults alike to get involved!