What is Karate?
Karate is a form of unarmed self defence that originated in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It has evolved over hundreds of years, but it has only been in the last century that it came to exist in its present form.
Karate, while it has its beginnings in Japan, in the years after WWII it has spread quickly across the world. There are many different styles of karate, and even more associations to represent each style. None is any better or more effective than the other in general, but quality of instruction will vary considerably from club to club.
Karate is characterized by the various techniques used in practicing defence. Strong emphasis is placed on proper stance posture and body alignment as well as repetition of various blocking, punching and kicking techniques. Kata are preset patterns of movement that distinguish one style of Karate from another, and sparring can be expected once a certain level of proficiency has been reached. Typically tradional clubs require white uniforms called "Karate Gi". Training is always barefoot unless there is an injury (or in other special circumstances). The language of Karate is Japanese, and typically the movements and technique will be described using Japanese vocabulary. This is something that people outside of Japan simply get used to during their time practicing. Rather than being a barrier, using Japanese universally actually helps people from all over the world to practice together with relative ease.
Traditional Karate Dojo (clubs) adhere to a code of ethical behaviour. This is rooted in teachings passed from one instructor to the next and is based strongly on Japanese culture. A traditional Karate Dojo will require members to follow a Japanese concept called "Reigi" or formal actions. This includes bowing, being respectful to senior and junior members, keeping a serious attitude while in the dojo, etc. This adherance to a set of rules passed on over generations helps all members of the dojo to focus on learning a physical activity that involves a certain level of physical involvement with others as well as to develop the self discipline and self awareness to achieve the physical demands of training in Karate.
Calgary Gojukai Blog
Check out calgarygojukaipathways.blogspot.com, our new blog dedicated to anything of interest to members of Calgary Gojukai. It can be a question/answer page, news and updates area, photo blog, and especially and area for training information.
The first posts will be dedicated to the IKGA Canada trip to the IKGA World Championships in Mumbai, India. Hopefully these will be interesting for our members.
Also be sure to keep watching the offical IKGA wesite for even more updates. Find it at http://gojukaikaratedo.com.
Calgary Gojukai News - New Format
Calgary Gojukai news section and student areas have changed format. To keep up to date on all Calgary Gojukai news, please follow this link.
IKGA Canada Black Belt Seminar - October 2013
The IKGA Canada Black Belt Seminar for 2013 wrapped up, and thanks to all the participants, and the members of the IKGA Canada Technical Committee it was a fantastic success!
Every year IKGA Canada sponsors a special weekend of training for all Yudansha (Black Belt) members. This past October, over 20 Black Belt members from across Canada came to Calgary for an intense weekend of training, testing for some, and the chance for everyone to reconnect with each other. Thank you to all that attended, and also thank you to all the Calgary members that helped make this seminar such a great experience! Further updates soon to come!