What is Karate?
The word karate can be generally translated as "empty hand" or "open hand," a designation that is both literal and philosophical - the empty hand can strike out in defense or reach out in friendship.
While there are many contemporary styles of karate, each with its own history, they all have in common a single origin. When Japanese rulers centuries ago forbade the general citizenry to possess conventional weapons, citizens adapted by expanding upon ancient weaponless self-defense techniques. In addition, everyday tools were adapted to self-defense. Weapons today widely identified with karate, such as the kama, nunchaku, sai and tonfa, all began as common farming implements.
The karate style taught at the Suenaka Martial Arts School is Matsumura Seito Hakutsuru Shorin-ryu Katatedo and Kobudo, otherwise known as "White Crane" Karate. The last living direct teacher of this style was Grandmaster Hohan Soken, who during his life was considered the greatest karate teacher on Okinawa, and under whom Suenaka Sensei studied for many years. The style is crisp yet graceful, incorporating some grappling and many traditional karate weapons. It requires a good degree of physical fitness, which is developed during study. It is both an effective method of self-defense and a path to personal betterment.
Karate is ideal for men and women of all levels of fitness and experience. Classes are conducted in a disciplined yet joyful and welcoming atmosphere, totally absent of conflict and machismo. All sincere seekers are welcome to study.
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