“Spirit first, technique second.” – Gichin Funakoshi
What is Karate?
Karate is a Japanese martial art whose physical aspects seek the development of defensive and counterattacking body movements. The themes of traditional karate training are fighting and self-defense, though its mental and moral aspects target the overall improvement of the individual. This is facilitated by the discipline and persistent effort required in training.
“Karate is a lifetime study.” – Kenwa Mabuni
The word karate is a combination of two kanji (Chinese characters): kara, meaning empty, and te, meaning hand; thus, karate means “empty hand.” Karate-do, implies karate as a total way of life that goes well beyond the self-defense applications. In traditional karate-do, one is supposed to compete and strive to excel against him/herself.
Today there are four main styles of karate in Japan: Shotokan, Goju-ryu, Shito-ryu, and Wado-ryu.
“Many Karate teachers teach a watered down style – no hip action and no depth of punching – so it is easy to say that these teachers have no depth to their knowledge. You are what your teacher is, and if he knows a lot, you should be able to demonstrate this knowledge.” – Yuchoku Higa (founder of Kyudokan Dojo, Okinawa)
What is the style of Karate taught at Mitsuru Yorkshire?
At Mitsuru we teach Wado-ryu karate which features shallow higher stances which are a distinguishing feature of that style. Wado places a great deal of emphasis on fast combination attacks natural movements and quick evasions and deflections and its short high stances reflect this. Higher stances feel more natural are more practical in tournaments and in self-defence situations. Both high and low stances have advantages.
Wado-Ryu Karate, which is one of the four main styles recognised by the World Karate Federation.
What will Karate provide me with?
There are many different aspects to Karate training. As a Martial Art it provides skills which may be applied in a self-defence situation, as well as boosting self-confidence and self-esteem . As a sport it provides fitness and wellbeing along with the opportunity to test your skills against other competitors.
“You may train for a long time, but if you merely move your hands and feet and jump up and down like a puppet, learning Karate is not very different from learning a dance. You will never have reached the heart of the matter; you will have failed to grasp the quintessence of Karate.” – Gichin Funakoshi