What is Traditional Karate?

Karate HistoryTraditional Karate evolved in Japan in the early 18th Century as an art of self-defense.  The art of self-defense is called Budo in Japan and is regarded as a martial art.  Through training programs, the student of  Traditional Karate not only learns physical and mental skills and self-control but also learns to understand the physical and mental condition of any opponent and thereby is able to avoid fighting, the ultimate goal of karate.  Only by avoiding fighting, can one truly win.

In the beginning, karate developed as a weaponless form of self-defense which utilized the total body power most effectively.  First, the special skills were highly developed, followed by technical organization and then the formation of karate as a martial art.

The physical and mental benefits of this art form have been recognized worldwide.  The underlying principle is that through physical training a student learns that the emotions control the physical body.  Karate is mastering the body but also the mind and emotions as well.  It creates self-confidence in one’s ability to stop an opponent with a single finishing blow (Todome).  The development of such confidence leads to stable emotions which eliminate negative emotions which again benefits both the physical and mental health of the student.

Karate HistoryIn the late 1950’s, karate was introduced to the general public and became very popular worldwide.  In the late 1960’s, karate competitions began.  However, as Traditional Karate Traditional Karate became ever more popular, several “new” karate sports appeared that used common kicking and punching actions.

While Traditional Karate required the high technical level of the “finishing blow”, the newer karate sports were concerned with merely common kicking and punching actions to score.  There was a great difference between Traditional Karate and the new karate.

As a result, two different karates were distinguished by the general public: Original karate called Traditional Karate, and the new karate.

By the end of 1990, Traditional Karate participants number over 1,500,000 worldwide, and the number continues to grow.