Japanese Martial Arts

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  • Topic: Jujutsu, Aikido, Karate
  • Pages : 4 (1382 words )
  • Download(s) : 223
  • Published : March 26, 2008
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The Martial Arts of Japan The martial arts have influenced Japan in many ways. Many of these arts have been passed down from ancient times and are still even practiced today. In my report, I will examine the major Japanese arts and tell how they have influenced Japan. First, however, I will give a little background for these arts. The original word for Japanese martial arts was bujutsu, or art of the military. This had more to do with physical techniques than philosophical and mental. The physical, mental and philosophical techniques were combined to create budo, or way of the military. Budo was also used to describe the code of the samurai in feudal days. Karate is actually a Japanese word meaning empty hand.(Nakayama 80) This applies that no weapons other than the hands are needed to attack or defend. Karate is categorized into four parts -- physical conditioning, self-defense, mental conditioning, and sport. A typical Karate tournament would include demonstrations of breaking, weapons use, self-defense techniques, tradition and open forms and the most exciting competition, sparring. Nobody is quite sure when Karate was created, but we do know that an Indian priest, Daruma, a brilliant doctor, Hua T'o, and a popular general of the Sung Dynasty, Yuen Fei, are considered its forefathers. We also know that it was developed in Okinawan islands from Chinese techniques and local innovations as a system of self-defense. In the 1920's, Gichin Funakoshi, an Okinawan schoolteacher taught a method of karate to Japan which caught on. Figure 1 - Sumo Warrior seen meditating before a battle Sumo in its early days tended to be violent with no holds barred. During the reign of Emperor Saga (r. 809-23) the practice of sumo was encouraged as a martial art and rules were established and techniques cultivated. It is impossible to determine whether the art of sumo is a completely native sport or whether similar forms of grappling from other parts of Asia and Eurasia influenced it....
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