How to Understand Karate

July 28, 2015

Have you ever wondered what exactly is going on when two karate fighters engage with one another? These tips will help you to enjoy this marital art.

How to Understand Karate

1. Katas

One of the key elements of karate is learning how to perform katas. This is what you see a lot of in a display of the martial art.

  • Karate students learn to channel either their own or their opponent’s energy in order to deliver the most powerful blow they can.
  • Katas use this principle in a series of fight movies that may look very warlike to you.
  • The aim of training in katas is to concentrate as much energy as possible into each strike onto the weakest part of the opponents’ body. An effective blow can make all the difference.
  • This technique enables a small karate fighter to down a much larger opponent.
  • In modern karate though, the focus is on discipline, self-control, fitness and confidence more than self-defence although many of the moves you see stem from this.

2. Strikes

In karate, you need to know that it’s not just how powerful strike is but where you aim it. So that it has the strongest impact, karate practitioners and students concentrate on the smallest area possible. An example you probably know well is the karate chop.

Karate practitioners also stress the importance of following through the blow beyond the moment of contact. If you’ve seen spectacular feats of smashing tiles or planks with a single stroke you have seen this in action.

You won’t see any punching in a karate display as practitioners are taught to resist attacking in this way. Remember – it’s all about self control.

3. Energy

Although karate is a martial art consisting of breath-taking, graceful combative moves and sequences, a good karate display is full of flowing energy that makes it so interesting nd pleasant to watch.

When you’re a spectator at a karate display, you're watching two opponents who are using their own energy and that of the person they're fighting. They block energy and use it to tip their opponent’s balance.

Practitioners develop this level of skill through years and years of freestyle sparring where they fight but avoid making contact.

Understanding Karate

Knowing about the key elements of katas, strikes and energy in the marital art of karate will help you understand this fascinating sport.

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