Karate (Japanese: "empty
hand"), unarmed-combat system employing kicking, striking, and defensive blocking with arms and legs. Emphasis is on concentration
of as much of the body's power as possible at the point and instant of impact. Striking surfaces include the hands (particularly
the knuckles and the outer edge), the ball of the foot, heel, forearm, knee, and elbow. All are toughened by practice blows
against padded surfaces or wood. Pine boards up to several inches in thickness can be broken by the bare hand or foot of an
expert. Timing, tactics, and spirit, however, are each considered at least as important as physical toughening. In sporting
karate and sparring (kumite) in training, blows and kicks are stopped short, preferably within an inch of contact. Sporting
matches commonly last only three minutes, to a decision, if neither contestant has scored a clean "killing" point in the estimation
of the judges. Contests of form (kata) are also held, in which single competitors perform predetermined series of movements
simulating defense and counterattack against several opponents. Performances are scored by a panel of judges, as in gymnastics.
Karate evolved in the Orient over a period of centuries, becoming systematized in Okinawa in the 17th century, probably by
people forbidden to carry weapons. It was imported into Japan in the 1920s. Several schools and systems developed, each favouring
somewhat different techniques and training methods. Karate, like other Oriental fighting disciplines, stresses mental attitude,
rituals of courtesy, costumes, and a complex ranking system (by colour of belt). There is some overlapping of technique with
other fighting styles.
Aikido (Japanese: "way of spiritual harmony"), (originally
derived from the Japanese soft style techniques termed jujutsu/jujitsu) self-defense system that utilizes twisting and throwing
techniques and in its aim of turning an attacker's strength and momentum against himself. Pressure on vital nerve centres
is also used. Aikido was developed to subdue, rather than maim or kill as in Karate, but many of its movements can nevertheless
be deadly. Aikido especially emphasizes the importance of achieving complete mental calm and control of one's own body to
master an opponent's attack. As in other Jjapanese martial arts, the development of courtesy and respect is an integral part
of Aikido training. The basic skills of aikido come originated in Japan in about the 14th century. In the early 20th century
they were systematized in their modern form through the work of the Japanese DaiToRyu Yawara( AiKi JuJitsu) expert Morei Ueshiba.
There are no offensive moves in aikido. As taught by Ueshiba, it was so purely defensive an art that no direct contest between
practitioners was possible. In 1969 the founder morei Ueshiba passed away. And so the 2nd generation "doshu" became Kissomaru
Ueshiba (son of Morei Ueshiba) (1969 -1997). From 1997 to present time the 3rd doshu has been Moriteru Ueshiba. In present
time hundreds of schools and organizations has broken away from the original teachings.
Jujutsu / Jujitsu
Jujutsu was never a martial art! It is originally
a term for the soft skill techniques. It was not until the Japanese traditional arts came to the Americas that Jujutsu/Jujitsu
became a martial art's name as in for instance "Brazilian Jujitsu". Before there where no Jujutsu/Jujitsu schools in Japan.
Japanese KENDO ("way
of the sword"), traditional Japanese style of fencing with a two-handed wooden sword, derived from the fighting methods of
the ancient samurai (warrior class). The unification of Japan about 1600 removed most opportunities for actual sword combat,
so the samurai turned swordsmanship into a means of cultivating discipline, patience, and skill for building character. In
the 18th century, practice armour and the shinai, a sword made of bamboo, were introduced to allow realistic fencing without
risk of injury. The study of what came to be known as kendo was even compulsory in Japanese schools from time to time. An
All-Japan Kendo Federation was formed following the end of the occupation in 1952, and an International Kendo Federation was
founded in 1970. Kendo matches take place in an area 9 to 11 m (about 30 to 36 feet) square. Contestants wear the traditional
uwagi (jacket), hakama (long divided skirt), do (chest protector), tare (waist protector), men (mask), and kote (padded gloves).
The shinai varies from 43 to 46 inches (110 to 118 cm) in length and is made of four lengths of seasoned bamboo bound by waxed
cord. All blows use the "cutting" edge of the shinai, though this is not sharp. The shinai is usually held with both hands.
Points are awarded for blows delivered upon the left side, right side, or top of the head; the right or left wrist; the right
or left side of the trunk; and for a thrust to the throat. These are the only scoring areas. The name of the point struck
must be called out simultaneously by the attacker with his blow and is verified by judges. A contest is won by the first combatant
who scores two points. Kendo is widely practiced among students (required in high schools), police, and military groups in
Japan and to a lesser extent in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Brazil.
Japanese JUDO (from Chinese:
"gentle way"), system of unarmed combat, now primarily a sport, was, as Aikido, derived from the Japanese soft style techniques
termed Jujutsu/Jujitsu. Sporting judo rules are complex; the objective is to throw the opponent cleanly, or pin him, or master
him by applying pressure to arm joints or to the neck. Techniques are generally intended to turn an opponent's force to one's
own advantage rather than to oppose it directly. A ritual of courtesy in practice is intended to promote an attitude of calm
readiness and confidence. The usual costume, known as judogi, is a loose jacket and trousers of strong white cloth. White
belts are worn by novices and black by masters, with intermediate grades denoted by other colours. Kano Jigoro (1860-1938)
collected the knowledge of the old jujitsu schools of the Japanese samurai and in 1882 founded his Kodokan School of judo,
the beginning of the sport in its modern form. By the 1960s judo associations had been established in most countries and affiliated
to the International Judo Federation with headquarters in Paris. Judo was included in Olympic Games competition for the first
time at Tokyo in 1964 and held regularly from 1972. World judo championships for women began in 1980. Women's Olympic competition
began in 1992.
Kung Fu (Chinese: Originally
meaning "Hard Work" now generic term for especially non-mainland China martial art types), a martial art, both a form of exercise
with a spiritual dimension stemming from concentration and self-discipline and a primarily unarmed mode of personal combat
often equated with Karate or Tae Kwon Do. As martial art, kung fu can be traced to the Chou dynasty (1111-255 BC) and even
earlier. As exercise it was practiced by the Taoists in the 5th century BC. Its prescribed stances and actions are based on
keen observations of human skeletal and muscular anatomy and physiology, and it employs great muscular coordination. The various
movements in kung fu, most of which are imitations of the fighting styles of animals, are initiated from one of five basic
foot positions: normal upright posture and the four stances called dragon, frog, horse riding, and snake. There are hundreds
of styles of kung fu, and armed as well as unarmed techniques have been developed. Kung fu performed as exercise resembles
T'ai Chi ch'uan
Wu Shu (Chinese: "Martial
Skills") is a term used for the hundreds of martial art/sport styles of Mainland China ranging from Chin Na to the multiple
styles of the Shao Lin.
Hwa Rang DoŽ
Hwarang DoŽ - The Way of the Flowering Knight -
is a Korean martial art with roots more that 1800 years back in history. The martial skills we today know as Hwa Rang DoŽ
was originally practiced by Korean elite troops, whose armed and unarmed techniques made them feared and admired all over
Asia. Hwa Rang DoŽ has since been preserved from generation to generation of especially chosen Buddhist monks (then under
the name of Um-Yang Kwon, which is no longer in use!) and has spread across the world during the last 35 years. The Hwarang
warriors had much in common with the later Japanese samurai. Both classes consisted of professional, noble warriors who prefectioned
their martial art to the outmost. Both classes was also subject to moral and ethical norms which limited the use of their
knowledge and abilities. Hwa Rang DoŽ (or Um-Yang Kwon) was created as a military system, designed for the battlefield, not
for sport or competitions. Around the 14th century the Hwarang fell into disfavour when Silla was conquered by a new Korean
kingdom, and several of the Hwarang s took refuge in remote mountain temples. It was in these temples that the martial art
of the Hwarang has been preserved until today. During the early 1940ies two boys, Joo Bang Lee and Joo Sang Lee was accepted
as the only students of the Buddhist monk Suahm Dosa. In the 1960ies the brothers received permission from Suahm Dosa and
the Korean government to publicly demonstrate and teach Hwa Rang DoŽ in Korea. This marked the first time in more than 500
years that the martial skills of the Hwarang were taught in public. When Suahm Dosa passed away in 1969, Dr. Joo Bang Lee
was appointed the 58th generation grandmaster. Since then Hwa Rang DoŽ has spread all over the world.
More information on www.hwarangdo.com
The name Hwa Rang DoŽ has now been internationally
trademarked in an effort to protect the integrity and proud tradition of this martial art; preventing it from turning generic!
Tae Kwon Do
(Korean: "art of kicking and punching"),
Korean art of unarmed combat that is based Karate. The name Tae Kwon Do was officially adopted for this martial art in 1959
after that name had been submitted by the South Korean general Choi Hong Hi, the principal founder of Tae Kwon Do.Tae Kwon
Do is characterized by the extensive use of high standing and jump kicks as well as punches and is practiced mainly for sport,
but also for self-defense. Training in Tae Kwon Do is carried out by learning individual techniques of kicking, punching,
and blocking, which are practiced in combined series of techniques in traditional sets known as hyung. (Proficiency in the
graded series of hyung determines rank in the lower grades.) Students also practice basic sparring combinations (il-bo taeryun,
"one-step sparring"); these are short, set sequences of attack and counter practiced between partners, after which the students
may practice free sparring as opponents. In sparring, blows are stopped just short of contact. Tae Kwon Do is practiced as
a sport by awarding points to correctly executed techniques during free sparring or by judging the quality of performed hyung.
Hap Ki Do
DaedongRyu YuSool (Japan- Daito
Ryu Yawara or call Aiki JuJitsu- meaning great eastern style soft skills) Master Yong-Sul Choi studied from Dakeda Shokaku
Daito Ryu Yawara founder (later Morei Ueshiba name changed to AiKiDo) in Japan 1930`s at shokaku home. And after the Korean
liberation Master Choi returned to Korea 1945; and reside DaeGu Korea. and with Yawara name here gave private lessons only
out of his home. After the Korean war that ended in 1953 Master Choi started teaching the public - still only teaching out
of his school at own home. The name Yawara was later changed to Hap Ki Do by a few Yu Sool (Yawara) masters in Seoul the capital
city of Korea. and Slowly Hap Ki Do was mixed with HwaRangDo and other martial art styles and turned generic. More information
is available here. Now Hap Ki Do looks more like the original martial art of Korea, namely Um-Yang
Kwon, which only two people in modern time ever learned - the name Um-Yang Kwon however is no longer used as it was changed
in to Hwa Rang DoŽ. The Hap Ki Do of today is a form of unarmed self-defense based on circular techniques such as jointlocks,
foot sweeps and kicks, but incorporating punches and circular throws and a yielding principle similar to that of Aikido, however
original Hap Ki Do was actually the exact same thing as Daito Ryu Yawara. The emphasis on circular motion allows for a free-flowing
form of combat in which one technique can merge with the next and the direction of force can easily be changed by changing
the axis of rotation. Primarily practiced for self-defense or spiritual development or both, hapkido came to be used in free-sparring
contests mixed of the HwaRangDo or TaeKwonDo type.
Tae Soo DoŽ
The martial art of Tae Soo DoŽ was created as the undergraduate
program to, and sports version of Hwa Rang DoŽ. Since the Hwa Rang DoŽ curriculum is very advanced and complicated because
there is so much learn, it was often difficult for an individual without previous martial skill training to progress through
Hwa Rang DoŽ. The Tae Soo DoŽ syllabus is designed to build a foundation of physical skills as well as proper attitude for
the nonexperienced practitioner. This program helps the student understand the fundamentals, basic mechanics, and philosophies
inherent in Hwa Rang DoŽ.
More information on www.hwarangdo.com
(as a side note: before Tae Kwon
Do unified, KongSooDo and TangSooDo(SooBakDo) had an organization name for a short time called the Korean TaeSooDo Association.
This name is no longer use by TaeKwonDo, and the meaning of this TaeSooDo is the "way of body and hands". However, the meaning
of this Tae Soo DoŽ is a martial art name that means the "Way of the Great Hand" or the "Way of the Warrior Spirit," so please
do not confuse these).