It is generally accepted that karate is translated as ‘empty hand’ in Japanese, which is an appropriate name, since it involves using a variety of weaponless techniques such as kicking and punching to defend against an attacker. Okinawa is believed to be the birthplace of karate, with several different forms of the martial art coming from the island. Gichin Funakoshi was one of the most famous students of the Okinawan masters and he developed his own form of karate which he called Shotokan.
Karate as Self Defense Weapon
As there are so many different ‘forms’ of karate, it is easy for schools to offer a ‘watered down’ version, which is nowhere near as effective as the genuine article. Most of these classes focus on the basics and this is perfectly okay, but even their ‘advanced’ classes are nothing of the sort. The best karate schools teach students techniques that they will seldom find anywhere else. These schools transform karate from ceremonial art into a form of self defense that can give you a huge advantage in a real world fighting situation.
Why Karate Is Effective
One of the key elements of effective karate instruction is to place emphasis on deflecting attacks. We’re assuming that few readers of this article have ever been attacked with a knife or a fist, but know that almost all punches or knife thrusts come straight at you rather than in an arc. If someone throws a wild haymaker, it is easy to defend against, even without karate instruction!
The beauty of karate is that it can be applied when someone attacks in the traditional straight line. As they strike, you can step to the side and strike the attacker’s arm with one hand and his exposed stomach with the other hand. The vast majority of attackers on the street will have no answer to your quick and effective reprisal. You can conclude matters by kneeing him in the groin or even his quadriceps. He will collapse in a heap and the threat will be neutralized.
Most attackers will expect you to aim punches to the head so when he throws a punch with his right-hand, block with your left (or block with your right if he throws a left), and use your free hand to aim a devastating blow to his midsection. A firm blow to the solar plexus will end an attack as surely as a groin shot.
Assuming the attacker charges at you, hit him with a fast front kick with the ball of your foot smashing into his stomach. This will force him backwards and cause considerable pain. In this instance, a kick to the groin is less effective, as he will continue lunging into you despite the intense pain.
Karate is one of the best martial arts to learn because of its effectiveness in a genuine combat situation, where the rules of decorum don’t exist. While it is also fun to learn, its effectiveness can be the difference between walking home in one piece and getting severely injured by the unpredictable violence of a thug.
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My name is Richard and I enjoy writing about karate-related topics, such as finding better ways to train, why you should take part a Chandler karate class and enrolling in a kickboxing class to lose weight.