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Karate (Japanese: "empty hand"), unarmed-combat system employing kicking, striking, and defensive blocking with arms and legs. Emphasis is on concentration of as much of the body's power as possible at the point and instant of impact. Striking surfaces include the hands (particularly the knuckles and the outer edge), the ball of the foot, heel, forearm, knee, and elbow. All are toughened by practice blows against padded surfaces or wood. Pine boards up to several inches in thickness can be broken by the bare hand or foot of an expert. Timing, tactics, and spirit, however, are each considered at least as important as physical toughening. In sporting karate and sparring (kumite) in training, blows and kicks are stopped short, preferably within an inch of contact. Sporting matches commonly last only three minutes, to a decision, if neither contestant has scored a clean "killing" point in the estimation of the judges. Contests of form (kata) are also held, in which single competitors perform predetermined series of movements simulating defense and counterattack against several opponents. Performances are scored by a panel of judges, as in gymnastics. Karate evolved in the Orient over a period of centuries, becoming systematized in Okinawa in the 17th century, probably by people forbidden to carry weapons. It was imported into Japan in the 1920s. Several schools and systems developed, each favouring somewhat different techniques and training methods. Karate, like other Oriental fighting disciplines, stresses mental attitude, rituals of courtesy, costumes, and a complex ranking system (by colour of belt). There is some overlapping of technique with other fighting styles.



Japanese JUDO (from Chinese: "gentle way"), system of unarmed combat, now primarily a sport, was, as Aikido, derived from the Japanese soft style techniques termed Jujutsu/Jujitsu. Sporting judo rules are complex; the objective is to throw the opponent cleanly, or pin him, or master him by applying pressure to arm joints or to the neck. Techniques are generally intended to turn an opponent's force to one's own advantage rather than to oppose it directly. A ritual of courtesy in practice is intended to promote an attitude of calm readiness and confidence. The usual costume, known as judogi, is a loose jacket and trousers of strong white cloth. White belts are worn by novices and black by masters, with intermediate grades denoted by other colours. Kano Jigoro (1860-1938) collected the knowledge of the old jujitsu schools of the Japanese samurai and in 1882 founded his Kodokan School of judo, the beginning of the sport in its modern form. By the 1960s judo associations had been established in most countries and affiliated to the International Judo Federation with headquarters in Paris. Judo was included in Olympic Games competition for the first time at Tokyo in 1964 and held regularly from 1972. World judo championships for women began in 1980. Women's Olympic competition began in 1992.

Jujutsu was never a martial art! It is originally a term for the soft skill techniques. It was not until the Japanese traditional arts came to the Americas that Jujutsu/Jujitsu became a martial art's name as in for instance "Brazilian Jujitsu". Before there where no Jujutsu/Jujitsu schools in Japan.

Aikido (Japanese: "way of spiritual harmony"), (originally derived from the Japanese soft style techniques termed jujutsu/jujitsu) self-defense system that utilizes twisting and throwing techniques and in its aim of turning an attacker's strength and momentum against himself. Pressure on vital nerve centres is also used. Aikido was developed to subdue, rather than maim or kill as in Karate, but many of its movements can nevertheless be deadly. Aikido especially emphasizes the importance of achieving complete mental calm and control of one's own body to master an opponent's attack. As in other Jjapanese martial arts, the development of courtesy and respect is an integral part of Aikido training. The basic skills of aikido come originated in Japan in about the 14th century. In the early 20th century they were systematized in their modern form through the work of the Japanese DaiToRyu Yawara( AiKi JuJitsu) expert Morei Ueshiba. There are no offensive moves in aikido. As taught by Ueshiba, it was so purely defensive an art that no direct contest between practitioners was possible. In 1969 the founder morei Ueshiba passed away. And so the 2nd generation "doshu" became Kissomaru Ueshiba (son of Morei Ueshiba) (1969 -1997). From 1997 to present time the 3rd doshu has been Moriteru Ueshiba. In present time hundreds of schools and organizations has broken away from the original teachings.

Kung Fu (Chinese: Originally meaning "Hard Work" now generic term for especially non-mainland China martial art types), a martial art, both a form of exercise with a spiritual dimension stemming from concentration and self-discipline and a primarily unarmed mode of personal combat often equated with Karate or Tae Kwon Do. As martial art, kung fu can be traced to the Chou dynasty (1111-255 BC) and even earlier. As exercise it was practiced by the Taoists in the 5th century BC. Its prescribed stances and actions are based on keen observations of human skeletal and muscular anatomy and physiology, and it employs great muscular coordination. The various movements in kung fu, most of which are imitations of the fighting styles of animals, are initiated from one of five basic foot positions: normal upright posture and the four stances called dragon, frog, horse riding, and snake. There are hundreds of styles of kung fu, and armed as well as unarmed techniques have been developed. Kung fu performed as exercise resembles T'ai Chi ch'uan

(Korean: "art of kicking and punching"), Korean art of unarmed combat that is based Karate. The name Tae Kwon Do was officially adopted for this martial art in 1959 after that name had been submitted by the South Korean general Choi Hong Hi, the principal founder of Tae Kwon Do.Tae Kwon Do is characterized by the extensive use of high standing and jump kicks as well as punches and is practiced mainly for sport, but also for self-defense. Training in Tae Kwon Do is carried out by learning individual techniques of kicking, punching, and blocking, which are practiced in combined series of techniques in traditional sets known as hyung. (Proficiency in the graded series of hyung determines rank in the lower grades.) Students also practice basic sparring combinations (il-bo taeryun, "one-step sparring"); these are short, set sequences of attack and counter practiced between partners, after which the students may practice free sparring as opponents. In sparring, blows are stopped just short of contact. Tae Kwon Do is practiced as a sport by awarding points to correctly executed techniques during free sparring or by judging the quality of performed hyung.

The Introduction of Karate to America

The history of karate in America is very unique. Karate Mainly made its way to America Officially by US service men who learned their chosen art from first or second generation Okinawan or Japanese masters. Many of todays American Okinawan karate pioneers includes (but not limited to) John Roseberry Sensei, Frank Van Lenten Sensei, Peter Musacchio Sensei, Peter Urban Sensei, and so on. 

One of the first American service man to introduce pure Okinawan Goju Ryu karate to America was John Roseberry Sensei.  Shihan Roseberry has been training in judo and karate since 1955. He studied judo under Matsumoto-Sensei and karate under Toguchi-Sensei ( a student of Chojun Miyagi) in Okinawa, Japan.  Presently, John Rosberry Sensei holds an 9th degree black belt in karate, 7th degree black belt in judo and 3rd degree black belt in Aikido. He is the founder and head director of the Internationally reknown Shori-Shobukan Association and is truly a legend and gentleman beyond his time.

In the Eastern part of the United States, Frank Van Lenten Sensei was another American serviceman to introduce Goju Ryu, Shorin Ryu, and Isshin Ryu Karate DO to America's Eastern shores.  Grandmaster Frank Van Lenten ( the founder of the Goshin-Do Association) is considered as on of the most respected and highest ranking American instructors in the Eastern hemisphere.  Frank Van Lenten Sensei (a former US Marine) has over 40 years experience in the martial arts, and was a former top ranked competitor in both the US and Japan. Master Frank Van Lenten was once the only American to ever win a championship in Okinawa, Japan in both Kata (forms) and Kumite (sparring).

In the early 1960's, Peter Musacchio Sensei , a returning American serviceman who had studied Karate in Okinawa started the first Karate class in the Central New York area, known as the Central New York Karate and Family Fitness Center. Master Musacchio produced many of todays most finest and famous karate instructors and competitors in the New York State Area. Musacchio Sensei, who is well known for his skills in self-defence, is known around the world as the Father of Upstate Karate.

It was during the late 1960's and early 1970's that Karate began to evolve into an American form.   Many pioneers of American karate did what the Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans themselves had done years before. They took bits and pieces of different styles and molded them into a uniquely American system of martial art. It was at this time that different groups began springing up in the US.  One of the first American Karate Pioneer Legends who broke away from tradition and Americanized Karate was Grandmaster Peter Urban.  Peter Urban Sensei was a student of  ( Japanese Goju Ryu Grandmaster) Gogen Yamaguchi Sensei - The Cat.

Peter Urban Sensei mainly broked away from his former sensei due to Yamaguchi Sensei traditional belief that leadership should be passed through family.  Sensei Urban requested for Yamaguchi sensei to promote him to the rank of 10th dan and to allow him to represent Japanese Goju Ryu in America. Yamaguchi Sensei denied Peter Urban's request mainly because he was a foreigner and because (at the time) of Yamaguchi belief, that only an asian could hold such a rank. It was at this time inwhich Peter Urban Sensei returned back to America and did the most unthinkable, breaking tradition and changing the way of karate in America. Peter Urban Sensei, broked away from Japanese Goju Ryu Karate Do and  founded American Goju Ryu Karate Do and self proclaimed (i.e. promoted) himself as a 10th degree black belt and the Grandmaster of American Goju Ryu.

Grand Master Peter Urban Produced many of the most finest martial artist in the world and became a legend who set the stage of American Karate. In America today there are many Karate schools.  There are also many styles and systems.  Although the basis of Karate began thousands of years ago, there has been a gradual changing in the execution of it's techniques.  Each Master of the past has added his own special ideas to produce today a form of unarmed self-defense equaled by no other means.  Changes are being made even now by Karate Masters of today.  Karate-Do history is being written day by day as it continues to strive for self-betterment in the Art, and character of its followers.  Todays martial artists are stronger, faster, and more knowleable than the past.  Todays martial artists are not limited to one style or art.  They tend to learn different styles and different arts of the Martial arts. Modern Martial artists tend to blend gymnastics, western boxing, and performing arts with Asian martial arts.  However, while change is good, all martial artists recognize that tradition must never be lost.  For without roots, no lineage, there is no art.