Bear Martial Arts



Karate is a Japanese martial art with an emphasis on striking and blocking. Karate translates into English as "the way of the open hand".



Karate supposedly originates from Ryukyu Islands. When Japan seized the island a law was passed forbidding the ownership of weapons by the Chinese inhabitants.

As a result a fighting style designed specifically for those without weapons to combat those with evolved, most likely from Kenpō (a Chinese/Japanese martial art).

Karate developed as a way to help the inhabitants of the island defend themselves. Hence the name Kara (empty) te (hand).

Karate focuses mainly on striking techniques and blocks to the forearm, with the ideal being that a single strike defeats the opponent (ippon).



  • Punching
  • Elbow strikes
  • Kicks
  • Blocks (arms only)




Many weapons are used in Karate, both offensively and to demonstrate defensive techniques against weapon attacks, including: 

  • Bo Staff
  • Jo Staff
  • Sai
  • Nunchaku
  • Tonfa
  • Kama

Many instructors and styles will also use other weapons including katana, knives, bokkens, chains etc.

Author: Michael Casey, Southampton

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