“Karate is more than just combat technique. It is a training of body and mind integrated into the mediative-philosophical teaching of East Asia”. Like this or similar are the statements of the experts about the contents of Japanese martial art, which are credited with very old and various roots. Someone who practices Karate today learns about it as a modern form of martial art, although Karate-Do with its three characteristics,
As a form of weaponless combat
As a comprehensive physical and spiritual exercise
As an artistic expression of movement
Is also a possible way of experiencing Zen Buddhism.
From centuries-old Far Eastern traditions Karate in Japan has been developed as a form of weaponless self-defence, which makes it possible to incapacitate one or more opponents. Thereby, the human limbs - especially fists, feet, elbows – optimally used as weapons, by which individual shots, punches and kicks are carried out with the utmost speed, hardness and precision specifically against sensitive points of the human body. This requires a high degree of coordination of mind, nerves and muscles. To achieve this, an intensive, sustained karate specific training is required, which systematically takes in body and mind.
Only in the last century, has a form of competitive sport been developed from the original self-defence art. In hand to hand combat the harsh attacks must be stopped shortly before the end. It is self-evident that a considerable amount of self-control is necessary. Even so Karate, which might seems to the observer at first glance a little rough, in reality a sport which requires the highest respect for the opponent. Thereby karate training achieves a considerable contribution to the development of the character, whilst it develops an aggressive fighting spirit on the one hand and teaches complete self-control on the other hand.
In addition to physical fitness training Karate is one of the few sports that also makes high demands on the mental agility of the athlete. Responsiveness is trained optimally by countless repetitions of very quick attack and defence variations and their combinations. It is clear that the monks of Zen Buddhism did not develop Karate only for self-defence, but principally as a physical complement to their spiritual exercise.