I was recently asked to make karate cookies. Do you know what the word Karate means? Empty hand (an art of self-defense). I don't know if I recall all the details, but basically the people of Okinawa were not allowed to own any weapons and the way they practiced and trained to defend themselves was secret and made to look like Okinawan dance. If you've ever seen a Kata or Waza, then you know it looks like a dance, but it is all about self-defense.
Modern karate was taught for the first time in Japan in 1923 by a special invitation from the Ministry of Education to Okinawan master of karate, Gichin Funakoshi, who is the father of Japanese karate. In my own karate training, I read the book "Karate-Do My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi". I remember one part in particular that there was a typhoon and Funakoshi was on top of his house, practicing karate and stabilizing himself in his low stances. When he would be thrown off the roof, he would get back up and continue again.
Our style of karate uses a black gi (uniform), but many styles use white.
Want more karate trivia? Hiho Jitsu means the art of overcoming an opponent by pressure points. If I recall correctly, there are 40 pressure points and you have to know all of them for your Black Belt test.
Makzo is kneeling position and for your green belt test, you have to sit in makzo position for 30 minutes. The easiest way is to close your eyes and complete zazen (meditate) and forget the world around you. When you come out of the position, your legs feel like red ants are biting them as the blood flow returns to your legs! Ouch!
One of the mottos from the dojo (karate school) that I practiced at: The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.
More karate cookies
We had to use different strikes to take the air out of a candle without touching it: punch, chop, palm heel. If you touch the candle and knock it down, it was over for that technique with no points given.
We had to break through 3 wood boards with a punch, a chop or palm heel and a kick. If you didn't get through all the boards at once, you had to start over. Our hands were completely swollen after this part of the test. Thankfully the obstacle course is at the very end of the Black Belt test.
I earned my Black Belt in 2007.
This was a proud day when my son earned his Black Belt in 2011.
Karate blog background for today: