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MARTIAL ARTS
 
 
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WHAT 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. 

Martial Arts Philosophy 
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. 

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WHAT KIND 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

"Soft" 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 

"Internal" styles 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 KARATE? 
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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Discipline 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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Patience and KARATE
"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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Always Keep a Goal.

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 road ahead.

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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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Respect others
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 respecting others. 

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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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THE 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.