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Practice Makes Perfect When Learning The Kata And The History Of Karate

By Dustin Fennell

The Ryukyu kingdom was the birthplace of karate. This brand of martial is a baby compared to some. Yet the strength of this practice is the assimilation of different cultures that mold and grow the martial art and the history of karate. Beginning on the island now named Okinawa, this art was local moves with Chinese kenpo flair added in.

Karate is a made up of strike movements. The punching, kicking, knee strikes are very effective and powerful. The karate chop is an open hand strike quick and to the pressure points. A person who practices this art is given the name of karateka.

On the island three separate towns developed their own style of karate. The teachers and kata that were taught in these places were specific to the teachers in the region.

The practice of karate includes the set movements and structure known as kata. These movements can be used in defense or in offense. The practice of the kata is done with much repetition. Making the structured placements help to clear the mind and bring the thoughts to purity and spiritually to bring one to a place of humility.

In the Ryukyu kingdom the upper class used to go to China to study academically and also learned the art of Chinese martial arts. When they returned home what they learned was incorporated into their own martial arts practice and the two gelled together.

The Chinese also visited and lived on the island of Okinawa. Like cultural ambassadors they brought their art, song, academics and martial art practice to the karate of the island. This exchange grew art and it became a new and exciting part of two cultures.

One of the foremost teachers, Gichin Funakoshi was asked to come to Japan during the twenties so that he could teach them the art of karate. The Japanese were excited and wanted to bring a martial art to the military and karate seemed a perfect fit. With the advent of this practice many new places began teaching the karate and it spread across Japan.

The art of karate was quickly learning how to add adaptations to the strength and power of this martial art. The dojo was an all white kimono that was worn while you participated in the practice. To identify the different levels of the martial art they brought color to the dan or belts.

When the Second World War ended the Americans set up a base on Okinowa. While there the soldiers learned the art of karate. With the emergence of the martial arts movies that were booming in the sixties and seventies many individuals ran to begin doing karate. This boom in the film industry meant that many countries began to practice this martial art.

Performing the art of karate is more than just physical. The practice is to use dedication to the practice and a lack of fear to perfect the kata necessary at the heart of karate. Being a leader is to be an example to others in your practice. It is not simply the physical but the spiritual that flourishes in this art.

The history of karate is long, varied, and like most things peppered with other cultures. Yet the concepts are as all martial arts a good and strong basis for a life.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Fennell, Dustin "Practice Makes Perfect When Learning The Kata And The History Of Karate." Practice Makes Perfect When Learning The Kata And The History Of Karate. 6 Jul. 2010. 18 Nov 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Fennell, D (2010, July 6). Practice Makes Perfect When Learning The Kata And The History Of Karate. Retrieved November 18, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Fennell, Dustin "Practice Makes Perfect When Learning The Kata And The History Of Karate"

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