Karate is a term generally used these days to describe most forms of martial arts that involve the physical attributes of punching, kicking, and striking. Traditional karate, which is founded on the principles based on the Japanese martial art system called Budo (Martial Way), differentiates itself from the purely physical description of karate. The Budo principle behind Traditional Karate seeks to develop the full potential of the human body, including the mind and spirit or the potential drive of the individual. This potential however, goes beyond the ability to defend against assailants. It is also the means by which the practitioner seeks to perfect one’s character and fully utilize his or her ability for all endeavors and to overcome the challenges in our daily lives.
Karate, literally translated from the two Chinese characters, kara and te means ‘empty hand,’ which is often defined as using no weapon. But the character for ‘Kara’ or empty has a more profound meaning to express the open mindedness of the student to learn the art. In terms of application, ‘Kara’ reflects the ability to defend with no preconceived thought but to react to the situation at hand. It is through continuous training that a student obtains a level where by he or she is able to control their own body action. As a result, some of the benefits of karate training are conditioning, self-discipline, self-control, coordination, and calmness.
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