The karate is a martial art developed on Japan, which is now practiced on exhibition events, on sport competitions , on combat tournements, or just as self-defense training and it places emphasis on the integral self-development of the practicioner.
Karate word if formed by two Japanese words kara which means “empty”, te which means “hand” and it literally meaning “empty hand”, but recently the addition of dō, which is a suffix having numerous meanings including road, path, route, and way; then karatedo word meaning is “The Way of the Empty Hand”.
The origins are somewhat obscure. The most popular tradition traces them to the Ryukyu Islands, actually know as Okinawa, where It developed from the indigenous martial arts of unarmed combat used for personal defense which was influence by Chinese martial arts, particularly from Fujian White Crane, which were introduced to Japan in either the XV or XVI century.
Early styles of martial arts are often generalized as Shuri-te, Naha-te, and Tomari-te, named after the three cities from which they emerged and each area and its teachers had particular kata, techniques, and principles that distinguished their local version of te from the others.
Karate was brought from Ryukyu Islands to the Japanese mainland in the early XX century and Gichin Funakoshi the founder of Shotokan style, is generally credited with having introduced and popularized it on the main islands of Japan.
The modernization and systemization of martial arts in Japan also included the adoption of the white uniform that consisted of the kimono and the dogi or keikogi, mostly called just karategi and colored belt ranks.
A new form called Kyokushin and which is commonly known as “full contact karate”, or “Knockdown karate”, was formally founded in 1957 by Masutatsu Oyama and it teaches a curriculum that emphasizes aliveness, physical toughness, and full contact sparring.
Sport karate places emphasis on exercise and competition and weapons are an important training activity in some styles and training is commonly divided into kihon (basics techniques or fundamentals), kata (forms and movements routines), and kumite (sparring combat).
The World Karate Federation recognizes the following styles of karate in its kata list and many additional styles are descended from, or heavily influenced by, one or more of these styles:
The colored belt grading are like stepping stones on the path to a student’s goal of Black belt. A grading represents that a student has reached a competent level with their current techniques and are ready to move on to learn and develop more advanced techniques and skill-sets.
- White Belt (new students)
- Yellow Belt (8th Kyu)
- Orange Belt (7th Kyu)
- Green Belt (6th Kyu)
- Red Belt (5th Kyu)
- Brown Belt (3rd Kyu)
- Brown Belt (2nd Kyu)
- Brown Belt (1st Kyu)
- Black Belt (Shodan Ho)
- Black Belt (1st Dan)
- Black Belt (2nd Dan)
- Black Belt (3rd Dan)