Understand Basic Karate

students of sensei Gregson maluma practicing karate

Karate is an ancient martial art built around self-defense that originates from Japan and China. It has become extremely popular worldwide, and has many variations. Understanding and practicing basic Karate can be achieved by learning the terms and techniques employed in this martial art.

1 Know the styles of Karate.

This martial art has its roots in China, but was largely developed in Okinawa, Japan in the 1600’s as a method for self-defense due to weapons being outlawed. Karate can be translated to “empty hand.” There are many styles of Karate from traditional, to modern, western styles known usually as American Freestyle Karate, and Full-Contact Karate (Sport Karate), but many of the basic techniques are the same.

2 Understand the elements of Karate.

Training in Karate generally involves four aspects, or fundamentals. These fundamentals are the different forms of movements that make up combinations and techniques practiced in Karate. in kyokushin karate its knowns as the 3 Ks (kihon, kata and kumite) bunkai is under Kata.

  • Kihon (Basic techniques)

  • Kata (Form or pattern)

  • Bunkai (Study of techniques encoded in kata or "kata application")

  • Kumite (Free Sparring).

3 Understand how Karate differs from other martial arts.

People often confuse different styles of martial arts, and interchange the names of these martial arts. It can be easy to confuse Karate with other martial arts, especially because so many arts employ similar techniques.

  • Karate focuses on striking moves with and on open-handed techniques. Karate combinations involve the use of punches, kicking, knee, and elbow strikes.

  • Other martial arts involve different fighting techniques and the use of weapons. Aikido focuses on evasion, joint locks, joint breaks, throws and controls. Judo focuses on throws and some grappling while taking your opponent to the ground. Kung Fu is a Chinese martial art which has various styles that are inspired by animal movements, or by Chinese philosophies, and work to improve muscle and cardiovascular fitness.

  • While several martial arts use a ranking system depicted by a belt or sash, Karate has a specific system of colored belts. White represents the beginner with black representing an advanced level.