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Why Do We Learn How To Use Weapons in Karate?

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Why Do We Learn How To Use Weapons in Karate?

It almost seems contradictory to learn weapons in Karate given that it’s meant to be the practice of self-defence and using weapons is often thought to be an aggressive concept. As well as that, “Karate” means “empty hand”, so you would think that the focus is unarmed combat.

Yet we teach weaponry training before and after reaching Black Belt – why is that?



A weapon is a force multiplier. It lets you do more damage to your opponent, with less effort and exertion, in a shorter period of time, while reducing risk of being damaged yourself.
Once you have learnt the concept and trained in weapons, you can use everyday objects. Don't have a bo staff? A broom will do. No sword? What about an umbrella.



At the beginner level, you learn to control your own body movements. At a more advanced level when weapons are introduced, we use the weapon as an extension of our own body. This means that it must be under control at all times, which takes training and refinement.



It is unlikely anyone is walking around with a Katana or Nunchaku’s nowadays, but Martial Arts evolves over time. This is why we learn defence with easily accessible weapons such as a knife or a baton.



The best fighters in the world have an amazing ability to gauge distance from their opponent and can avoid strikes by millimetres. But when you have different weapons, the “safe distance” and “strike zone” changes. Practicing with different objects can give you a greater understanding of where to stand in a combat situation and even help your sparring.

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