Karate - Goju Ryu, Shorin Ryu, Uechi Ryu, Shorei Ryu
Probably one of the most well–known and easily accessible martial arts, Karate translates as ‘empty hand' and it uses punching and kicking movements as opposed to weapons to overpower an opponent. It is an ideal sport for most ages and abilities as the fitness benefits alone are incredible, but in addition to this, it provides a good sense of spirit between those attending regularly and this is an added bonus. Children can find Karate particularly appealing and because there will be clubs close by, it means they can easily attend regular sessions and use up their vast amounts of energy constructively. It can also offer a great deal of discipline for them as well as a way of boosting their confidence levels and teaching them self -control.
It is worth going to visit a few clubs before making a decision whether to join. Most instructors are happy for interested people to come along and watch and will have a chat either before or after the session and explain the procedures and levels of training expected. This does provide a good opportunity to be sure which style is the most appropriate and which club you would feel happiest attending.
Karate originated from Japan, and there were four original types of Karate: Goju Ryu, Shorin Ryu, Uechi Ryu and Shorei Ryu, there are now many different types of styles to choose from but all of them can be traced back to one of these original four styles.
In Karate, the legs and arms are used as both weapons and shields and the training for students are divided into three separate sections:
Kihon - this is training without a partner
Kata - this is a set of defensive and offensive movements which are practised together in a set
Kumite - are sparring sessions and there are different levels of difficulty.
Martial arts do without doubt offer one of the most extensive training programs and general health and fitness soon becomes greatly improved. In today's modern society, there are many opportunities to extend the practical aspect of karate whilst performing under pressure and this is achieved by taking part in various tournaments. This is not compulsory but some Instructors will see it as a great opportunity for students to represent the club and it certainly opens up new challenges.
Tournaments vary in that some will only have Karate students taking part whilst other tournaments are opened up to all styles and this means that martial artists of all levels of progression can enjoy the challenge of competing against various other styles. It is worthwhile taking part or at the very least, going along to support team mates as the atmosphere at these venues is incredible.