World Karate Champion, Ayano Nakamura
This video shows an interview with world champion Ayano Nakamura, about karate.
Approved as an official game of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, karate is very popular internationally as a form of self-defense, mental training, and sport.
Have you hear of the movie Karate Kid?
If you recall, the story is about a boy who practices karate, and through that he grows as a person.
Three entries were made for the blockbuster, and it captured the hearts of audiences all over the world with its themes of martial arts and spirit.
Currently, there are about 70 million karate practitioners worldwide.
This interview with Ayano Nakamura, winner of the 2017 Karate World Championships, introduces what karate is and what makes it appealing.
What is Karate?
Karate is a Japanese martial art that focuses on using the hands and elbows for defense.
Although there are various views on the origin of karate, it is rooted in an old Okinawan martial art called "te" (手, te) or "karate" (唐手, karate) which was popular among samurai in the Ryukyu Kingdom (present day Okinawa) as an art of self-defense.
Later, it was blended with a Chinese martial art and the base for the karate we know today was formed.
The martial art has adopted the three elements: spirit, technique, and physique.
Karate has countless styles. The most famous ones are the four major styles of karate: Shotokan style, Goju style, Wado style, and Shito style) and the three major styles of Okinawan karate (Goju style, Uechi style, and Kobayashi style).
Although the names of the kata (form of movement, posture, etc. in martial arts) are the same, each school has its own characteristics.
At countless gyms and schools of karate throughout Japan, many people are practicing karate to learn about the Japanese spirit and manners as well.
Two Types of Sports Karate: Kata and Kumite
Sports karate has two types: kata and kumite.
In kata, practitioners compete on precision and speed, while in kumite, practitioners compete on how precisely they can hit a certain body part of the opponent.
Basic Kata of Karate
Ayano Nakamura mastered Shotokan style karate which has 25 types of kata.
As the phrase goes "karate is not for attacking" every kata starts with a block instead of an attack.
Trainees master basic kata such as punches, kicks, and blocks first, then move on to more complicated kata.
Well-known kata are "Bassaidai," "Kankudai," "Enbi," and "Jion" etc.
What Can You Learn From Karate?
Learning techniques is of course important in karate.
However, observing rules always comes first in the martial art.
As "karate is not for attacking" implies, controlling your techniques is more important than anything else in karate.
Summary of Karate
In this interview, Ayano Nakamura describes the traditional Japanese culture "Karate."
She focuses more on the mental aspect of karate, manners, etc., rather than the aspect of karate as a martial art.
Karate gives more importance what it means to be a fighter, such as making eye contact while talking and greeting.
To be strong is one of the ultimate goals of martial arts.
Ayano Nakamura hopes, however, that everyone develops a tender heart to care for others, and develops the courage to overcome obstacles through karate.
In this video, Ayano Nakamura explains what makes karate attractive and demonstrates her karate techniques.
Check out her sharp, impressive movements and powerful will!