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Sumo l Baseball l Martial Art
Martial Arts

A part from sumo and baseball, Japan is also quite well known for its martial arts. Although they were introduced from China, many have been adopted and modified to suit the Japanese. Martial arts are now popular both in and outside Japan.


Literally translated as "empty hands", karate is related to the Chinese Kung fu and the Korean Taekwondo. One defends oneself with fists, elbows, and feet in karate. Hence no weapons are used, just as its name implied. For maximum results, all movements require the intense discipline of the mind.

There are two basic types of karate performances. The first is "kata", where the fighter performs his or her skills in front of a panel of judges. Precision, technique, and posture are the criteria. The second type is called "kumite", where two karate fighters spar each other.

Karate started in the 14th Century. It only spread to the rest of Japan in the first half of this century. For this reason alone, karate is not considered a traditional Japanese martial art.


Judo is probably one of the most popular martial art in the world. It has even been featured in the Olympic Games and is practiced by millions or people throughout the world today.

Judo was actually developed from the ancient martial art, jujutsu, which was a means of self-defense that was favored by the samurais. It was modernized to judo, which means "the gentle way". It teaches the principle of flexibility and techniques are more important than stamina. The basic principle, however, lie in defeating opponents simply by redirecting their strength against themselves!


Aikido's roots can be traced back to the Minamoto clan back in the 10th Century. However, it was Ueshiba Morihei who started its modern form in the 1920s.

A Japanese defensive martial art, aikido is comprised of many different techniques, such as shinto, karate, and kendo. Aikido techniques can overpower an opponent without much strength.

Breathing and meditation form an integral part of the training. The concentration of movement is also derived from classical Japanese dance and the awareness of "ki", or the life force or will, which flows from the fingertips.

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