The Scope of Japanese Martial Arts Is Enormous

By: Brue Baker

The scope of Japanese martial arts goes back thousands of years. Some forms of Japanese martial arts are Kendo, Judo, Jujutsu, Sumo, Kenjutsu and Karate to name just a few. However, there are many different forms of this ancient art that can be practiced.

It is thought that the reason that the Japanese are so skilled in martial arts and the weapons associated with it is because when you compare Japan with the rest of the world, their war tools evolved and changed at a much slower rate. This is believed to have given the warrior class more opportunity for studying their weapons in greater depth than many other cultures.

In more recent times there has become increased specialization and martial arts in Japan has taken on the trappings of budo. Budo can be translated loosely to a higher purpose than just mastering arms. Japanese martial arts are quite diverse and there are much differences in techniques, styles, philosophy and tools of training.

What About Karate?

One of the most recognizable forms of Japanese martial arts is karate. The word karate means "empty hand." It is not defined in the strict sense as on of the Japanese martial arts because it is a fusion of a martial arts of Okinawa and Chinese martial arts. Rather it is often referred to as a martial arts form that was adopted and refined by the Japanese.

The practice of this Japanese martial art is characterized by kicking techniques executed from a fixed and stable stance and linear punching. Practitioners of this type of Japanese martial arts may use weapons developed from farm tools that were once used by the peasants of Okinawa. Practitioners of karate also practice a lighter form of the martial art and have many no-contact competitions.

Some philosophies and principals associated with this form of Japanese martial arts are courtesy. You are to begin and end karate with it. It is also thought that an offensive attitude has no place in karate.

Those who practice karate are urged to know themselves first in order that they may know others. In order to be successful in this form of Japanese martial art you must let your mind go free and you should confront all problems with the Karate spirit. This is why karate, if taught properly, can be great for kids because they are able to learn mental relaxation, discipline, and self-defense all within one art form.

The philosophy of karate includes the thought that karate training doesn't stop in the dojo and that the practice of this Japanese martial art is a lifelong training. A good karate instructor should have trained for years and should have actually gone to Japan to study or be tested.

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