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Karate is an exercise which requires moving the whole body. People who participate in karate receive an intense workout, benefiting their strength, balance, and cardiovascular systems. This workout makes martial arts a good activity to include in a personal physical fitness and exercise regimen or in an endurance training routine. Karate developed in Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa, Japan. Anko Itosu is considered by many the father of modern karate, although this title is also often given to Gichin Funakoshi who later spread karate throughout Japan.

Itosu did not invent karate himself, he modified the kata he learned from his master, Matsumura, and taught many karate masters. He later wrote “ Ten Precepts of Karate” which is about what karate is. It is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques. Depending on the level of the class and the instructor’s preference, participants may incorporate stretching, stances, punching, blocks and self-defense techniques.

Participants can combine stances, punching and blocking during practice and they can practice with partners which are known as kumite. In Karate, there are different styles of karate in its kata list, for example, Shotokan. Kata is a formalized sequence of movements which represent various offensive and defensive postures. In order to attain a formal rank, participants must demonstrate competent performance of specific required kata for that level.

The different karate moves work carious muscles throughout the body, providing a full body physical fitness workout. Different stances strengthen leg muscles, extending endurance and balance. Besides stances, different kicks works different core leg muscles form hip to thigh to calf, and merely lifting each leg exercises it and helps tone the muscles. In addition to stances and kicks, punches and blocks fulfill a similar function for the arm and side muscles, using the push and pull of muscles against one another, resulting in a tremendous amount of force.

It helps participants to hit a target harder and more accurately. Besides those techniques can strengthen our muscles, stretching before and after each class also tones, lengthens, and prepares the muscles; ensuring participants avoid injuries and receive the most effective workout possible. Besides strengthening and toning muscles, karate helps improve a student’s physical coordination. Balance is also required when executing kicks, to keep the ody upright and to place the kick appropriately and consistently. It takes coordination to throw a punch at a consistent level and location as well as to be able to quickly adjust that level if the target moves. Karate is different from other martial art, for example, Jujitsu. Shotokan Karate emphasize hits with fists, open hand & elbow strikes, low kicks & knee strikes, high kicks and hard blocking. Meanwhile, jujitsu only emphasize on the first three.

Besides that, jujitsu focuses on soft blocking, standing holds & locks, utilizing nerves & pressure points, takedowns using join locks and throws. From a sport standpoint, jujitsu is ground grappling where the object of the game is to obtain a submission using joint locks and chokes; strikes are prohibited. In other words, karate is a striking sport where opponents look to defeat each other with kicks, punches, and certain other hand techniques. In Karate, grappling, chokes, and submissions are not allowed.

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EduPony. (2021) 'Karate'. 28 December.


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