The students practice hard physical training to develop fighting skills that require strenuous physical and mental discipline. This vigorous training helps with the development of a strong character and builds a feeling of respect toward our fellow man. The study of Karate, therefore, may be valuable to all people, male and female, young and old alike.
The literal 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 system of self-defense which relied on the effective use of the unarmed body of the practitioner.
This system consisted of techniques of blocking or deflecting an attack and counter-attacking the opponent by restraining, throwing, striking or kicking. Karate as a means of self-defense has the oldest history, going back hundreds of years. As a physical art, Karate is almost without equal. Since it is highly dynamic and makes balanced use of a large number of body muscles, it provides excellent all-around exercise and develops coordination and agility.
It is widely practiced by both children and older people as a means of keeping in top physical condition, and many schools are promoting it as a physical art among their students. Traditional karate training emphasizes Karate's character-building aspects, in which respect for one's opponent (sportsmanship) is the cardinal principle.