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Karate self defence training

A Chinese-Japanese hybrid martial art, karate is primarily a striking form, including kicking, punching, knee and elbow strikes, as well as open-handed techniques. Karate also includes grappling, locks, restraints and traps, joint manipulations, throws and the striking of vital points.

Modern karate training is divided into three elements:

Kihon - basics or fundamentals
Kata - forms
Kumite - sparring

Traditionally, karate is seen as an art, sport and a form of self-defence training. Important psychological elements of the training include perseverance, fearlessness, virtue and leadership skills.

Practicing kihon, the basics, involves a series of drills repeated by the entire group or practiced in pairs. Kata means 'form' or 'pattern' and focuses on a set sequence of movements, including deep stances which develop leg strength, and large body motions which develop cardiovascular fitness and upper body strength. Because some kata are lengthy and complex, they also develop memory and concentration skills.

Kumite means "meeting of hands" and refers to sparring. Sometimes sparring is strictly non-contact, but depending on the teaching method practiced, it can involve grappling and takedowns alongside punching and kicking, and full-contact sparring usually involves wearing sparring armour. Sparring is both a sport in itself and also a form of self defence training.

Dojo kun refers to a set of guidelines for followers of this martial art, known as 'karateka' to follow, both in the dojo, or training hall, and in everyday life.

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