Whilst the roots of Karate stretch back as far as 2000BC, present day studies will probably be the most interested in the development of the Art during this century. It is said that in the early 1900's Karate was introduced into mainland Japan from the island of Okinawa by Gishan Funikowshi. From Japan the art of Karate has spread throughout the world until it has become one of the world's great sports.

Karate as a Martial Art combines smooth, flowing, evasive movements with sudden hand strikes. In Karate the emphasis is on power. With its vast range of kicks, hand strikes and escape techniques Karate covers a broad spectrum of self defence and, as such, has an obvious attraction to men, women, and children of all ages.

Some of the benefits that can be derived from the regular practice of Karate, by people of all ages, regardless of gender, are:
  • The promotion of physical fitness
  • A deeper mental awareness and self control
  • A practical method of self defence
  • A sense of respect towards, and an understanding of oneself and others
  • A strong social aspect where many friendships can be made
ECKA Full Contact Karate
Many different styles of Karate are practiced throughout the world. The style practiced by this Club and Association is Full Contact Karate, which we believe to be the most effective of all styles available. In Full Contact Karate the student is able to participate in realistic combat, without the fear of injury, since full safety equipment is used during sparring.

Full Contact Karate probably employs more kicking techniques than any other Martial Art. For free sparring the development of snap power in both kicking and punching is important, although naturally many other more powerful kicking and punching techniques are used. Release holds, throws, and sweeps are other important aspects of Full Contact Karate training.
Kickboxing has been influenced by a combination of Muay Thai and other Martial Arts including Karate and Boxing. Kickboxing is fairly new to the Western World, only about 30 years old compared with Boxing which is nearly 200 years old.

In Kickboxing the outcome is determined by kick-knockout, knockout, judge's decision or draw, or a technical equivalent of the same, much as in professional boxing.

Participants are required to wear padded gloves and foot gear, and must execute a specific number of above-the-belt kicks per round. Chokes, head butts, knee and elbow strikes, biting, holding and striking when an opponent is down are prohibited.

Matches are conducted in a 16-20 square foot roped ring, similar to boxing, and range from 3 two minute rounds (for Amateurs) to 12 rounds (for Professional World Championships) in length, with a one-minute rest period between rounds. Each bout is controlled by a Referee, monitored by an attending Physician, and scored by three Judges. The introduction of padded gloves and foot gear at the sport's inception to minimize unsightly facial cuts.

Full Contact Karate first surfaced as American Kickboxing in January 1970 when Joe Lewis (known as the Father of American Kickboxing), influenced by his training sessions in boxing sessions with Bruce Lee, staged the first contact bout, knocking out Greg Baines to become the first heavyweight champion.
Thanks to Martial - Way for this information.

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