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Martial Arts :: Karate

Jackie Chan and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles know karate so why shouldn't you? Kidzworld takes a look at karate.


Karate comes from the Japanese words "kara" and "te" meaning "open hand." It is a form of martial arts that uses punches, kicks and deflection techniques. The origins of karate can be traced back thousands of years ago to the island of Okinawa in Japan. Because weapons were banned in Okinawa for many years, Okinawans developed strong hand-fighting techniques as a way to defend themselves without using traditional weapons. Karate was further developed by the influence of other forms of martial arts, which were brought to Okinawa by nobles and traders from other parts of Asia.

Levels and Gear

Karetkas (people who practice karate) wear an outfit called a "gi" - a white pair of loose-fitting pants and a jacket cinched close with a belt. The color of a kareteka's belt indicates their skill level, or kyu. A white belt is for those karetkas who are just starting out, a black belt is for those with very high karate skills. Colors vary depending on where you take your karate classes but at most schools, a red belt is awarded to karetekas of the highest "dan". Although, it is very rare for someone to be awarded a red belt.

Getting Started

Karate is about more than just breaking boards or being able to defend yourself. It's a martial art that can help you strenghten yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. It's also a great way to reduce stress and build self confidence. If you'd like to get started in karate, most areas of the US have private karate schools and you can also look into karate programs at your local community center.

Fun Facts

  • As recently as a hundred years ago, it was common practice for karatekas to intentionally break one or both of their middle fingers early on in their karate training. This increased the size of the middle knuckle, making it a more effective punching weapon. Ouch!
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Best Reason To Learn Karate?

  • So I can smash boards with my fist.
  • Self-defence.
  • Physical fitness.
  • Mental concentration.

Sports In The Forums

Deathwish27 posted in Basketball:
Kobe is a LEGEND.....                     LeBron is a soon to be legend 
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Deathwish27 posted in Basketball:
Kobe is a LEGEND.....                     LeBron is a soon to be legend 
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yes trying out for it
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Lolly20 posted in Cheerleading:
yes it is  :)
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"FBGirl" wrote:I like cheerleading, but definitely NOT a sport! Sports are physical activity with competition and GEAR. The closest thing cheerleaders have to gear are pom-poms. And, yeah. Boys CAN cheerlead, but chances are they will be made fun of(not by me). Cheerleaders do A LOT of physical cheers and stunts, and we use ourselves instead of gear. A lot and most people underestimate cheerleaders for just some girls with poms and uniforms going "go team! yay!" because they have seen that in movies and tv. look up some cheer comp videos and still only some people with change their view of cheerleaders as girls on the sidelines doing uncreative cheers and stupid words to match. I hope this helped you understand a little bit more about cheerleading and cheerleaders. Peace Out!
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