The Origins of Karate
Whilst the roots of Karate stretch back as far as 2000 B.C., present day students will probably be most interested in the development of the Art during this century. It is said that in the early 1900’s Karate was introduced into mainland Japan from the island of Okinawa by Gishin Funikowshi. From Japan the art of Karate has spread throughout the world until it has become one of the world’s great sports.
What is Karate?
Karate as a Martial Art combines smooth, flowing, evasive movements with sudden hand strikes. In Karate the emphasis is on power. With its vast range of kicks, hand strikes and escape techniques Karate covers a broad spectrum of self defence and, as such, has an obvious attraction for men, women and children of all ages.
Why Practice Karate?
Some of the benefits that can be derived from the regular practice of Karate, by people of all ages, regardless of sex, are:-
a) The promotion of physical fitness
b) A deeper mental awareness and self control
c) A practical method of self defence
d) A sense of respect towards, and an understanding of oneself and others
e) A strong social aspect where many friendships can be made.
Many different styles of Karate are practised throughout the world. The style practised by this Club and Association is Contact Karate, which we believe to be the most effective of all styles available. In Contact Karate the student is able to participate in realistic combat , without the fear of injury, since full safety equipment is used during sparring. Contact Karate probably employs more kicking techniques than any other Martial Art. For free sparring the development of snap power in both kicking and punching is important, although naturally many other more powerful kicking and punching techniques are used. Release holds – throws – and sweeps – are other important aspects of Contact Karate training.
The instructors teaching in an ECKA club are all Black Belts and are the finest available. They are, without exception, professional, highly trained and have all had many years experience in the Martial Arts. Amongst them are to be found World, European and British Champions! Consequently when you enrol at an ECKA club you can be sure of first class instruction.
Proficiency – How Long?
Most people take up Karate for self defence purposes. We recognise this and teach practical self defence from the first lesson. Even people who think that they can defend themselves usually cannot! The majority of law abiding citizens would not be able to deal with a potential violent situation, so what chance would they have against the mugger, the rapist or even a football hooligan? It is difficult to put a time factor on how long proficiency takes as everyone has a different potential to learn. We have found from past experience that after six months or so training most students are well on their way to achieving a good sound knowledge of self defence.
How Much Time Per Week?
One class per week is ample as a beginner, other classes are available for those who wish to practice more often.
What Do I Wear?
There are 3 suits available, beginers, intermediate and advanced. You can obtain these from your club instructor.
How Fit Do I Have To Be?
The majority of new students of all ages and of both sexes are unfit. The instructor recognises this and will treat you as such.
Is Karate Suitable For Children?
Karate is one of the best recreational pursuits that a child can practice. With the high degree of discipline in the class, the child will learn to accept responsibilities, become more aware and self confident without being bigheaded. Add this to the fitness and self defence benefits and you can see why so many parents enrol their children into Karate classes. We usually take children in classes from the age of 7 years upwards.
Is Karate Suitable For Women?
Without exception, yes! Most women today are well aware of the need to look after themselves. Karate is unique in helping to make one aware of oneself. Karate is high on aerobic fitness so one can achieve good body tone as well as learning to defend oneself. Karate has many benefits, as more and more women are finding out.
Will I Have To Break Wood?
In our system we do not emphasis on wood and brick breaking. We concentrate on practical self defence.
Will I Have to Enter Competitions?
Very few students want to enter competitions, but if any do they are free to do so.
How Do I Get Started In Karate?
The club secretary will give you an application form to fill out and will advise you about the costs, the club training nights and class times, etc. If you have any further questions the secretary will help. As regards to technical questions it is best to ask the instructor.