Kampala Dojo-Uganda

Essential Karate 

Fundamental of Karate

To practice Karate effectively and safely, you must first condition your body these basic exercises should be performed often and repeatedly in order to build up strength and flexibility (and reduce the chances of injuries).

1. Wrist exercises

Start by standing with your legs slightly apart Then bring your hands together, palms and fingers flat against one another (as in photos 1 through 6)Apply pressure and gradually bring your hands to chest level .Then start turning the fingers so that they point upwards, and at the same time raise your hands over your head. Make sure that the two hands always stay in contact with each other to chest level as shown in photo 6.

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2. Exercise for the Achilles tendon

Start by standing on your toes. In this position, bend your knees and your hips. Then, transfer the body weight to your heels, at the same time straightening your knees but still keeping the hips bent. This is one of the most important of all the preliminary exercises because any sudden strong tension on the Achilles tendon could rupture it. Therefore, it must be strengthened before you attempt any strenuous activities.
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3. Knee exercise

This is primarily a flexibility exercise. Bend the knees deeply, hold them together with both hands, and rotate them to the left and then to the right. Strong, flexible knees are essential as they are the pivotal points for jumping and kicking.

4. Heel and ankle exercise

Lift one foot at a time and rotate the heel in a circular motion to the left and right. This will improve turning and elasticity

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5. Toe exercise

Stand with the fit slightly spread and the hands grasping the belt. Lift the big toes as far off the ground as possible without lifting the other toes or the rest of the foot.

Then lift the other toes without lifting the big toes This exercise will reduce the possibility of injuries to the toes resulting from improper kicking techniques, especially when performing Naka~ a shi (ball of the foot kick).

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6. Hi exercises

Stand with the fit wide apart and hands clasped behind your head. Then bend forward without bending your knees, straighten up again, and bend backwards as far as possible. Practice this exercise until you are gradually able to do it with your legs together.

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7. Side exercise for round house block

The roundhouse block (mawashiuke) is described on page 89.This exercise increases the flexibility and strength of the side muscles. From the starting position (1), pull the@lower hand back against the side. Start bending to the side over that hand, and reach up and over the head with the other hand (2). Finally, thrust both hands towards the same side as if to ward off an attacker (3). Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.     

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8. Back exercises for roundhouse block

Twist your body towards the back as far as possible (1). Then bend forward without bending the knees and touch the ground (2). Return to the standing position. Twist your body in the opposite direction, and repeat the exercise.

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9. Push ups

One variation of the push ups is to use only fists to push off the ground. In another, your hands are flat against grounds. However, the best method is to use only the fingertips, starting with all five and gradually reducing the number as your strength increases. You should eventually be able to do push ups with only one finger on each hand. Make sure that your hips neither protrude nor sag when doing this exercise.

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