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  • Master Regina Gonzalez

An Inside Look: Karate

Known as a weaponless form of self defense, Karate is one of the most practiced martial arts forms in the world. Karate is a combination of two Chinese characters: “Kara”, meaning empty, and “te”, meaning hand; meaning empty hand put together. Even though Karate is a form of defensive and counterattacking body movements, its mental and moral characteristics target overall improvement of the individual who practices.


In the late 17th century, a ban on weapons was imposed by the samurai rulers of Japan which began the history of Okinawan Karate. All of the training by the early masters had to be done in secret and self defense revolved around empty handed techniques due to the strict rules of learning martial arts and the weapons ban. The evolution of karate history is not found because there was no information being recorded due to the strict rules implemented on martial arts. During the 20th century, Anko Itosu received permission to end the secrecy and began teaching Te in Okinawan schools. In result, Itosu’s student, Sensei Gichin Funakoshi, introduced the art to Japan in 1922. Funakoshi made changes to the art to help make it more accessible to the Japanese including the name which is now known as Karate.

Funkoshi believed Karate practitioners should never be easily drawn into a fight because one attack from a real expert could mean death. He interpreted the “Kara” of Karate-do to mean “to purge oneself of selfish and evil thoughts…for only with a clear mind and conscience can the practitioner understand the knowledge which he receives. By listening and being open to critisicm, Funkoshi believe these characteristics shows humbleness and then one can be open to Karate’s various lessons.

Why learn Karate?

One of the benefits of practicing Karate is for fitness and health. Karate contributes to endurance, flexibility, coordination, and strength due to sparring, form and aerobic training.

In addition, Karate teaches you self defense maneuvers and encourages students to be peaceful and not to never initiate an attack. Karate teaches trust and respect for your instructor and fellow students.

Finally, Karate is a lifestyle as each karate lesson not only focuses on the physical aspect but also mentally and emotionally. You will become more confident and move forward from your short comings. Practicing Karate will encourage you to learn about yourself and become determined for improvement.

Contact American Karate Institute for a Free Trial Class

At the American Karate Institute, we teach a way of life. Our Miami martial arts school and MMA Classes has developed a well thought out curriculum that teaches more than just the art of self-defense. We delve deep into our students’ technique, skill set, intelligence, intuition and overall physical fitness. Contact us today if you’re interested in mixed martial arts and self-defense classes and schedule your free-trial class!

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