Karate 空 is one of the world’s most popular martial arts. Karate originated on the Ryu Kyu islands, the small islands off Japan, in particular Okinawa. The term karate is translated as ‘empty hand’. Karate is a martial art used for self-defence which utilises almost every part of the human body as a potential weapon. Karate techniques involve using your fingers, hands, forearms, elbows, feet, knees and much more. Karate can be described as explosive and aggressive in nature, however, karate trains the body, mind and spirit to be calm, patient and to only be used for self-defence.
Karate uses a rank/grade system indicated by different coloured belts. Ranks/Grades are awarded for different levels of skill and development attained by students. Each grade will have a predetermined syllabus and student will demonstrate their ability and understanding of each syllabus at a grading (examination).
Karate is divided up into three core components – Kihon (Basics), Kata (Form) and Kumite (Sparring):
Kihon (Basics) – the fundamental techniques covering blocks, strikes, punches, kicks, stances and movements. Students learn the range of techniques to develop an understanding of their bodies and how they can be used effectively. Students will develop an understanding of a core principle in karate, minimum effort and maximum efficiency.
Kata (Form) – referred to the art form of karate. Kata is a traditional predetermined sequence of movements/techniques that promotes a number of self-defence principles. Wado Ryu Karate has a range of Kata, from Pinan Kata which are learnt by Kyu Grades (Low Grades) students to Advanced Kata which learnt by 4th Kyu to Dan Grades (Black Belts).
Kumite (Sparring) – where techniques and principles learnt in the Kihon and Kata are applied against an opponent. Kumite varies depending on the rank/grade of the student and their abilities. Some Kumite involves predetermined blocks with a partner, each partner taking turns to attack and defend. In this form of Kumite, there are three types, Sanbon Kumite (3 Step Sparring), Ohyo Kumite (Semi-Free Fighting) and Kihon Kumite (Fundamental Fighting).
Modern-day karate has developed an aspect referred to as Sport Karate. The WBK’s reputation is known across the UK for developing karate champions. To ensure our students are fully prepared for competitions, we focus on fitness training and competition based techniques. Training will range from plyometric training, agility training to point-scoring scenario drills. WBK students and instructors have recently trained with two outstanding karate-ka, Calum Robb (Scottish/British International, World Wado-Kai Champion & Karate Combat Athlete) and Joe Kellaway (Official Team GB Karate Athlete, European Bronze Medallist and 2 x Karate 10K King).
INTRODUCTION TO KARATE
BENEFITS OF KARATE
Health & Fitness – Karate is a great way to maintain physical fitness. Karate training develops a high degree of strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination. Karate has great benefits for a person’s mental health. Karate fosters on being calm and patient. It helps people in being more mindful and become self-aware.
Confidence – Karate trains the mind alongside the body by improving a person’s concentration, discipline, determination, respect and confidence. Students often find karate helps them in other areas of life including work and study.
Self-defence – Karate was originally designed as a system of personal self-defence and students learn effective methods to protect themselves if attacked within a strict moral code based on the important philosophy of ‘defence only’
Competitive Sport – Modern-day karate allows students to use their fighting skills to safely compete locally, nationally and internationally. Kata can also be performed competitively. The WBK provides numerous opportunities to take part in tournaments around the UK and abroad.
Social Network – At the WBK we treat our karate clubs as a ‘family’. We take pride in providing people to opportunity to forge new friendships. As an association, we enjoy organising social occasions and events for our members. The WBK has developed many strong friendships over the years with many different karate instructors and organisations from around the UK and abroad.
A Way of Life – Karate can be more than simply a sport, martial art or physical activity. Its strict moral code and encouragement of mental development allow it to become a way of life. Karate promotes a constant emphasis on individual improvement, meaning there is always something to strive for. Karate can and has changed people lives. It is a martial art and sport that can be enjoyed by the young and the old, allowing people to healthy and more grounded lives.