Karate is a martial art which was developed in the southern island of Okinawa, Japan. The art was in Okinawa prior to be exported to Japan and was called ‘Te’ (hand, technique) or ‘To-dei’ (To=Tang=China, dei=te=hand, technique). The kanji for ‘Kara’ can be read as Chinese or empty, in Okinawa all things Chinese were considered good, stylish and classical and forms of unarmed combat were considered with the same reference. After the Chinese/Japanese war the Chinese roots of the arts fell out of favour and to make the art more palatable for the Japanese the Chinese influences were not promoted. In 1928 Funakoshi Gichin changed the translation of ‘Kara’ from ‘Chinese’ to ‘Empty’, influenced by the idea of the art being empty handed and to some degree from the emptiness in Zen-buddhism.
Root of Karate
Karate can be trained for various purposes by various kind of people, young or old, men or women;
- Karate as physical fitness exercise – in Karate, all parts of the human body are involved, originally in order to win a combat (symbolically). To move all parts of your body is basic for physical fitness exercise.
- Karate as self-defence – Movements in Karate are based on techniques in combat. Therefore, you are automatically training self-defence when you are training Karate.
- Karate as sport – Competition is one way promote our activities. In Karate there are competitions in both Kumite (fighting) and Kata (form). Everybody can enjoy this part of Karate.
- Karate as ‘do’ (A Way of Life) – By training Karate we try to gain not only physical health, but also mental development. It is a final purpose for all of us in the world to reach a stage of happy living. We have chosen Karate as our method to achieve this. Karate should be trained in order to gain both physical health and satisfaction of life. May I again recommend you to read a book: ‘Introduction to Budo’ (originally in Japanese by Nakabayashi Shinji, translated to Swedish by Shingo Ohgami).
- Karate for everybody – If you train correctly, Karate is good for everyone, young or old, men or women, and even for disabled people.
Definition of etiquette from the dictionary:
- The customs or rules of behaviour regarded as correct in social life
- A conventional code of practice in certain professions (or sports)
I would say etiquette is respect – good manners – good behaviour but not just each of these things. It is all of these things rolled into one.
- Always bow on entering or exiting the dojo
- All Shodans and Nidans should be called Sempei
- All Sandans and above must be called Sensei
- Your instructor must be called Sensei, regardless of grade
- If you arrive late, first do your salutation, then ask to join the session
- If you need to leave early, first ask to leave the session then move to the side of the dojo and do your salutation
|Naore||Nor - ray||Stand in Musubi Dachi|
|Seiza||See - Zar||Kneel down|
|Sensei Ni Rei||Sense - ini - ray||Bow to your instructor|
|Otoga Ni Rei||Ortog - any - ray||Bow to your fellow students|
|Sempei Ni Rei||Sempar - Ni - Ray||Bow to Dan grades present|
|Kiritsu||Kur - its||Stand up|
These two books are I consider the Bibles of Wado-ryu. I continually refer to them if a student asks a question I cannot answer straight away. The answer is usually in the Bibles. Derby Karate Club no longer produce booklets containing the syllabus. However there are training cards that will help with individual grading requirements.
Karate Katas Of Wado Ryu, Shingo Ohgami
“Karate Katas Of Wado Ryu is the first book in the English language explaining the details of these nine katas. The author, Shingo Ohgami, who has been teaching karate in Sweden since 1969, explains the significance and theoretical background of each movement in Wado Ryu katas based on his knowledge of physical dynamics, from a scientific point of view.”
This book deals with the technicalities of the basic 9 Wado Ryu katas (Pinans Nidan, Shodan, Sandan, Yodan & Godan; Kushanku; NaiHanchi; Seishan and Chinto). This is not the only book on the Wado Ryu Katas, there are others but few cover the katas as well as this one. There are many pictures that take you through each of the Katas. The text explains the moves, the principles behind the moves and the reasons for the Katas. The application information in this book has now been superseded with more self defence applications rather than sport Karate interpretations shown in the book.
Introduction To Karate, Shingo Ohgami
“Introduction To Karate presents the art of karate in a comprehensive manner from warming up exercises, stretching, basic techniques to combinations and fighting techniques. Introduction To Karate gives a thorough analysis of Karate techniques from a scientific and theoretical point of view. Introduction To Karate can be used by all, beginner to black belt. Introduction To Karate explains and answers the doubts and questions, the whys and hows of Karate. Introduction To Karate contains nearly 1,000 photos and illustrations. Introduction To Karate is written by Shingo Ohgami who has been teaching karate for decades. He uses his experience as a research worker in chemistry to analyze the fundamentals of Karate. Sensei has recently passed away.
Like many books on the market it explains exercises, techniques and Karate movements with photographs and text. The unusual thing about this book is that it is solely based on Wado Ryu, using Wado Ryu techniques and terminology.
Sensei has a small library of books and DVDs that are loaned out to students that may benefit from further study of the roots of Karate or its technical aspects.
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