What is Karate?
True karate is this: that in daily life one’s mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility, and that in critical times, one be devoted utterly to the cause of justice. —Gichin Funakoshi
Karate may be defined as a weaponless means of self defense. It consists of dynamic offensive and defensive techniques using all parts of the body to their maximum advantage. The SKA website has a fuller definition of what Karate-Do means for us.
Karate practice is divided into:
- Kihon (stances, blocks, strikes and kicks)
- Kata (pre-arranged forms simulating combat situations)
- Kumite (sparring)
In each category, the beginner is given instruction at the most basic level until the techniques become spontaneous. We welcome adult students of any age and level at any time of the year; you can start practicing in any loose-fitting clothing if you don’t own a gi.
As the student progresses technically, s/he progresses physically and mentally as well, with advanced practices demanding greater stamina and focus. At this stage, the student becomes involved with more intricate and difficult katas and more dynamic forms of kumite.
As the student approaches black belt level, technique becomes natural as a result of strong practice. It is at this stage that the serious student discovers that her/his study of karate has only just begun. The object of true karate practice is the perfection of oneself through the perfection of the art.
The purpose of practicing karate is to develop physical and mental strength by putting ourselves into hardship. —Sadaharu Honda
One of the most distinguishing parts of studying Karate-Do in SKA is regular Special Training events. Students are strongly recommended to attend at least one a year; as they progress and as time permits, they are encouraged to attend more.
To keep our Karate training safe, proper observance of etiquette is as important as is learning the physical techniques. Please follow the etiquette below at all SKA dojos:
- Remove your shoes before entering the dojo.
- Bow each time you enter or leave the dojo.
- Try not to be late for class. If you are late, enter the dojo quietly and wait at the back of the class until the instructor asks you to join the practice. You should then bow and join the class.
- The dojo is a formal place where all participants must wear a gi (a plain white karate uniform). Wash your gi regularly and keep it in good condition. (Newcomers can practice in exercise clothing until they obtain a gi.)
- Remove your watch and all jewelry before practice to avoid injury to you and others.
- Keep your finger and toe nails cut short to avoid injury to you and others. Maintaining personal hygiene is an act of consideration and respect for yourself and others.
- No food or beverages are permitted in the dojo.
- Do not lean against the walls or sprawl with your legs stretched out. Kneel or sit cross-legged during a break in teaching.
- Do not talk unnecessarily during practice.
- Never leave the dojo without permission.
- Report all injuries to the instructor immediately.
- Help clean the dojo before practice. “Polishing the floor is in fact the art of polishing your own mind.” – Ohshima sensei
- Respect all dojo equipment, such as kicking shields and focus mitts.
- Pay your dojo dues. If you are unable to pay your dues on time, speak with the Dojo Manager to make proper arrangements.
- Visitors should sit quietly to one side of the dojo.