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[Sport] The art of karate


Wassim

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Karate or karate1 (from Japanese 空手, karate; literally, 'empty hand') is a traditional martial art based on some styles of Chinese martial arts (wushu), and other disciplines from Okinawa (Japan). The Japanese name is made up of the words 空 (kara, 'empty') and 手 (te, 'hand'). The person who practices it is called a karate fighter.2

Origin and characteristics
Karate has its origin during the 16th century in the native martial techniques of the Ryukyu Islands, (today Okinawa) characterized by the use of fists called (Te / to-de / tuidi), as well as techniques from native fighting. ; being influenced by some styles of Chinese martial arts (kung-fu) and to a lesser extent by other disciplines from other Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. Already, in the 20th century, this martial style was initially influenced by various technical, tactical and philosophical concepts from some of the modern Japanese martial arts, such as: kendo, judo, and finally aikido. Initially, "Te" being the ancestor art of modern karate arose from the need of the noble warriors of the island (the pechin) to protect the last king of Okinawa, Sho Tai, and themselves from the various abuses perpetrated by the warriors in armor (the samurai), who were part of the Japanese invaders belonging to the Satsuma3 clan, in the 17th century. Little by little, "Te" was developed in the Ryukyu kingdom, and later expanded: it was systematically taught in Japan after the Taisho era in the 20th century, where it was renamed karate-Do, as a consequence of cultural exchanges. between the Japanese and the inhabitants of the Ryukyu Islands. Thus incorporating into the culture of traditional martial arts of Japan.

Today's karate-Do is fundamentally characterized by the use of punches, blocks, kicks and open hand blows, where the different techniques receive various names, depending on the area of the body to defend or attack. However, karate does not restrict its repertoire only to these, since it also includes: several sweeps, some throws and knockdowns, a few joint dislocations; in addition to blows to vulnerable points, and to nervous points, in his curriculum. In karate-Do blows, strength, speed, breathing, balance, tension and relaxation are unified by applying a correct hip rotation and a very precise connection or synergy of muscles and joints, transferring a large part of the body weight and center of gravity at impact. Generally, and unlike other disciplines, the aim is to defeat the adversary with a forceful impact (or a few), precise and definitive, seeking to be as effective as possible. This concept is called "Ikken hissatsu" or "one blow, one death", similar to the thrust or cut of a katana or Japanese saber. Karate-do is based on the idea of forging the body as a weapon, in such a way that it can defend itself without suffering further damage, which is why in traditional schools so much effort is made in physical hardening, with combats to full contact and without any protection, in this way it is possible to harden and strengthen most parts of the body while giving the practitioner control of his blows and knowledge of his abilities and limits.

 

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