1 minute reading time (277 words)

Karate: The Art of 'Empty-Hand' Fighting

by Hidetaka Nishiyama and Richard C. Brown
256 pages

karate-emptyhandfightingA systematic presentation of the 'empty-hand' art of karate. An easy-to-follow manual illustrated with over 1,000 photographs, it gives step-by-step explanations and analysis of all the basic movements and techniques of karate. It features a full description of the sport, including history, organisation, training methods and basic principles and it contains pointers of competitive karate.

The meaning of the two Japanese characters which make up the word "Karate" is "empty hands". This, of course, refers simply to the fact that karate originated as a aystem of self-defense which relied on the effective use of the unarmed body of its practitioner. This system consisted of techniques of blocking or thwarting an attack and counterattacking the opponent by punching, striking,or kicking. The modern art of karate was developed out of a more thorough organisation and rationalisation of these techniques. And the three branches of present-day karate as a physical art, as a sport, and as a self defense are all based on the use of these same fundamental techniques.

Karate as a means of self defense has the oldest history, going back hundreds of years, but it is only in recent years that the techniques which have been handed down were scientifically studied and principles evolved for making the most effective use of the various movements of the body. Training based on these principles and knowledge of the working of the muscles and joints and the vital relation between movement and balance enable the modern student of karate to be prepared, both physically and psychologically, to defend himself successfully against any would be assailant.

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