Commonly Asked QuestionsWhat does the word "Karate" mean?
The word "Karate" is written in Japanese with two characters: "kara", meaning "empty", and "te", meaning "hand". This simply refers to the fact that Karate is a form of unarmed combat.
How long will it take me to learn Karate?
The answer to this question will depend entirely on you...how hard you will study, how much you practice, and what ability you may have. At no time will you ever be able to say that you have mastered Karate because there is always room for improvement, even after thirty or more years of study and hard practice. However, the minimum time required to attain a First Degree Black Belt (the lowest of the Black Belt ranks) is about three years (about 4 - 5 years is a more realistic goal!).
Can I get hurt Practising Karate?
Not if you follow the guidance of a qualified instructor. Almost all injuries in Karate are caused by the negligence of students who fail to follow their teachers instruction.
Does Karate turn a person into a trained "killer"?
No. It is designed to enable the practitioner to foil any attack. Although a good Karate man can deliver more punishment than almost any other fighter, he has sufficient self-control to avoid unnecessarily severe counterattacks. Karate people are also trained in the art of discouraging a fight before it starts, making physical violence usually unnecessary.
What are some of the benefits I would receive from practising Karate?
Again, this will depend on you...how hard you practice and study and how often you attend workouts. If you work hard and sincerely, you will find that you will have more endurance and better poise, reaction time, confidence, strength and agility; you will be able to vent your frustrations in a harmless, beneficial way, and to better cope with problems in all areas of your life. You will also have become proficient in a very effective form of self-defence.
Who can learn Karate?
Within reason, anyone can learn. Karate can be practised regardless of gender, age, (except the very young) or physical condition. It can also be practised at any time, alone or with friends, and without any special equipment, making it an ideal sport for everyone.
Will I be required to participate in tournaments?
No. In our opinion, tournament practices promote and reward the idea of aggressiveness, while the whole idea of Karate is supposed to be non-violent. Tournaments support the idea that "I" am better than someone else or someone else is better than "I". Traditional Karate, on the other hand, teaches that the only contest that matters is the one within yourself. Winning an external conflict means that someone else has lost, so that something was taken away from him. Winning the internal conflict, on the other hand, means that we are able to give more to others and everyone benefits from the victory.