Best Resources for Karate

Potomac Kempo Kingstowne

Bill Taylor’s Bushido School of Karate

Kriegisch Martial Arts

National Karate MMA

Championship Martial Arts

Master Chang’s Martial Arts

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Karate is a fighting style that seeks the development of defensive and counter attacking body movements. It improves mental strength, develops moral character, improves self-confidence, tones the body, develops coordination, quickens reflexes, and builds stamina. There is a range of Karate styles practised worldwide: Shotokan, Goju-ryu, Shito-ryu, Wado-ryu, American Okinawa-Te, American Karate System, Tang soo do, and Para-karate. Karate techniques are divided into Kihon (drilling of stances, blocks, punches, strikes and kicks); Kata (pre-arranged forms simulating combat situations), and Kumite (sparring i.e. the application of techniques practiced in Kihon & Kata). It also involves the use of knee and elbow strikes, throws, joint locks and grappling, and various other striking techniques. The objective is to defeat an opponent by utilising these techniques. Fighters need to have a high level of skill, experience, speed, endurance and dexterity to compete. The competitors are classified according to their weight and sometimes age (in the case of junior competitors). The uniform worn is a traditional Karate suit known as a gi, where one contestant wears a red belt and the other a blue belt to help distinguish them. Other gear used include gum shield, body protection (and extra chest protection for females), shin pads, foot protectors, and groin guards. To win a Karate match, fighters score points by hitting the opponent's head, face, neck, chest, abdomen, side and back. Scores are also awarded when the technique is performed with good form, vigorous application, good timing, accurate distance, awareness, sporting attitude. Three types of scores are Ippon (three points) for A jodan kick (kick to upper level); Waza-ari (two points) for Chudan (mid level) kicks; and Yuko (one point) for Chudan, Jodan Tsuki, Jodan, or Chudan Uchi (mid and upper level punches).