Mar 28, 2013

A History and Style Guide of Karate

(by Robert Rousseau

Karate is primarily a stand up or striking martial art that emerged on the island of Okinawa as a blend of native Okinawan fighting styles and Chinese fighting styles. The term karateka refers to a karate practitioner.

The History of Karate

In early times, natives to the Ryukyu Islands developed a fighting system that was simply referred to as 'te'. The largest island in the Ryukyu chain is Okinawa Island, which is generally considered the birthplace of karate.

In 1372, trade relationships were established between the Ryukyu Islands and the Fujian Province of China, and this eventually spurred several Chinese families to move to Okinawa. These Chinese families began to share Chinese Kenpo with the native Okinawans they came in contact with, which was a blend of Chinese and Indian fighting styles. Through this, traditional Okinawan fighting techniques began to change, even if many families simply developed their own styles of martial arts in isolation. Still, there were three general styles that emerged and were named after the areas they developed-Shuri- te, Naha- te, and Tomari- te. The differences between the three styles were small and more about emphasis than anything else, as the cities of Shuri, Tomari, and Naha were all very close to one another.

The fact that weapons were banned in Okinawa in the 1400's by the invading Shimazu clan (Japanese clan) was a factor that spurred on the development of not only martial arts and karate in Okinawa, but also the use of inconspicuous farm tools as weapons.

As relations with China strengthened, the blend of the more traditional Okinawan fighting styles with those of Chinese Kenpo and the empty handed Chinese styles of Fujian White Crane, Five Ancestors, and Gangrou-quan, became more obvious. In addition, Southeast Asia influences were also brought into the fold, though perhaps to a lesser extent.

Sakukawa Kanga (1782-1838) was one of the first Okinawans to study in China. In 1806, he began teaching a martial art he called "Tudi Sakukawa," which translates to "Sakukawa of China Hand." One of Kanga's students, Matsumura Sokon (1809-1899), then taught a blend of te and Shaolin styles, which would later become known as Shorin-ryu. However, it is a student of Sokon's by the name of Itosu Anko (1831-1915) that is often called "the Grandfather of Karate." Itosu is known for creating simplified kata or forms for less advanced students and helped karate gain more mainstream acceptance. Along with this, he brought karate instruction to Okinawa's schools and the forms he developed are still used to a great extent today.

Characteristics of Karate

Karate is primarily a striking art that teaches practitioners to utilize punches, kicks, knees, elbows, and open hand strikes to disable opponents. Beyond this, karate teaches practitioners to block strikes and breath properly.

Most styles of karate also extend into throws and joint locks, with the extent of this dependent upon the style. Weapons are utilized in most styles as well. Interestingly, these weapons are often farm tools, as the use of them originated during a time when weapons were banned in Okinawa by invaders. By using farm tools, Okinawans did not bring attention to the fact that they were practicing to defend themselves.

Basic Goals of Karate

The basic goal of karate is self-defense. It teaches practitioners to block the strikes of opponents and then disable them quickly with pinpoint strikes. When takedowns are employed within the art, these tend to be used to set up finishing strikes.

Karate Substyles
  • Budokan
  • Goju-ryu
  • Kenpo
  • Kyokushin
  • Shito-ryu
  • Shorin-ryu
  • Shotokan
  • Uechi-ryu
  • Wado-ryu

Mar 21, 2013

Police looking for man who attacked woman outside restaurant

(by Pat Reavy 3-20-13)

The search continued Wednesday for a man who stabbed a woman in the neck outside a Salt Lake City restaurant Tuesday night.

The 40-year-old woman was walking home from the Salt Lake Main Library and took the path behind the Faustina Restaurant, 454 E. 300 South, about 8 p.m. when she said a man grabbed her purse and attempted to run.

The woman tried to hang on to her purse when the man attacked her.

"Suddenly she felt what she described as these punches to her neck, and it turned out the person who was assaulting her was using some sort of sharp-edged weapon," said Salt Lake police detective Dennis McGowan. The woman suffered a deep cut to her neck and behind her ear, but her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

"She was able to fight back, essentially make a lot of noise, and that caused him to flee soon after the attack began," McGowan said. She then ran into the nearby Faustina Restaurant for help.

McGowan said it wasn't clear Wednesday whether the attack was completely random.

Detectives were looking Wednesday for a white man, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with brown hair and facial stubble. The only other description provided to police was he was wearing dark clothing.


(my comments)

You know, they always say if someone tries to mug you to just give them what they want, this woman is lucky to be alive for fighting this guy off and not giving up her purse.

On the other hand though she is brave for taking a stand and hanging on to her property. I think most of us are tired of the cowards that steal and if we were in her shoes we would probably to the same and fight back.

More reason than ever to get involved in the martial arts, to learn to protect yourself and how to fight back.

Mar 9, 2013

Fan artwork

artwork from daboogiemonster.tumblr

Be Street Movies

Mar 8, 2013

Ali in the blue one-piece

Who's that blonde in the blue?

The Hills.

The Hills? What's the Hills?


Karate Kid Nintendo video game

Mar 2, 2013

Dojo in the rain

A rainy day is the perfect day to train in the martial arts.

Mar 1, 2013

Is it just me or does Johnny's head look like it is detatched from his body? Also, notice Johnny's jacket, it is not the same one he wore in Karate Kid 1. The original jacket didn't have black trim.

Focus power, make good fight

Daniel, you would have won if they hadn't cheated

Kind of a silly photo with their facial expressions and all.