Courtesy of JKA Brooklyn.
“The ultimate aim of the art of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participant.” - Gichin Funakoshi, Father of Shotokan Karate
(Precepts of Karate-Do)
- Seek perfection of character.
- Be faithful.
- Respect others.
- Refrain from violent behavior.
What is Do?
“Do” is “the way.” Karate practice allows the participant to develop character and learn to live by following the “Dojo Kun.” It also develops both mental and physical stamina. However, it is very important that the student never gives up, but persists, no matter what the situation may be. Without an earnest effort, without perseverance, the student will never understand the true spirit of Karate.
Karate practice consists of three major types of exercise:
- KIHON (Basics)
The elementary building blocks of Karate are: stance, posture, coordinated body movement and concentration upon the opponent. These provide a sound foundation. If the basics are strong, it is easy to develop more advanced techniques.
- KATA (Forms)
A pre-arranged sequence of techniques and movements simulating combat against multiple imaginary opponents. This specialized method of training is a rational extension of basics, offering situations in which certain attacks and defenses would be applicable. Kata is performed solo or in precision teams, and offers practice in combinations of techniques, focus and release of tension, breathing control, and rhythm. Each level of karate study has its prescribed kata which trains the student - mentally and physically - for the next, more advanced level.
- KUMITE (Sparring)
As with kata, each level of training has its prescribed method of sparring, from the formal five or three-step sparring of the basic level (when the target and attacker/defender are pre-arranged), to free-sparring at the most advanced level (when the participants themselves act/react spontaneously with attacks/blocks, using timing, distance and strategy). But always, the attack is arrested just before body contact is made - which requires extreme body control and self-discipline.
A uniform is not required for beginners, who may practice in loose-fitting, body concealing clothes (e.g.: sweat suits).
- Students should be on time.
- Uniforms/clothing must be clean and in good repair.
- Feet must be clean, and toenails and finernails should be kept short.
- No jewelery (rings, earrings, bracelets or necklaces) may be worn.