The Japan Karate Association
Central Region



Master Nakayama

Karate is not a martial art whose ultimate goal is victory or defeat, rather, it is where one overcomes visible and invisible trials in the attempt to round out one's character in the midst of the toil of training. It is an art of self-defense, where one systematically trains one's hands and legs bare-handed, and as if displaying a weapon-like force, one forestalls unexpected opponents with each thrust and kick. It is a form of physical exercise where one moves one's limbs and entire body forward and back, left and right and up and down uniformly, and furthermore where one masters all types of actions including bending and stretching, leaping and balance. It is a hand-to-hand skill,
will-power, one uses well-controlled skills, and accurately grasping the target, one proves the superiority of one's skill by instantaneously releasing the maximum impact force.

When a student of karate (a karateka) reaches the dan level, his body has been trained as a weapon. He can defend himself in any given situation and protect himself in all different directions, using his limbs freely and independently. The basic techniques are divided into 4 groups, i.e. blocking, punching, kicking, and striking. In combat, a karateka needs not only these techniques, but also others aspects - power, speed, timing, rhythm, breathing and a strong spirit. In a serious unarmed fight the individual possessing the stronger spirit and better technique will win. And, not only in that sense, the practice of karate will indeed lead to a development of character and self potential. As with other Japanese martial arts, karate requires a sound spirit and has clear rules of behavior and respect. The final purpose of karate training is not to defeat an opponent in competition but to develop perfect character, overcoming mental and physical sufferings under rigorous discipline.

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Top paragraph by Master Masatoshi Nakayama
Bottom paragraph by JKA Website