Empty Hand Way
Karate-Do is the term used for the Okinawan life defense art predicated on the protection of the island people and their way of life. The original form of protection was referred to as “Ryu Te” later written as “China hand” in reference to Okinawa’s long relationship with China during which the exchange of Martial Arts Knowledge lead to the widening of the Art as a life protection source and in the process developing and maintaining good health. For many years this protection training was kept within certain circles of people based on their social class and family ties. The serious study of the art revolved around actual life defense and the training consisted of long hours in severe conditions and was very strenuous and required great self discipline. The Okinawan practitioners were famous for their, one punch and it is all over, capability.
Training on the Makiwara (punching board) along with other tools was a key part of the daily training. It wasn’t until this century that the training became available to the public. It was introduced in the school systems as a physical and mental training process and later public Karate schools started to open around the island.
Karate has taken many paths to get where it is today. There are a number of styles or systems on Okinawa and they have different methods of teaching and unique views of the way of Karate based on their teachers’ lineage but they all come back to the fundamentals that have been there for hundreds of years. The practice of traditional Karate brings with it a deep insight into the character, honour and integrity of its past teachers and the Okinawan people. The ultimate goal of Karate is development of noble character through arduous training and a dedication to bettering oneself thereby benefiting all of society.
Kara = empty or void
Te = hand
Do = way