OT: Karate

I started karate around four years ago. The annoying thing about karate is you can never boast. Not because it’s against the Big Book of Karate Rules (Section 24: Paragraph 3: Line 2 – The black belt shall pretend he is a white belt). It’s just that whenever I talk to someone who also does karate, they all happen to be child prodigies who were black belts at the age of nine. D:

I was recently talking to a guy who had also done karate, and feeling quite smug about the fact that I had been doing karate for four years. I mean, four years is quite a sizable portion of time, right? Then he casually mentioned he’d started doing karate at the age of four. It was certainly an arrow to the knee, or rather, a punch to the face.

I am now a brown belt, which is three belts below a black belt. Of course this will be different for different variations of karate (and from what I’ve heard, there are many, many different variations). I haven’t actually been to any competitions, and it’s on my bucket list to go to one, as well as to become a black belt.

One of the main reasons I do go to karate is because it is pretty much my only form of exercise.  I am, as I have stressed often above, very un-sporty, so going to karate twice a week keeps me… relatively fit. Ish. :P It’s also quite fun, although to a certain extent, I can’t say I look forward to it. Because… sport.

Karate has three parts – sparring, or kumite; basic techniques, or kihon; and katas. Kumite sounds like the part of karate where fists go flying, but it’s actually really controlled, and you only get to actually *fight* someone in the very high grades.

Kihon is quite boring, as you just show you can perform basic moves.

Therefore, the most interesting part of karate is probably the katas. Katas are like fights with one person, so they don’t really appear to make much sense and look more like dances than anything else, but when you see what applications they’re used for, they actually make sense. One of the interesting things about karate is that the katas seem to become less and less useful the higher you go up. This probably isn’t the case, as like I said, they all look weird until you see the application… but it sure seems like it.

Probably one of the weirdest katas is ‘Chintei’.

Chintei is the one you perform to make people laugh. It seems like quite a sensible kata until… you notice the bunny ears and those three hops at the end, which some people theorise is frolicking over the blood of your enemies. o_O It certainly makes you view it in a slightly different light.

Coming up: Book Reviews: Part 2

Have any of you guys tried a martial art? Or even sport in general?

Joe.

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