Karate is one of the most common and widely practised martial art forms in the entire world. It is an ancient Japanese martial art and can be described as a weaponless means of self-defence. The word ‘karate’ in itself means ‘open hand’ in Japanese. Kara refers to the psychology of karate while te signifies that your main weapon in karate is your body. Beyond using the practice as a form of combat, it is seen more as an approach or way of life.
Karate is used to develop greater human character and a balanced mind and body through the use of fighting techniques that will prevent a violent attack before any actual fight takes place. The overarching concept of karate is to cultivate a sense of preparedness that will not only be useful in each fight but also in life.
Despite the lack of weapons used in this practice, karate consists of various defensive and offensive techniques that use all parts of the body for maximum advantage.
Basic rules and concepts of karate
After years of training, it is finally time to move over to the mat and put your skills to the test. Each match begins and ends with ‘respect’, where contestants are required to bow as a form of courtesy to their opponent. Karate matches take place on an 8m by 8m square mat with a one-metre allowance on each side that is referred to as the safety area.
The objective in every match is to defeat your opponent through the use of kicks, punches and throws to score points. Each player is scored based on their form, timing, accurate distance, application, awareness, and attitude. The contender with the most points at the end of the match or has a clear eight-point lead will then be declared the winner by the judges and the referee.
Top karate classes in Singapore
|Speciality||Founded by the legendary Karate exponent Ashihara Hideyuki, |
A modern, eclectic Japanese martial art based on the ‘sabaki method’, the Ashihara system is highly acclaimed as one of the most practical and realistic forms of Karate today, emphasizing simplicity and scientific logic.
|Address||JK Building: Jalan Jurong Kechil, |
Buona Vista Community Club: 36 Holland Drive
Shitoryu Karate Association
|Speciality||This is the place to learn snazzy karate moves. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve never hurt a fly or are a seasoned veteran breaking through brick blocks, this place caters to all levels. All the instructors have real Japanese training.|
|Address||60 Tessensohn Road Civil Service Club Level 2|
|Speciality||Formally founded in 2012 by Sensei Jimmy Lim, DOJO WU is a martial arts school that teaches traditional full contact Kyokushin karate in Singapore. |
Training in *Scape at Orchard Road, Joo Chiat, Our Tampines Hub and JTC Summit, we have students of various nationalities between ages 6 to 60 and is one of the largest Kyokushin karate schools in Singapore affiliated with the renowned WKO (World Karate Organisation) Shinkyokushinkai organisation.
|Address||2 Orchard Link #05-01, Studio A|
|Speciality||The Japan Karate Association The mission of the JKA — which has its headquarters in Japan but has members spanning over 100 countries — is the promotion of karate and its benefits and values throughout the world. JKA Singapore is dedicated to the teaching and promotion of authentic JKA karate in Singapore.|
|Address||Jalan Besar Community Centre: 69 Jellicoe Road |
Leng Kee Community Centre: 400 Lengkok Bahru
Mumei Shudan Dojo: Level 4, 149C Selegie Road
|Speciality||Trifecta Martial Arts is a martial arts school and academy specializing in various martial arts classes in Singapore. Our classes run daily and are for kids ages 3 and up, and also to adults across all skill levels. |
Trifecta Martial Arts promise a safe, friendly and non-competitive training environment for all. We also maintain a fee structure to encourage higher frequency and consistency in training.
|Address||33D Hong Kong Street, Level 5|
|Speciality||Evolve Mixed Martial Arts® is Asia’s top martial arts organization. It has the most number of authentic World Champions available anywhere in the world. Our award-winning instructors are not only proven competitors at the highest levels in the world, but they have also earned instructor certifications at the highest levels from the foremost authorities. |
Evolve MMA consistently ranks among the best academies in the world for martial arts.
|Address||Evolve MMA has branches located in Far East Square, Orchard Central, Clarke Quay Central, and KINEX.|
Goju-ryu Karate-Do Association
Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Association Singapore was established in 2006. They are a team of karate practitioners promoting authentic and traditional martial arts and seek to foster positive values, build character, perseverance and integrity through Karate training.
Over the years, Goju-Ryu karate continues to proliferate in Singapore and many excellent members have emerged from years of disciplined practice and promoted the ways of Goju-Ryu.
10 Serangoon North Avenue 2
|Telephone||To enrol classes conducted in community centres, please go to www.onepa.sg|
|Speciality||The Singapore Karate-Do Federation is the highest authority for the promotion and in governing of all Karate-Do matters and promotes Karate-Do as a way of life regardless of race and background. |
SKF is the only recognised and controlling body of all Karate affairs and matter in the Republic of Singapore. If you’re looking for certified Karate Classes in Singapore, look no further than the SKF.
|Address||262 Bishan Street 22, #B1-287|
|Speciality||The most important self-defence technique is self-confidence—and thatʼs exactly what your child will gain through The LittlObstacle courses, high energy music, skill-based activities and games create fun learning opportunities to help kids gain the focus needed to excel in the gym, in the classroom and everywhere else they go in life. |
Gym Karate Classes for kids. Students learn fundamental karate blocks, punches and kicks in a positive, non-competitive environment, with the addition of gymnastics techniques for a fun twist on the ancient martial art.
|Address||The Little Gym has branches located in Marina Square and Forum The Shopping Mall.|
|Telephone||Marina Square Branch: 6336-4307 |
Forum Branch: 6238 8267
|Speciality||Our Mini Ninjas program is a fun and energetic program where children will develop their coordination, gross motor skills, learn basic karate movements and be thought the core values of Martial Arts. This program will prepare children to progress to the Karate Kids program. |
This program is best suited for children aged two to four and will be spearheaded by Coach Sean, who has 27 years of karate experience.
|Address||18 Howard Road 09-07 Novelty BizCentre,|
|Speciality||Shinwa-Kai Karate Club (Singapore) is founded in 1997 by Shihan Richard Ng, 7th Dan Black-Belt, NROC Master Coach & National Coach of Singapore. In these 13 years, the club has grown to be one of the larger karate clubs in Singapore, with 11 dojos islandwide currently, promoting sport karate in this nation.|
|Address||They hold weekly classes at various community centres islandwide such as Anchorvale Community Centre, Cairnhill Community Centre, Ci Yuan Community Centre, and Taman Jurong Community Centre.|
Different benefits of karate
It allows you to learn many self-defence skills
The clearest benefit in practising karate is developing a wide range of self-defence skills. The fundamentals of karate equip you with all the skills you will need in the event that you are faced with life-threatening situations. From a more practical point of view, karate will teach your various combat techniques from punching, kicking and evading that will transform your body into a weapon.
It is a total body workout
Karate doesn’t just work out one particular body part but targets your entire body. It works on improving your cardiovascular health, enhancing your stamina, as well as toning your muscles. Regardless of whether you’re in a high-intensity class or something more slow-paced, each session combines cardio and endurance training that will get your whole body pumping, all while burning calories at the same time.
It improves your coordination and reflexes
In any martial arts style, it definitely requires hand-eye and overall body coordination that is vital in the practice. The more you practice and enhance your skills, it will also require more coordination and muscle communication. Constantly perfecting your practice can improve your reflexes not just in karate but also in daily activities such as driving.
It increases your awareness and agility
Karate requires you to be alert at all times and be quick on your feet when there is an incoming attack. Over time, you will develop through your speed and alertness through special karate drills that focus on executing complicated footwork.
It improves your overall confidence
Confidence is an important benefit in karate that can help you in all areas of your life, especially for women. Being equipped with the necessary skills and techniques can do wonders for your confidence if you are ever put in a dangerous situation. It also brings you a great sense of satisfaction knowing that you’re able to protect and defend yourself in life.
It cultivates a sense of respect
Just like most martial art forms, karate deeply values respect and courtesy and is the centre of the practice. This refers to respecting others and yourself as well. The basis of karate is to never underestimate your opponent and instead focus your energy on yourself and doing your best to bring your a-game. Without respect, you will not be a successful karate practitioner or karateka.
It enhances your mental resilience and improves mental health
Mental toughness is something that is developed over years of training karate. Through the different types of karate practices such as kata, kumite, and tameshiwari, it makes you push not just your physical limits but mental limits as well. With heightened mental resilience, this prepares you for all the adversities that may come your way in life.
Are karate classes suitable for all ages?
All types of martial arts, including karate, is for everyone and anyone, regardless of whether you’re young or young at heart. While many parents nowadays decide to enrol their children to karate classes at a young age, you can start learning karate at absolutely any age.
Things to be mindful of
While you will certainly learn a plethora of physical skills and techniques, you need to remember the art of karate is all about self-defence. It is not to be used as a means of attacking, or for self-revenge, and should only be used to protect and defend. Practice mindfulness in the craft and only seek self-improvement for yourself and for others.
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