What is Karate?

Karate took its origin from South India from an art called “Kalaripayat” which was carried across the Himalayas by a Buddhist monk called Bodhidharma, to China, where it took the form of “Kung Fu”. Kung Fu manifested itself in various styles adapted from the fighting techniques of animals and transfigured into effective fighting systems. From China Karate found its way to Okinawa where, repressed and lorded over by Japanese militia, the inhabitants used Karate as a means of survival.


Over the years, karate developed into an art and now has the largest following the world over owing to its enormous popularity.


Karate incorporates punches, strikes, blocks and kicks, which are the fundamental Karate techniques, and used in combinations, with requisite speed, focus, power and technique, make the Karateka into the formidable opponent he is reputed to be. The true practitioner of Karate absorbs the basic tenets of Karate into his system as the code behavior, until his/her character reflects self-discipline and self-control.


Karate training adds a new dimension to the concept of the master-student relationship – what we in India call guruchela aspect, where the student’s admiration and respect bordering on reverence, leads him to emulate the qualities and performance of the master, imposing a great burden of responsibility on the master.


Styles of Karate

Karate is the martial art which is the outcome of the phenomenal spread of Karate world-wide. The divergence in methods and objectives led to master developing different styles. The main recognized styles of Karate are:

  • Goju Ryu established by Sensei Chojun Miyagi
  • Shotokan established by Sensei Gichin Funakoshi
  • Wado Ryu established by Sensei Hironori Otsuka
  • Shitu Ryu established by Sensei Kenwa Mabuni
  • Shorin Ryu established by Sensei Shoshin Nagamine

Karate - The Indian Connection

The ACADEMY OF MARTIAL ARTS (AMA), was founded by Shihan Parvez Mistry in 1964 when, being a trained judoka, he set up a class in self-defense. Karate was introduced to India by Sensei Mistry in 1969, when he returned from Japan as India’s first Black Belt Karate instructor, qualified to teach and grade, having attained his hachi- dan ( 8th degree) Black Belt in 2010.

The style of karate practiced and taught by Sensei Mistry at the AMA is The International Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate, and Pervez Mistry is the only chief instructor for this traditional style in India, under chief instructor Shihan Morio Higaonna IOGKF world.

Dojo Etiquette

The “dojo” or training place, is a sacred place and as such it should be revered.


  • The most difficult part to Karate training is to regular. The practitioners must be regular in their attendance and must try to be on time.
  • If a senior student is behind you at the entrance, let him/her go in first.
  • Upon entering the dojo, repeat the greeting of the hour loudly and clearly:
    Good morning Ohiogozarimas
    Good afternoon Konechiwa
    Good evening Kunbawa
  • The greeting must be responded by all students already in the dojo.
  • Always make sure the area of training is clean treated as temple.
  • No jewelry must be worn by the practitioners for their and opponents safety whist training.
  • After changing, show reverence by bowing in seiza to shomen (name board).
  • Always be polite to all instructors, senior students and others.
  • Be aware of your physical condition. Keep your finger and toe nails short and clean in order to prevent injuries to yourself and to others.
  • It is mandatory to do warm-up and to do proper cool-down exercise before and after practicing, so that the body remains supple thus avoiding injuries.
  • When the instructor calls Shugo, lineup smartly facing shomen. When the instructor calls “muksu” (meditation) close your eyes, and keep your mind clear of all thoughts.
  • Training equipment in the dojo belongs to everyone. Be sure it is back in the correct place after using it, at the end of the class.
  • When the instructor gives you advice or correction, always show that you have heard or understood by bowing.
  • Never ask a question in the middle of a session. You may do so at the end of the session after the seiza.
  • When you injure yourself, ask the Chief instructor for advice. At these times, watch the session, take notes from time to time, thereby improving yourself.
  • On leaving the dojo, say “storeshimas” (excuse me) loudly and clearly, facing towards shomen, or “Arigato Gozarimashita” (Thank you very much)
  • Before entering the dojo, remove outer clothing such as coat, scarf and hat. After taking off your shoes at the entrance, place them neatly in order. If you find some shoes in disorder, place them in order also.
  • Always try to keep your training clothes clean and tidy. Always practice in clean training clothes in the dojo.
  • Never train on an empty stomach, eat an hour before class.
  • When you observe the training at the dojo, sit in seiza or cross leg position, keeping back straight.
  • Each student should know his physical condition, stamina and physical strength well. Do not force yourself to do the impossible.
  • The instructor should always observe the physical condition of each student. Take a short break in the middle of a training period.
  • When the closing exercises are finished, sit in the “seiza” form in the original position.
  • Concentrate on breathing, keeping your mind and body relaxed.
  • The beginners and colored belt students should ask the senior students if they have any questions. It is important to study about Karate always.
  • Do not forget to thank anyone who gives you some advice on Karate.