INTRODUCTION TO KARATE
Karate is an ancient martial art, developed many centuries ago in Japan.
In Japanese, the word ‘karate’ is split into ‘kara’, meaning ‘empty’ and ‘te’ meaning ‘hand’. You might think this simply means that karate students are able to defend themselves without the use of weapons. However, when karate was developed, the main object in training was to be able to defeat one’s own fear and anger as much as being able to defeat your opponent. In order to be able to do this, you need to have a mind that is ‘empty’ of emotions so that your ‘hand’ can be used effectively. Hence ‘karate-do’ the ‘way of the empty hand’.
There are several major schools or styles (ryu) of karate. At Tiger-Kai we practice a type of karate called ‘Shotokai’. Shotokai karate-do is a traditional form of martial art, not a competition based style. ‘Shoto-kai’ means ‘Shoto’s Way’, where Shoto was the pen name of the founder, a teacher called Gichin Funakoshi, who came from the Japanese island of Okinawa.
Bath Tiger-Kai Karate-Do club is part of the Severn Area Karate-Do organisation, whose aim is to promote and create safe environments for the practice of karate, allowing members to develop and learn a more effective way to live their lives.