Karate: Facts About This Martial Art

Karate is an ancient martial art that originated on the island of Okinawa in Japan. The word karate actually means “hand,” and while punching and striking are important components of karate, kicking and knee strikes also important elements that students will learn during their training.

About six hundred years ago, Chinese martial arts were introduced to the people of Okinawa by visitors from China coming to trade goods with the inhabitants of these islands. During the years of the Ryukyu, karate was developed out of these ancient Chinese martial arts, but while it was hugely popular in Okinawa, the art did not reach the mainland until around 1910. However, it quickly became popular and by 1924, the first karate club was formed. By the mid-1930s, karate clubs had been established at most Japanese universities. During World War II, American soldiers were exposed to karate and the first American karate dojo opened in Arizona in 1945.

You might think that karate is just karate, but there are actually quite a few different styles. A person might be a student of Shotokan karate or perhaps they prefer to learn the skills of Kyokusin karate or perhaps Yoshukai karate. Most were developed in Japan, although Shuri-ryu karate was developed in the United States. Of course, many elements of karate can be found in the study of mixed martial arts.

Most people probably know that a black belt is the most prestigious belt on can earn in karate, but there are actually different degrees of black belts. Once you’ve earned the black belt, you can continue to progress and earn higher degrees. Of course, all students start out as white belts and must earn many other belts in order to reach that black belt. You must progress through yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown and red before you have obtained enough skills to reach a black belt.

While it’s always encouraged to work hard and move up in the ranks of belts, karate is not just about earning belts or fighting. Many people confuse martial arts with aggression, and certainly one will learn how to fight during karate training. However, the goal is not aggression but self-control and self-defense. The focus is on improving your mental focus, self-confidence and overall physical condition. Karate teaches discipline and teaches one to respect yourself and others.

Karate training is an excellent option for children and teens, and for those who need Encinitas karate classes, Carlsbad karate classes or San Marcos karate classes might consider Team Mai for their child. Not only will they improve their physical strength and coordination, they will gain self-confidence and self-control. Our focus is teaching confidence, respect and discipline in a fun environment. All of our senseis are experienced instructors that have earned black belts. Team Mai also hosts summer camps and overnight parties for its students.

Leigh Metopher loves blogging about mixed martial arts advantages. To get more information about martial arts San Marcos classes, or to find karate Carlsbad programs, please visit the Team MAI website now.