Information

Traditional karate is an old martial art without a weapon which served as self-defence in Japan in times when fighting was an everyday reality and wearing weapons was forbidden. Providing the principles of karate are studied correctly, its students are able to maximally use the capability of their bodies and create a powerful and efficient technique, by which – if used at the right time and place – they can fight off an enemy.

Traditional karate is high teachings of fighting as a way of inner self-knowledge. Its function is to bring peace, joy and self-confidence into all aspects of practitioners’ everyday life. To excel in a gym and at the same time sink hopelessly into depressions, stress, intolerance and disregard, means to miss the genuine meaning of the teachings.

Traditional karate does not want to show who is better and who is worse, but the fact that everybody can practise. To practise means to grow neither aggressiveness nor own ego; a martial art is an art of courtesy, courtesy to oneself, to ones’ potential, to everything and everyone around us. Traditional karate is a method which gives us an opportunity to influence the whole of our life, to feel our progress through everyday life; it is not a form one can put on and later take off in a dojo change room.

The traditional karate technique is based on using the body as a complex (the synchronization of breathing, contraction and relaxation of muscles, dynamics of the body), rather than counting on the power of arm and leg muscles. What is important in application is strategy and timing in combination with a powerful thought and determination to fight – the fighting spirit. In practising one learns to make use of a free space in the competitor’s action rather that to resist his strength. A practitioner develops self-confidence, stable emotions and clear deciding, so that the body would respond naturally to any impulsion – attack.

Practising traditional karate needs neither any extreme physical demands nor an affiliation to any philosophical, religious, social or political group. The principle of reality itself stands outside the ownership of any organisation, group or sect, and ruling one’s life is therefore the responsibility of every single human being.

Everybody with the time and desire can practise. Everybody can choose the frequency and amount of effort put into practising. No matter whether it is one’s deep involvement, self-defence or only the need of physical movement and relaxation after work what brings them to practise, everything counts. If we use all tools traditional karate provides, the capacity of an aggressor becomes to some extent relative. That is the reason why karate can be practised by everybody regardless sex, age and physical abilities. Traditional karate requires hard and long practising. There is no short and easy way.
Thanks to Chinese origins this martial art used to be originally called “Chinese hand“. It was also the original meaning of symbols used for karate in Japan. A modern master of this art, Gichin Funakoshi, who died in 1957 at the age of 88, changed the symbols the way that they meant “empty hand“. However, Funakoshi chose those symbols also for their meaning in Zen Buddhist philosophy: “to become empty“. For the Master, karate was not only a martial art but also a tool forming the character. He wrote: “Same as a shiny surface of a mirror reflexes everything that is in front of it, as even a low sound floats over a valley, a karate trainee must empty his mind of selfishness and badness in an effort to respond appropriately to anything he can meet. This is the meaning of kara – or ‘empty’ – in karate.”

Karate was first shown to Japanese public in 1922 when Funakoshi, who was a professor at Okinawa Faculty of Education, was invited to teach and show demonstrations of traditional martial arts under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. His demonstrations impressed audience and students so much the he got a lot of requests to stay and teach in Tokyo. Instead of returning to Okinawa, Funakoshi taught karate at various universities and at the Kodokan Institute – Mecca of judo – till he was able to found Shotokan, a big turning point in the history of karate in Japan.

The Japan Karate Association was founded in 1955 with Funakoshi as the chief instructor. At that time the organisation had only a few instructors who were studying karate under the direction of the aging Master. The Association was recognised by the Ministry of Education in 1958. In the same year the Association hold the first all-Japan championship in karate (won by Hirokazu Kanazawa) which turned into an annual event and helped establish karate as a competitive sport discipline.

In modern times karate plays a multilateral role. As a practical tool for self-defence it is widely taught in private clubs, and for example in Japan it is part of training programmes for police and armed forces. A large number of colleges include karate into their school programmes of physical education, and its techniques are learnt also by a growing number of women. However, karate is being popularised all over the world as a competitive sport which focuses on mental discipline as well as physical abilities. What had originally been created as a martial art in the Far East, survived all changes throughout centuries to become not only an efficient means of self-defence without a weapon, but also an exciting and attractive sport discipline meeting the needs of enthusiasts all over the world.
Traditional karate is a wonderful old art of self-defence without a weapon. It is based on using the body as a complex: synchronization of breathing, contraction and relaxation of muscles, body dynamics. Power of arms and legs themselves is irrelevant. Technique, strategy, timing, relaxed mind and strong fighting spirit are very important aspects in karate.

By practising you learn how to perceive and follow competitors and how to control and make use of their free spaces within their technique performance. The mind and the body are inseparable parts in harmony. Our aim is to gain the harmony. With everyday training you can build healthy self-confidence and emotional stability, and teach your body to react naturally under any circumstances. Thanks to a systematic methodology of traditional karate you have an opportunity to unlearn acquired bad habits of the present days and to form good habits you will welcome: proper posture, motoric skills, breathing, removing mental and physical barriers and blocks. This martial art is based on natural principles of body biomechanics (in compliance with physiological and anatomical function of the body) in coordination with breathing; hence it spares the locomotive system and enhances the stability of joints. Everybody can learn karate regardless of their age and physical strength. Practising will improve all elements of your physical condition – strength, flexibility, speed, dexterity, coordination, as well as the cardiovascular system.
Since the very first lesson, emphasis is placed on developing proper movement habits, proper posture and coordination of moves with breathing. In the first months practitioners learn how to perceive their bodies within basic techniques. Physical exercise gradually eliminates muscular disbalance negatively influencing motoric skills, coordination and body dynamics. Techniques of real self-defence are step-by-step integrated into the training. Although the basic techniques are mainly physical exercises positively influencing the locomotive system, imagination, concentration and breathing exercises are closely connected to them. For that reason karate is a suitable tool for developing one’s physical as well as mental potentials. After completing basic demands, practitioners can try to gain trainee levels of 8th to 1st kyü. Every trial is motivation as well as a demand for mastering all components of traditional karate techniques appropriate to the practitioner’s level. Between individual trials of the trainee levels (kyü), there is a minimum period of 3 months.

The trial rates:
  • Mastering the basic techniques – kata, kumite, kihon – blocks, strikes, kicks
  • Self-defence techniques
  • Body coordination
  • Body dynamics – speed and efficiency of moves
  • Mental power and concentration
  • Movement and breathing coordination
  • Perceiving the competitor
  • Technique efficiency
  • Ability to stand the strain
  • Transferring power into technique
  • At higher levels – harmonization of body, breathing and mind, timing of techniques, fighting spirit, tactic acting, creativity.
Everyday hard training and mental work is necessary for mastering the basic technique and gaining harmony of breathing and mind and of body movement. Training programmes at the master levels are based on improving techniques, revealing relations between a technique, breathing and state of the mind. Trainings focus on “perceiving“ a rival with the help of breathing, development of stable emotions, inner intuition and inner alertness which should fill every move in traditional karate as well as in one’s life. Thus karate becomes the way of alertness and dynamic meditation. It reflects one’s inner feelings and discipline.
  • Efficient and perfect self-defence
  • Unlearning bad habits: bad posture, muscular disbalance, shallow breathing
  • Excellent body activity improving strength, flexibility, speed, dexterity, coordination and the cardiovascular system
  • Improvement of special perception
  • Suitable activity for any age group
  • Provides an ability to improve oneself
  • Perfect way for one’s social, emotional and cognitive development
  • Improves self-confidence, stable emotions, clear mind
  • Teaches self-discipline, respect and love to other people
  • Enables intellectual development and rational view of life
  • Efficient tool for coping with stressful situations and relaxing mental strain.
The human body is “perfect”, but unfortunately people cannot use it perfectly. That is one of the assumptions upon which karate is based for its further proper development. Traditional karate is a path of endless search and improvement. To speak and understand the conception only is not enough, the most important is the necessity of one’s own experience. Without such experience, understanding and subsequent application will not unite. One can become a master only through one’s own experience, through everyday practising. Everything else are only empty words of demagogues intellectual laziness.

You can check personally whether the principle works, whether you are being guided well. We cannot offer more than the will, diligence and humility. We must grab the reality. A great number of words have been written about spirituality, religion, the mind, philosophy, psychology, Zen, karate and its yin and yang aspects mystifying those interested in martial arts. Most of these books and movies obscure the mind. Only with the help of our own minds (inner experienced vision) we should recognise whether the information in such books comes from the practice or from the intellect only, we should find what is valuable and avoid wasting our time. We should endure with the open mind of a beginner, overcome difficulties, troubles and pain.
Beginners
Equipment for practising karate is not too expensive, for the first few months a T-shirt and tracksuit will do. We practice only barefoot (with toenails cut short). Due to safety reasons, as well as observing etiquette in the gym (dojo), it is forbidden to wear earrings, piercing, chains, rings and watches.

Advanced
Advanced practitioners shall join a training unit upon a consultation with an instructor, who will group appropriately in accordance with their technical levels. The integration into training groups is a good way for improving one’s present technical level and preparation for more advanced training groups.
Traditional karate Brno, tel.: +420 777 202 207, e-mail: tkbrno@gmail.com