Karate is one of the most revered martial arts the world has ever known. Have you ever wanted to know more about this beautiful art form? Then you have come to the right place. Here we’re going to give you the basic details of one of the most amazing martial arts the world has ever seen. Let’s see if this is for you.
cover photo credit:Flavio
What is Karate?
Karate is the martial art form that was born under the influence of martial arts in the Ryukyu Kingdom. This kingdom became part of Japan in 1879 and brought with it Karate to mainland Japan. It is an art form and sport that focuses on striking with the hands, arms, legs and feet. This is a discipline that takes years to master and many who seek to master it start when they are very young indeed.
Teaching this martial art is down to trainers named karateka’s. Like all forms of martial arts, Karate provides a way of life for most who train giving them zen-like freedoms found elsewhere by most in meditation or yoga. Unlike some martial arts Karate works on a belt grade system. You work you’re way up from the basic white belt when you begin taking most years to reach black belt status and eventually becoming trainers themselves if they so chose when they have mastered this beautiful art.
Karate’s Cultural Relevance
The relevance of Karate is ingrained deep in the Japanese culture. Whilst still practised by many before the 1960’s it didn’t reach astronomical levels until movies about martial arts became popular in Asia. The 1960’s and 1970’s birthed a cultural phenomenon and suddenly everyone wanted to try this. Some wanted to train their bodies and minds equally, some wanted to simply learn a defence for their own piece of mind. Whatever their reasoning Karate was hitting numbers that have more than likely never been matched. Many families grow in Japan with the notion that as well as school their children will also learn Karate.
World Wide Phenomenon
It’s these culturally iconic movies that helped spread the word of martial arts to the rest of the world. Particularly in the western regions of north America and Europe. It’s this that makes Karate still the no.1 martial art that is practised in the United Kingdom and most of Europe. When the Ryukyu people created this art form there was no way they could have imagined the giant world-wide anomaly they created all those years before. To put this into perspective there is a reported 50 million people in the world practising Karate to this day. A true art never dies.
So, there you have it, Karate in all its glory. Does this seem like something you would like to try? Or do you currently practice it along with thousands (if not millions) of other people around the world? Either way it’s something to think about. For me personally it is the ultimate martial art and will remain one of the most culturally important things the human race has ever created.
Art Feature: HIROHIKO ARAKI JOJO EXHIBITION: RIPPLES OF ADVE...
Hirohiko Araki is one of Japan’s most well-regarded Manga artists who has been recognized internationally for his unique designs as well as within Japan for his magical storytelling abilities. Araki, who is originally from Sendai, Miyagi, has been drawing manga since his first year of high school and is best known for his long-running series, [...]
Going Green: 4 Japanese Phrases to Reduce Plastic Waste
One of the first things I noticed when I began shopping in Japan was the sheer number of plastic bags being used! Over packaging is, unfortunately, the norm here, and for many Japan’s plastic-heavy service industry can be a shocking change from shopping back home. But if like many, you are trying to watch your [...]
Book Covers – a 100-year-old Unique Feature of Japanese Cult...
You can see many Japanese people spending their time on the train effectively reading books or newspapers, listening to music or searching something on their phones. Have you ever noticed that most of them reading books wrapped by book covers? Do you wonder why they use book covers while reading books? Let’s find out the [...]
Japanese People Love Planning!
When you’re with your Japanese friends especially women and talking about when to meet up next time, have you ever experienced your Japanese friends suddenly taking out their schedule planners from their bags and checking their availability? If you take a glance at their schedule planners, it seems that they are really busy with a packed [...]
Shigin: Japan's Best Kept Musical Secret
Japan has a very rich and diverse range of musical styles. Many people are familiar with famous J-Pop artists like AKB48 and Arashi, and computer-generated mega-star Hatsune Miku. With their songs being catchy, uplifting, and relatable, it’s no wonder that their music is so popular worldwide. But these modern forms of music are by no means the only styles of Japanese music worth listening to—instead, I’d like to introduce an unsung traditional form of music called Shigin. Shigin (詩吟) Shigin (詩吟) means “poetry chanting,” and it is the art of reciting a poem. It uses a form of poetry somewhat...
Tokyo Daijingu Shrine: Pray for Love
If you’re down on your love luck, why not ask for a little help from the gods? The Tokyo Daijingu Shrine is Tokyo’s branch of Japan’s most renown shrine, Ise-jingu Shrine. Located in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, it has become a famous place to go pray for a successful relationship or marriage. The Rise of Weddings The reason that Tokyo Daijingu Shrine became a hot spot for prayers of love is due to it being the first shrine to offer Shinto-style weddings. Shinto weddings were first introduced in 1872. Prior to this, the concept of weddings was not widely accepted, and Shinto...