What is Karate?
Karate is a martial art and system of self-defense that originated hundreds of years ago in Okinawa but, was greatly influenced by an even older tradition from China. Literally, “karate-do” means “the way of the empty hand,” referring to the fact that its practitioners use no weapons to attack and defend, but only the hands, feet, and body. Yet karate is much more than merely physical. Through hard training and practice, karate develops not only the body, but also the mind and character.
What is the purpose and goal of karate?
The ultimate purpose of karate is not physical prowess or the winning of matches, but the development of balance, harmony and spiritual and physical strength through strict, disciplined training. Karate schools you in natural, effortless action, and imbues you with an openness, peace and wholeness of character that vastly enrich day-to-day life.
What is the IKO?
The International Karate-Do Organization (IKO), is a prestigious karate organization, with members from around the world who promote good karate. More importantly though, we are The Keeper of High standard Tradition, the preserver of the soul and spirit of the art of karate in line with the tradition of Bushido (the way of the samurai). Our mission is to promote the way of karate throughout the world.
What sort of karate does the IKO teach?
The IKO is the generally-recognized heir to the Shotokan karate tradition as developed by Supreme Master Funakoshi Gichin, and teaches a specially-refined form of Shotokan style karate.
What is the IKO’s philosophy of karate?
At the IKO, karate is not a sport or a game of points; it is a way of life based on Bushido. In true karate, the body, mind and spirit—the whole person—must be developed simultaneously. Through intense practice, the physical and mental aspects of karate can be brought together. The result is natural, effortless action, and the confidence, humility, openness and peace only possible through perfect unity of body and mind. This is the core teaching of Zen, the basis of Bushido, and the cornerstone of the IKO’s karate philosophy.
Can anyone practice karate? Yes! The only real requirement is a disciplined commitment to work hard and train patiently. As long as that commitment is there, karate is for everyone—regardless of age, sex, or ethnic background.
Do I need to be in excellent physical shape to start karate?
Not really. Since karate will gradually improve your fitness as you progress, your starting point is less important than the effort you put into it along the way. At the IKO, our traditional focus on the basics and on correct form make it easy for beginners to train together with experienced individuals yet still progress at their own level of fitness and expertise. If you are less fit, your progress at the start will simply be more moderate; as your fitness improves, so will the pace at which you advance.
What is expected of me if I join?
Four things. You are expected to be committed to your karate training, and to attend classes on a regular basis. You are expected to give your karate training your maximum effort, and to work hard during practice. You are expected to demonstrate the respect, humility and courtesy upon which karate’s long-standing tradition is founded. And of course, you are expected to pay your membership dues and other fees.
What will training involve?
A typical karate practice session usually begins with a comprehensive warm-up, followed by the various training exercises. The exercises are divided into three main categories: kihon (basic techniques), in which you learn the basic blocks, punches, kicks, stances, etc. of karate; kata (forms), in which you practice and physically remember the various kihon learned; and kumite (sparring), where your kihon and kata techniques are matched against a real opponent. As your skill level increases, so will the difficulty and degree of the exercises. Of course, there will also be times when you are taught theory, dojo etiquette and the more philosophical aspects of karate.
What are the benefits of traditional karate training?
Karate has tremendous benefits for body, mind and spirit. Physically, karate is good for the heart, strengthens bones, builds muscle, creates resilience, develops hand-eye coordination, and makes the body less susceptible to sickness and injury. Mentally, karate helps develop patience, discipline, perseverance, understanding and open-mindedness, as well as concentration and focus. Spiritually, karate builds confidence, develops self-control and increases calmness and peace.
How do I become a member of the IKO?
Joining the IKO requires filling out an application form and paying the appropriate membership fees. The IKO offers two kinds of membership: Group Membership, for those wishing to affiliate their dojo or karate group in their country with the IKO World and Individual Membership, for people interested in joining the IKO as an individual and attending one of our dojo near them.
Is there a IKO dojo somewhere near me?
Check with the authorized IKO representative in your area for information on the closest dojo to you., many people like to call and talk to the instructor, ask questions, etc. Many also prefer to go in person to observe how a typical class is run. You can make any such arrangements directly with the instructor once you’ve received the dojo information from our representatives.
Can I train at an affiliated IKO Dojo in Japan?
Yes. Every year, It’s always one of the highlights of their karate experience. If you are interested, find out more
Does the IKO Compete in competitions?
The International Karate Do Organization supports competition and provides opportunities to compete at all levels, from the local tournaments through world championships. We International Karate Do Organization, we believe that the value of competition is not in the medals, but rather in the preparation for the event and the athlete doing their very best in competition. Participants learn important skills through competition including:
- Goal setting
- How to control of emotions when under pressure
- How to handle winning and losing
- How to assess their performance
International Karate Do Organization host 2 major tournaments each year:
NATIONAL COMPETITION – International Karate Do Organization sends athletes to events across the United States, We actively participate in the Traditional Karate Circuit in the USSSA KARATE Program as well as other established organizations.
International Karate Do Organization have several members on the United States Junior and Senior teams. These athletes represent the United States at events like the Jr and Sr Pan American Championships and Jr and Sr World Championships.
These tournaments bring athletes from dojos across the country and the world to compete in the Sunny Florida. These tournaments provide an outstanding opportunity to compete at high level.