Karate (空手), also known as Karate-dō ( 空手道) “the way of the empty hand”.
It is said that karate was brought to China, some fourteen hundred years ago by Daruma, the founder of Zen Buddhism in Western India. His teaching methods were so demanding until drop in exhaustion, that he developed a training system to give his disciples strength and endurance. This method was recorded in a book, the Ekkin-Kyo, maybe the first book on karate in history.
This method was then brought to the island of Okinawa (which formerly was an independent kingdom) around 14th century as a form of weaponless self defense.
Gichin Funakoshi, is generally credited with having introduced and popularized karate on the main islands of Japan by 1920’s. He also changed the names of many kata.
With the dō suffix it means that karatedō (空手道) is a path to self-knowledge without the technical aspects of fighting (jutsu) Most of the martial arts that were practiced in Japan made the transition from –jutsu to –dō around the beginning of the 20th century.
In Japan, modern karate adopted the white uniform (kimono) and colored belt ranks (karategi) The Bags and backpacks from Tanei (Sasicco) are made with the same material of the martial art uniforms. ^^
Karate training is commonly divided into kihon (basics or fundamentals), kata (forms), and kumite (combat)
Every part of the body can be turned into a fighting weapon and to defend oneself there are techniques that can block or evade the opponent’s hits. These techniques are known as Kata, established sequences of movements representing the many offensive and defensive positions.
In the next video we can see the first kata:
Apart from the kata, the karate-ka (ka meaning practitioner) must train to hit objects (like a post covered with straw) to toughen the skin that covers the knuckles, wrists, ankles, and so. Advanced practitioners often demonstrate their progress and power by hitting boards or breaking roof tiles.
The population of karate enthusiasts in the world is said to be 50 million! ^^
Next is a video where you can watch a karate combat at the National Karate Championship ^^
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