Karate is said
to be from JAPAN
but it has only been practiced there since the 1920's. What the Japanese
did was to systematise and modify, for their own purposes, the original
skills and methods taught to them by the OKINAWANS (natives of an
island near Japan, now part of Japan) who had apparently developed
three different streams of Karate by the early 1900's.
themselves borrowed a lot from the CHINESE, particularly from the
south of China.
are said to have been taught self defence around 600 AD by a Zen Buddhist
monk from INDIA, the Bodidharma.
is fairly new but has roots going back thousands of years.
All these roots are part of the tradition of "Traditional Karate"
be used in many ways but traditionally is a system of self defence
based on using many parts of the body to avoid or block an attack
or grab, to escape from being grabbed or in the worst case, having
the mental and physical toughness to defend oneself even after being
hit. The follow-ups, if necessary, are basically used to ensure an
attacker is no longer a threat. Generally this is done with various
tools of impact or restraint.
to be emphasized that the ethical Karate approach which we stress
is to avoid or walk away from trouble as soon as it is safely possible
to do so and to use the minimum force necessary to protect ourselves.
The best and highest form of self defence in Karate is to protect
ourselves with our mind, and without any physical exchange taking
place. This is a skill which is also valuable in our everyday lives.
Karate practitioners may use techniques which include strikes, seizes, blocks,
grappling, throws, sweeps, take downs, joint locks, restraints, immobilisations
and strangles. •