the headings below to view the details
IS MARTIAL ART ?
A Martial Art can be
defined as a system of techniques, physical and mental exercises developed
as an effective means for self-defense and offense, both unarmed and with
the use of weapons. The origin and history of Martial Arts is a
controversial issue. We can see signs of Martial Arts in Greek, Indian,
Egyptian, African, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, as well as other cultures.
There is a clear trail leading from the Southern China-regions up to
Korea, Okinawa and Japan. The details before that, and the exact details
of that transfer, are greatly debated by historians and Martial Artists.
The martial arts are both
art and science. The word "art" is defined as the activity of
creating beautiful things and the word "science" is defined as a
methodological activity, discipline, or study". While these two
definitions are correct, I prefer the contributions of an anonymous poet:
"Art is a passion pursued with discipline; science is a discipline
pursued with passion". At their most basic level, the martial arts
are nothing more than ways to prevent someone from harming or killing you.
At their highest aspiration, the martial arts are paths to self-knowledge
and the expression of beauty. The martial artist must be both scientist
and artist. He must learn the traditions, theories, principles, laws and
techniques upon which martial artistry is based. He must then practice
them with passion and discipline so as to properly learn and understand
what he is doing. Only then can he master himself and the martial arts.
OF MARTIAL ARTS ARE THERE ?
There are many ways in
which martial arts can be divided. Here are a few of them that might be
useful to use in defining Martial Arts and discussing them. These are not
necessarily consensus definitions but they are commonly held. It is also
useful to remember that very few of these martial arts are just one way or
another...they are all mixtures of these elements in various degrees. When
we say a style is "hard" what we mean is that the predominant
expression of that style is hard. If we say Shotokan is linear, it does
not mean Shotokan has no circular techniques.
Linear and .Circular styles
This distinction refers to
lines of movement, attack and defense. "Circular" styles use
circular movements to block, attack, or move. Around and aside...
"Linear" styles use direct, straight-on movements, attacks, or
head-on blocks. In and out... Styles can, and sometimes do, mix circular
blocks with linear attacks. This is a subtle distinction and not absolute,
but it gives some information.
Soft .and Hard styles
tend to redirect energy, channeling and diverting momentum to unbalance an
opponent, or to move them into striking range. They tend to be lower
commitment and use less force. Thus, they are less likely to be unbalanced
and can recover from redirection easier. Examples are Tai Chi, Aikido,
Ninjutsu, or many Kung Fu styles and sub-styles. "Hard" styles
tend to direct energy outward and meet energy with energy. They will tend
to strike more, and deliver more force with each strike. Hard stylists
will often damage with their blocks, turning them into attacks. They
deliver more power, and thus are harder to turn aside, but they are higher
commitment, and thus don't recover as well from mistakes. Examples are
Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Muay Thai, and some Kung Fu styles and sub-styles.
Internal and. External
are styles that emphasize the more non-tangible elements of the arts. They
utilize chi/ki/qi flow, rooting, and those elements which some people
consider "mystical". They tend to emphasize meditation, body
control, perception, mind control (self, not others!), and pressure
points. Typically internal styles are soft. Tai Chi is an internal style.
"External" styles tend to emphasize body mechanics, leverage,
and applied force. They tend to use weight, strength, positioning, and
anatomy to optimal advantage. Typically' external styles are hard. Muay
Thai is an external style. MARTIAL ARTS: A WAY OF LIFE
Did you eat breakfast today? Probably so. Just as you need to nourish your
body everyday, martial arts is also a daily supplement to good health.
Neither with food nor martial arts should you feast and/or famine. You can
buy anything you want with money; a car, clothes or a house, but even a
million dollars cannot buy your good health
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Who Can Learn
Anyone can learn Martial
Arts, regardless of age, sex, or limitations, it is never too late to
begin practice. Even the physically challenged individual can learn
martial arts because it is not just kicking and punching. It is a modern
universal art of self-defense and character development.
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and Self-respect in KARATE
"Discipline is the
foundation stone of a martial artist and self-respect is the
pillar". You should always be aware of what you do and say and how it
will affect others. Discipline yourself. When you can control what you do
and say, you will know the satisfaction of having contributed your best,
whether it be by outward expression or silence at the right time. Your
ability to discipline yourself will have a direct effect on the degree of
success you have in attempting to reach your goals. Your self-respect will
be something that you deserved and earned.
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"Everything comes to
those who wait". When one begins practicing martial arts, hours are
spent performing techniques over and over, sweating as you go. When you
leave to go home, you can leave that place behind, but you must take that
patience and persistence with you. Not only during practice but in
everything you do, have patience. Whether driving your car or cooking
dinner, give yourself the gift of time. Don't try to beat the red light.
Patience can save your life.
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Whenever you drive, your
car must go a certain direction, otherwise you will make unnecessary turns
and waste fuel. The same is true in life. You should have a goal, a
direction in which you will go. In certain times of hardship, having,
keeping and relying on your goal can help brace you for the continuous
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KARATE and Promise
Everyone makes commitments
in their life but few people practice the art of keeping their word on
promises. Whenever you make a commitment, stick by it, even if
circumstances change and you end up losing somewhere. Your promise is your
name. Give it a reason to be depended on.
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The meaning of respect
includes several things, all of which deal with your relationship with
others. The degree to which you trust, love and attempt to understand
others equates to the degree of respect you have for them. If you ignore
someone, obviously, your respect for that person is not great. Attempt to
extend yourself, to offer your undivided attention so that not only do you
please others but you also gain from the experience. Enrich your life by
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KARATE and Character
Always remember one of the most important distinctions between individuals
is their character. As children, we are blind to politics, financial and
social status. We act how we feel, spontaneously and without influence. As
we reach adulthood we learn the rules of the world and that in some cases,
acquiring what you want means sacrificing a little individuality. If we
are fortunate enough to begin martial arts as a child, we can avoid the
adolescent conformity. Individuality, pride, self-confidence, optimism
none of these are for sale. This is another part of you that a million
dollars cannot buy.
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PHYSICS BEHIND FORCE
A look in any high school physics book will give us the
equation Force = Mass X Velocity. This means that an object with twice the
mass moving at the same speed as another object will hit with twice the
force, or an object moving at twice the speed will hit with twice the
force. This is a proven law of physics. It explains why a small bullet
with little mass but traveling at a very high velocity can do so much
damage. When we apply this unwavering law of physics to the martial arts
it gets a little more complicated. Therefore to increase the force of your
strikes you must increase your mass or your velocity.
Physically increasing your mass through weight training
will increase your power but of coarse you must be careful that you are not sacrificing speed.
A small technical machine can do a lot of work, as we
read in our books simple machines i.e. a pulley, a rod if used technically
right they can lift up amazingly lot of weight. So remember all your
martial arts techniques are the same principles of science.
An easier way to increase your mass or force is to work
on weight transfer. Weight transfer is simply the process of applying your
mass to achieve the maximum benefit. This is accomplished many ways, by
developing a strong base, by proper transfer of energy through the hips,
by using full extension of your techniques, as well as other aspects of
proper body mechanics. These methods of developing efficient mass transfer
are usually described simply as developing "good form". All
instructors teach proper form but not all understand that its purpose, in
scientific terms, is to increase the amount of mass that is directly
applied to the strike.
Velocity is the other aspect of force. There are many drills that are used
to increase a student's speed, but it is the speed of the delivery, not
the reaction speed, that increases force. The two easiest methods to
increase the speed at which a technique is delivered is one, to improve
flexibility through proper stretching so that the muscles don't have to
work against internal resistance. Secondly, to simply concentrate. It is
amazing how delivery speed can be improved if students concentrate on
hitting fast instead of just hitting.