Differences in Karate Schools

There are many different karate styles. It is very common today to see karate divided into two areas. These are the traditional for the competitive schools of karate. While both are expressions of this wonderful martial art, these two schools emphasize to different areas.

Traditional styles of karate are more in line with some of the original Japanese movements and ideals. Competitive karate on the other hand is mostly concerned with competitions and tournaments.

And even within these two schools there are many different types of styles. Some of the most popular ones are:

American Kenpo was originally developed in Hawaii. It combines a number of Asian and Western martial art influences, and emphasizes fluid movements that can make you hard to strike by your opponent. Many new schools of thought have emerged from this in the West, especially because it is concerned with practical self-defense.

Full Contact Karate is about 40 years old and is very similar to boxing. In order to excel at this sport you must win like you doing boxing either by a knockout or decision. It is similar to some Asian kickboxing styles in that both punches and kicks are encouraged

Kyokushin-Kai is a very classic karate style from the middle of the 20th century. It drew on many ancient influences. Modern practitioners enjoy that it is full of breaking boards and fast attack sequences.

Similarly, Kyokushin-Kai is another attack oriented form of karate. Started in Okinawa this school is traditionally known for its weaponry.

Shorei Ryu is another Okinawan school of karate. If you are looking for powerhouse techniques this is for you. Additionally you get to learn all of the traditional karate weapons that you have heard about. It is a very popular style.

And of course you have Shotokan. Shotokan is the official Japanese school of thought that comes from Okinawa. It emphasizes empty-handed fast combat without weapon training.

These are just some of the classic karate schools. Of course today there are many dojos popping up all over the place. Before you sign up for one of these, it is worth exploring the emphasis they place on history and tradition if that’s important to you.

Also you need to know if you want to do competition karate or traditional karate. Many people are not aware of the difference between the two and simply want to take a karate class. In many cases that’s okay. If you specifically want to compete in tournaments you need to find a school that is geared to that. Likewise, if you want to emphasize traditional movements and mental attitudes, a traditional school is going to be right up your alley.

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