Posted by Let's Talk About ... | Posted on 12-10-2011 | comments: 0| Posted in
With the films involving scenes with East Asian martial arts in the 60s and 70s, many Chinese and Japanese fighting systems emerged extremely popular in the West. Cinema and television depict the Japanese Karate as a way of fighting capable of causing death or injury with a single blow.
Just like Kung fu originated in China and Thailand is the home of Thai-boxing, we call Japan the cradle of Karate. Basically, Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu islands in what is now Okinawa. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods and Chinese kenpo. The main methods of this striking art are punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Many Karate styles include grappling, locks, restraints, throws, and vital strikes.
Karate was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom prior to its 19th-century annexation by Japan. It was brought to the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century. By 1932, major Japanese universities had karate clubs. After World War II, Okinawa became an important United States military site and karate became popular among servicemen stationed there.
The martial arts films of the 1960s and 1970s served to greatly increase its popularity and the word karate began to be used in a generic way to refer to all striking-based Asian martial arts. Karate schools began appearing across the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the art.
For many practitioners, karate is a deeply philosophical practice teaching ethical principles and can have spiritual significance to its adherents. The Karate master Shoshin Nagamine said: “Karate may be considered as the conflict within oneself or as a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training and one’s own creative efforts.”
Despite the strong international call, Karate did not receive the necessary two thirds majority vote in the 117th International Olympic committee voting to become an Olympic sport.