Karate: The Father of Martial Arts
Karate is a type of martial art originating from the Ryukyu Kingdom. The style developed from the indigenous Ryukyuan martial arts and is influenced by Kung Fu. Since its inauguration in the 17th century, the sport has grown a lot. It will make its debut at the Olympics in 2021. The World Karate Federation is the sport’s highest governing body.
This contact sport cannot accommodate both genders. This means that a match can only have opponents of the same gender. It focuses on striking and uses kicking, punching, elbow strikes, open-hand and knee strikes techniques. A person practising Karate is known as a Karateka. Karate styles that have been taught in the past and also in modern times include joint locks, throws, grappling, vital-point strikes and restraints. The level of hardness can be full-contact, semi-contact or light-contact.
Levels in Karate are defined using coloured belts. The belts from the lowest order to the highest order are white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, red and black that is the highest level.
The white belt in Karate symbolises birth. This is where the Karateka begins to acquire the sport skill. At this level, one is not allowed to hit others but is trained on the techniques. Before advancing from this stage, one takes about 6-9 months.
The yellow belt is a symbol for the first beam of sunlight that gives a seedling new growth. Here, the Karateka has acquired some basic moves and takes about 7-9 months before advancing.
The orange belt is given after the trainee has mastered the ten self-defence Karate moves. The orange colour is a representation of the growing strength of the sun. It takes about ten months before the trainee advances to the next level.
At the green belt stage, students focus on learning mixed striking and wrestling. They are allowed to practice from home. That requires a lot of discipline. The green colour represents growth.
The blue belt is awarded when students start to learn additional knowledge about martial arts. They are trained to defend themselves. The lessons focus on making them leaders instead of followers.
At the purple belts stage, the Karateka progresses to the advanced stages of learning. The lessons focus more on advanced footwork, and this stage lasts for about 12-20 months. The red belt signifies the hot strength of the sun. This means the student is dangerous and should be cautious of their practice. The students can start training those in lesser stages.
The brown belt stage is where the students sharpen their technique and work on their weaknesses. The process takes about 20 months to complete. At this stage, one can pass information to other trainees. The black belt is the highest level in Karate. Here, the Karateka can defend themselves and display focus, discipline and respect.