Karate(空手) is a striking martial art using
- knee strikes,
- elbow strikes
- open hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands,and palm-heel strikes.
- grappling, throws, joint locks,
- restraints, and vital point strikes
It was developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan partially from the indigenous martial arts of Ryukyu Islands called Te (手), literally “hand” and from Chinese kenpo. .A karate practitioner is called a karateka (空手家).
There are various styles of Karate and Shotokan is the most widely practiced style in the world.The originator of Shotokan was Gichin Funakoshi, an Okinawan school teacher, who first demonstrated his style of Karate in Japan in 1921.Karate was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom and was systematically taught in Japan after the Taisho era. It was brought to the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century during a time of cultural exchanges between the Japanese and the Ryukyuans. In 1922 the Japanese Ministry of Education invited Gichin Funakoshi to Tokyo to give a karate demonstration. In 1924 Keio University established the first university karate club in Japan and by 1932, major Japanese universities had karate clubs. In this era of escalating Japanese militarism, the name was changed from 唐手 (“Chinese hand” to 空手 (“empty hand”) – both of which are pronounced karate – to indicate that the Japanese wished to develop the combat form in Japanese style.
The martial arts movies of the 1960s and 1970s served to greatly increase the popularity of martial arts around the world, and in English the word karate began to be used in a generic way to refer to all striking-based Oriental martial arts. Karate schools began appearing across the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the art.
Over the last decade, Karate has entered anew age, athletes demonstrate more athleticism as they evolve the’sport’with ever changing rules and physical demands. Perfection of technique, timing and etiquette is the foundation and tradition that sport karate is built on. Our fore fathers were at the cutting edge of their art, they were scholars of anatomy & physiology, veterans of war and master technicians that were constantly working to expand the boundaries of their art.
The 2012 Olympics being held here in England has created a wave of sporting interest from all fractions of our communities, the real winner is ‘sport’ itself whether WKF Karate has Olympic status or not.The scientific advances have accelerated the government promotion of healthier lifestyles and the culture of the ‘must win’ mind set has been fostered.
Our club is committed to the continuous development of Karate in all forms and consults some of England’s foremost scientific minds. This website will explore the holistic components that best achieve these goals for the development and nurture of our athletes. Coaching methods and philosophies, sports psychology and cognitive science, strength and conditioning, nutrition, sports injury prevention and treatment advice is available, geared toward the Karate athlete peaking for specific events. Our club focuses on Traditional Shotokan Karate but does not negate the importance of competition in order to measure Performance and achievements.
In addition, many Traditional Shotokan Karateka have found success in the modern sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida holds a 3rd dan black belt in Shotokan karate, while his brother Shinzo holds a 4th dan and their father Yoshizo Machida holds a 7th dan and was head of the Japan Karate Association’s Brazilian branch.Several other mixed martial artists also have a Shotokan background or utilize Shotokan (e.g., Vitor Belfort, Antonio Carvalho, John Makdessi, Mark Holst, Assuerio Silva).Action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme holds a black belt in Shotokan and used the style when he competed in full contact karate competitions in the 1970s and 1980s. Wesley Snipes has a 5th dan black belt in Shotokan. Actor and action movie star Michael Jai White is also a practitioner of and black belt in Shotokan alongside seven other distinct martial arts. Bear Grylls and Karate World Champion Luca Valdesi also practice the art.
We live in a society that has become increasingly dangerous. Every day, the media brings us stories of mugging, robbing, bashing, stabbing, kidnapping, raping and murder – grim reminders of danger we as individuals face when we least expect it.Innocent, weak and vulnerable people are victimised by vicious attackers who care nothing about the pain, suffering and inconvenience of others.Considering this trend, it is a great idea to learn karate and self-defence for safety, protection and peace of mind. We have laws and the police to protect us from violence, danger and crimes, but we can not rely on them alone or expect them to provide us with their round the clock protection, 24 hours a day of every day. Therefore, we must be able to defend ourselves and our loved ones from attacks, or else we might risk ourselves becoming another statistic. Do not live in fear of being attacked. Equip yourself with the knowledge, skills and power of self defence.