Important facts about Karate

  • The place where Karate training is carried out is called the “dojo”. This translates to “the place of the way”.
  • he traditional white uniform you wear in the dojo is called a “gi”, simply meaning “uniform” in Japanese.
  • The loud yell made during explosive techniques is called a “kiai” (key-i). This is Japanese for “unification of will”.
  • The kiai serves two purposes, to empty the body of excess wind incase you are hit in the stomach by a counter attack and to focus all positive energy (“chi”) on the technique.
  • Karate is one of the most popular martial arts practiced today.
  •  Karate is for just about everyone, for all ages and both sexes and is a great physical workout, no matter what age or physical condition you are in when you start.
  • Karate is a way to a better life, not just a method of fighting.
  • Karate is great for the mind (concentration) and the spirit (emotional stability).

There is no such thing as the perfect martial art. Nor is there any one art that is better than another or all the rest. The art is not better, only the practitioner. But, remember that on any given day, anyone can beat anyone!

The language of Karate

Why speak Japanese in the Karate dojo? Karate is no longer “Japanese only,” but because of the international scope which Karate has taken, it 1s practical to be familiar with the original language of Karate. Karate terms in Japanese should not be memorised from a long list of terms, but should be learned alongside the techniques and concepts as one learns.

For a list of lshlnyru techniques in Japanese together with their English translations and pronounciations. For starters though, and one of the first things you will hear in the dojo, are the Japanese numbers from 1 to 1O:



English Japanese
1 Ichi
2 Ni
3 San
4 Shi
5 Go



English Japanese
6 Roku
7 Shichi
8 Hachi
9 Kyu
10 Jyu