Karate Club Tour -breathtaking showcase of fights-

December 13, 2023

We continue to tell students about the various clubs at Hosei University. At the end of 2023, we had the opportunity to attend an open class of the Karate Club.

Karate (空手) is an extremely popular martial art that has gained global recognition and has a significant following. Karate-do, often simply referred to as Karate, is a traditional Japanese martial art that originated in Okinawa. It is based on the premise of fighting without weapons, using thrusts and kicks.
Karate-do is not only about physical techniques, it also has a philosophical and ethical foundation. Practitioners often follow principles such as respect, humility, discipline and self-control. In the open class we were taught about the key aspects and terms of Karate-do. 

  • Dojo (道場): Training in Karate typically takes place in a “dojo,” which is a training hall. The dojo is considered a sacred space where practitioners come together to learn, practice, and cultivate their skills. In Japanese “道do” means “the way” or “the path,” and “場jo” means “place” or “location.” Together, “dojo” translates to “the place of the way.”
  • Kata: Kata competitions are a significant aspect of Karate. During them practitioners demonstrate their techniques in a set order, showcase their skills. The demonstration lasts from a few dozen seconds to several minutes, depending on the kata. Kata, which means “form” or “pattern” in Japanese, involves a choreographed series of movements that simulate a defense against multiple attackers. The competition is based on a point system, and the points for victory or defeat are as follows: 1) standing posture; 2) technique; 3) fluidity of movement; 4) timing; 5) breathing; 6) kime (this term describes a specific concept related to the focus and application of power in techniques); 7) strength; 8) speed; 9) balance.
  • Kumite: Kumite refers to sparring or engaging in controlled, supervised combat with an opponent. Unlike kata, kumite allows practitioners to apply their techniques in a dynamic and responsive setting against a live, resisting opponent. There are different levels of kumite, ranging from basic drills to more advanced free sparring. Kumite allows practitioners to apply their techniques in a dynamic and responsive setting. Kumite is conducted under specific rules to ensure the safety of participants. Common rules include restrictions on certain techniques and controlled contact to avoid injuries.

Belt System: Karate-do uses a colored belt ranking system to signify a practitioner’s skill level and progress. Beginners typically start with a white belt and progress through various colored belts until reaching higher dan (black belt) ranks. Each belt color represents a different stage in the learning process.

Styles: There are various styles of Karate-do, each with its unique techniques, forms, and emphasis on certain aspects of the art. Some well-known styles include Shotokan, Goju-Ryu, Wado-Ryu, and Shito-Ryu, among others.

Hosei University’s Karate Club was founded in 1934. The style of the club is Shotokan-ryu (it is known for its strong, linear movements). Hosei University’s Karate Club has a lot of achievements: among recent ones are:

  • – 2nd place in the Kanto Tournament (kumite)
  • – best 4 in the All Japan Tournament (kumite)

The club has 36 members and many of them were active in national tournaments during their high school years. At the open class, it was immediately apparent how friendly all the club members are with each other and how they support each other in their love of karate. That is the same kind of love they want to inspire in new members, so be sure to try your hand at the art of karate!

At the open class, we were shown the basic techniques and even given the opportunity to try them out. At first, the movements seem difficult to perform, but with clear and detailed guidance from the instructor (先生), the philosophy of the movements becomes clear.

Everyone was very impressed with the open class, breathtaking showcase of fights and the knowledge gained about this incredible martial art. Experience the same emotions by visiting Hosei University’s Karate Club!