It is believed that about 5000 years ago a prince of Kanchipuram (Tamilnadu - India) developed the first crude version of weaponless self defence, by watching the movements of animals and birds while they fought. He applied these movements to the human body and discovered that these movements could be effectively exploited. The Prince, then experimented on 1000 slaves, to discover the weaker parts of the human body, where even a puncture with a needle could kill the victim. The prince then used the techniques that he had found successful and directed them at the weaker parts of the human body and perfected the first known art of weaponless, self defence.
Bolidharma, (known as Daruma Taishi to the Japanese) a Buddhist monk, learnt the technique of Weaponless self defence while in India, and imparted training to his monks in China. In Tamil - Karam means hand & in Japanese Karate means Empty (Kara) and Hand (te). It is a system of attack and defence that uses all parts of the body (hands, feet, elbows, fingers, etc.,) to kick, punch, chop, butt, or any other move that is effective in defending ones self. Many of these movements may seem odd to the average person, but one must bear in mind that these have been analysed and geometrically calculated so that whatever the action, a block or a punch, it is the maximum the human body can achieve. One learns that it is not the size and strength alone that wins rather it is the speed and power that are the deciding factors in making one victorious .
True KARATE is a Physical Art, a Technique of Weaponless Self- Defence and a Sport. One of its greatest attributes is that anyone, irrespective of size, age or sex can practice this Art. The degree of skill, of course, varies from person to person. However, one can practice KARATE according to his own physical capabilities. KARATE is related with AHIMSA and therefore is employed to deter an agressor from resorting to violence, rather than maim or to kill. Nowadays, if any one speaks about SELF DEFENCE, it means only Karate. Eve-teasing, chain snatching and other assaults on women are reported almost everyday. KARATE is the only fitting answer to these social evils and crimes. KARATE can be learnt by School-going children / college students or by any other citizen, irrespective of their sex.
Those who want to protect themselves from the evil can learn this art of weaponless self-defence. It can be learnt from the age of 4 till 60 years. Strength and stamina are two main requisites for learning Karate. However, KARATE training has been linked with the performance of feats of strength, viz., pulling cars by the hair, breaking granite placed on the chest or abdomen, riding a motorcycle while lying on a bed of nails, etc. These acts of strength can be performed by anybody who is strong enough and has absolutely no relation with the martial art of Karate.
At the end of the Meiji period (1888 - 1912), Karate was introduced into the Okinawa Prefectural Normal School and the Prefectural Number One Middle School as part of physical education in the schools. In 1952, young practitioners of Karate devised a set of rules and regulations to govern the sport of ‘free Combat’, Karate, as a means to prevent injuries and in fact, to create a sport. They formulated sunyame, a method of controlled thrusting, one sun, or one inch, short of the opponent. Thus SPORTS KARATE took form and considered a sport in Japan. SPORTS KARATE differs from self-defence Karate, in the former, lethal movements are prohibited and punches to the face should be regulated so that the blow falls short of actual contact. Contacts to the face are permitted once or twice but repetation of such contacts by a contestant on his opponent on his will render him liable for disqualification from a match. In its evolution, Karatedo has been accepted around the world. Japan is where this martial art flourished, and it was first incorporated on the sports field when Shihan Funakoshi Gichin, Otsuka Hironori, and Funakoshi Yoshihide introduced basic sparring techniques in the Karatedo practice in 1924 and 1927.
In 1957 Japanese universities started Karatedo tournaments, it is very important to notice that Karatedo training has always been systematic and the two most important parts of training are Kata (Form) and Kumite (Sparring). Both use offensive and defensive techniques in their performance, they also provide good focus and control (Kime) in the practice of these techniques. Kata is the key for improving all block and strike techniques while Kumite is a practical test in the use of these techniques. The free sparring applied in tournaments is not same as street sparring. In street sparring (Fighting) you are able to use any defensive or offensive techniques for your self-defence but in free sparring as a sport you must follow specific rules and regulations to avoid hurting your partner. Consequently rules for these kind of competitions were created so that one could practise without causing injury to their opponent. The idea of Karatedo tournaments turned this martial art into a sport as well.
The basic principle of KARATE is not to destroy an aggressor but to discourge him from resorting to further violence. Hence a good KARATE-KA should be able to control his blows at all times to avoid injury to his opponent. SPORTS KARATE is a fast event. The player has to rely on his speed, power, excellent technique, stamina, good form and clean distinctive blows to win a match. A Match has to be won within 3 mintues and therefore it leaves little time for common and simple moves which are empolyed by contestants at tournaments as such moves are swifter and easier to execute. Judge of very high KARATE calibre are entrusted with the responsibility of controlling SPORTS KARATE bouts as it is a fast sport and can be damaging, if uncontrolled. It is difficult to score in SPORTS KARATE. All techniques should be excellently executed and the contestant should be able to attack without placing himself in danger by his opponent. Only then a Point will be awarded.
KOKINO the highest medal taker institute in India : World Tournaments - 6 (2 Gold, 1 Silver & 3 Bronze), International Tournaments - 44 medals (22 Gold, 8 Silver and 10 Bronze), produced 3 Grand Champions; National tournaments - 205 medals; State, District and Club & School wise tournaments - Countless medals .
The world is fast evolving into a stage where violence has become rampant. Not a day passes by without the mention of some sort of violence. Women, the weaker sex, are more vulnerable to violent attempts on their person either for material gain or for any other cheap reasons. In many such cases, the woman falls prey to an attacker owing to her inability to defend herself in the right way. School Girls, College Students, Working Women, House-wives are exposed to danger from unruly elements. It is needless to say that in many cases, provocative dresses and jewellery attract the attention of brigands who attempts to make a cache.
It is time now, with deliberation on womans liberation etc. that women also try to defend themselves against external dangers. Karate is the best means of such self defence as it is an art in which the hands and legs are used as silent, effective weapons, which can be used with lightning speed. An unaware aggressor would find himself in all sorts of trouble with women who is Karate trained. Women have established themselves creditably in the field of sport.
There is nothing to prevent them from participating in Karate Tournaments, now that the martial art is emerging as a sport all over the world. Karate helps women in maintaining a good physique and does not impair them in any way. Equally well, Physiologically, no complications arise. Learning of martial arts infuses more confidence in a woman as it exercises the mind and body simultaneously. As a citizen with equality a woman shouldn’t be denied of her fundamental rights as for as safety is concerned. Karate offers the best solution, not only in defending one’s self, but also does the magic in obtaining jobs in the police, defence, public and private sector undertakings
There is a wrong conception and a myth among the larger section of people that Practising Karate among girls could infuse manly characters. This could be no way proved. This sport is as equal as any other sport where a lot of physical exertion is needed. Any sport would not affect the harmones, rather that would help you overcome your low confidence and develop your over-all personality.
If any body say Black belt immediately even the layman can also understand it is connected with Karate a noble Martial Art. Achieving Black Belt is not the end of the art. But infact is the beginning. The prevailing situation of Kokino would be different from elsewhere in the sense that professional edge that you have got here, if you talk about achieving Black belt the coveted title, which is not the end by itself in learning Karate as any one might assume but gettting Black belt would be a definite turning point in his career. In KOKINO the rules are not made simple for you to get Black belt, its not a overnight game. The various professional qualities like Discipline, Strength, Physical stamina, Psychology related to learning techniques and Psychology related in applying the techniques would be scrutinised. The candidate’s professional maturity and behaviour in controlling the learnt techniques are definitely considered. So Black belt achiever in KOKINO is someone who has learnt the art of Karate and practises in the utmost professional form second to none in the competitive sport.
How Black Belt Came? In ancient days, only white thick cloth was used to tighten the dress with the body while practising Karate. As days passed by the white belt became faded and turned into light yellow, brown or black. When Karate was started teaching in Schools and Colleges in Japan a syllabus was preferred. At that time to denote various stages of training of Karate, various colour belts were introduced, such as White, Orange, Green, Brown and then Black.
Olden Days Black Belt - In olden times when Karate was taught in the crude form, students perforce had to convince their teachers of their genuineness and devotion to Karate-do. Emphasis was laid on maintaining discipline and loyalty towards their master, whether during the training or after. To them it was not the time of training nor the period of training that mattered. It was the physical endurance and exercises infused with the philosophical perception of Karate-do that mattered, and which they used as a way of life. To them black belt was of no significance.
To-day Black Belt - Karate-do training now-a-days has become means of acquiring physical competence and material gains. Students are anxious to become experts in a short time while instructors are keen on monitory benefits. These two desires of teachers and students are complementary and give a way to a black belter to think that he has become an expert in Karate-do. The black belt he has received is by paying exhorbitant amounts to the instructor as fees for grading. The instructor, in this case is only interested in the money he receives for grading a black belter, and is in no way concerned about the quality of the black belt students he has produced. Such an attitude on the part of the teacher and student renders karate-do fit in the movies.
Today a black belt is of little value. Unscrupulous are content with higher dans and gradings, presuming that such elevations would enhance their reputation. Little do they realise that a black belt has reached the ultimate in Karate lessons. Scant thought is given to perfection, sincere training, discipline and maintenance of the fundamental principles of Karate. As stated earlier, material benefits and the desire to achieve physical prowess and fame have taken over and remains as the order of the day. In many cases, a karate-ka falsely believes that his existence and reputation in Karate circles would be in jeopardy if he does not attain higher dans. This is a false concept as many veteran instructors are not interested in dans, but are dedicated in imparting the correct training.
Black Belt and Its Value The first thought to a layman, on enrolling in a dojo is to become a Black Belt, as soon as possible. So a question thereby arises, how soon one can become a Black Belt holder and what are the values of a Black Belt. Karate-kas have relentlessly been trained in the art first, to achieve physical power and enhancement of spiritual value. Hence at the first place it is a Martial Art for harmless selfdefence and self growth. Once we enroll ourselves in a Karate dojo we start getting training in Karate as a white Belt in that School. Internationally recognised Karate Schools have different stages of Belts on their own. Kokino the internationally recognised Karate school also have its own pattern of Belts.