A form of martial art which originated in the Ruyuku islands (today's Okinawa, Japan), developed from two different self defense techniques called 'Chinese Kenpo' and 'Te'. Basically a striking art, karate involves kicking, punching, elbow strikes, and knee strikes. Karate has however, more depth to it than merely practicing a few techniques (basic and advanced). This form of martial art is also aimed at developing the attitude, or more appropriately for spiritual development. The word, 'kihon' is used to denote the basic techniques or fundamentals of karate.
This move is used for protection against attackers. One has to perform blocks very quickly and strongly. The blocks can be mainly classified as open-handed and close handed ones. There is the hooking block (Hiki Uke) and middle-side block (Chuden Shoton Yoko Uke). There is a double-handed version of the hooking block known as 'Toraguchi'. Close-handed blocks are classified as upper (Age Uke, Jodan Uke, etc.), middle (Chudan Uke), and lower blocks (Gedan Barai, Gedan Uchi Barai, etc.). Wrist blocks are also the forms of defense used in this technique. The different forms of wrist blocks include the upper wrist block (Jodan Ko-Uke), side-block (Chuden Ko-Uke), and downwards block (Shotei Uke).
The clenched fist strike is an important form with the fingers held together tightly; an angle of 90° should be formed between the knuckles and front part of the fist. The strike should be performed in a straight line to make it effective. Striking at pressure points helps in attaining the maximum effect and desired result. Elbow strikes are also considered to be important in karate. Different forms of elbow strikes are as follows: Strike Straight Up, Strike Straight Down, High Rear Strike, Back Strike, Rake Strike and Circular Strike. Palm strikes along with clenched fist strikes are commonly used in karate. The solar plexus, groin, nose, and head are attacked by using palm strikes. The 2 forms of palm heel strikes are the Shotei Uchi and Jodan Shotei Uchi.
Kicks are also important, along with strikes and blocks. The important forms of kicks are front (Mae Geri), groin (Kin Geri), and knee kick (Hiza Geri). Kicks are practiced using a heavy bag. The tool is helpful in developing powerful kicks. Some of the other forms of kicks are Side Kick (Yoko Geri), Middle Level Roundhouse Kick (Chudan Mawashi Geri), High Roundhouse Kick (Jodan Mawashi Geri), Back Kick (Ushiro Geri), and Stomping Knee Joint Kick (Kasetu Kick).
The 'kata' (shape/model) is a complex set of moves arranged in a particular sequence. These sets of moves represent postures which could be offensive or defensive. Some of the features of katas are low and wide stance, vigorous movements of the arms, and a set of complex moves. The number of moves in a particular kata could vary, depending on the complexity.
Karate is a vast discipline which requires many different moves to be learned. Training under a professional instructor is must, in order to master this martial art form.