Frequently Asked Questions about Martial Arts Training
What is Karate?
Karate translated means "way of the empty hand" or empty hand fighting. Today karate refers to systems of martial arts training that impose a hard, straight-line theory to their strategies.
What is the best age to learn?
Simply put, the age you are now! Many people think you have to be a kid to start training in the martial arts. While natural flexibility may be a factor for this reasoning, adults receive the nuances and applications quicker than youngsters who learn better by repetition.
This is really a sport for athletes, isn't it?
Martial arts training is designed for the individual to achieve levels of competency based on personal growth as opposed to group conformity.
Why do you have to wear those pajama looking things?
The uniform or "gi" is designed to allow maximum range of motion while keeping the body warm to prevent muscle injury.
Do I have to invest in a special shoe?
While new martial arts footwear is becoming popular, traditional training is done in bare feet. Some suggest the idea is to create calluses on the striking points of the soles, however most believe the concept is to better grip the ground to provide balance.
Why all the yelling?
The yell or "Kiai" is similar to a weight lifter breathing out to press the weight, offering the body more power. Other applications include startling or scarring the assailant, while emptying the lungs to prevent having the wind knocked out of you.
What does the belt rank system mean?
Tradition has it that you were awarded your white belt only, and as you trained the belt became soiled and eventually so dirty that is was black. Now the belts are used for a two-fold purpose. First it lets the instructor know what level you are training at, and secondly it teaches goal setting and achievement as you travel through the ranks.
What's the best karate?
Each system possess its special strengths and conversely its own special weaknesses. Many systems today are eclectic, teaching several systems as one or simply taking the best of what's out there and making it their own. The best system is one that you enjoy, can understand the instructor, and treats you like a person.
What is American Martial Arts?
The best definition is that, much like America, a melting pot of ideas, philosophies, concepts and backgrounds have congealed together to provide the student with a well rounded approach to learning this once strictly Oriental art form.