The word karate is a combination of two Japanese characters: kara, meaning empty, and te, meaning hand; thus, karate means "empty hand." Traditionally, the suffix "do" (pronounced "doe") meaning "way" is added. Therefore, karate-do, implies karate as a total way of life that goes beyond self-defense applications. The ultimate aim of karate-do is the perfection of character of the participants.
There are several mainstream schools of karate. At the Glenridge Martial Arts Academy, the style taught is called "Gojuryu" (translated "the hard and soft way"). For more information on the history of Gojuryu karate, click here.
Shihan George Picard (right) is the head instructor of the Karate classes at Glenridge Martial Arts Academy, which are offered to men, women and children of all ages.
Children's Karate Classes
Children's classes in karate are available to children aged four and up. Starting children young helps to instill a strong sense of self-esteem, improves confidence and promotes an active, healthy lifestyle. Through karate training, children also learn self-defense techniques and respect for others.
Adult karate classes are based on the 3 Ks - Kihon, Kata and Kumite. Kihon (basic training) teaches the basic stances, blocks, kicks and punches. Kata (form) takes the basic moves and combines them. Kumite (sparring) is what most people perceive karate to be all about.
Karate is a very effective form of self-defense. Many courses purport to teach self-defense in a few weeks. Most of those techniques are rapidly forgotten. Karate training is a proven method of learning self-defense and often the gains in self-confidence and esteem that people experience through Karate training translates into a lower likelihood of being chosen as a target. Criminals like to pick on the weak and helpless. Karate training can change that.
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