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Sport Karate vs Traditional Karate During the years after World War II American servicemen stationed in Okinawa trained in the traditional art of Okinawan Karate Most of these servicemen were in Okinawa long enough to gain only a very basic understanding of the art Upon returning home these men introduced their interpretation of karate to the American public for the first time Since then karate has grown to be one of the most popular sports in the United States Most people would see this increase in popularity as positive progress in the evolution of karate but it is not True to form Americans have taken an art from a different culture and Americanized it beyond recognition American Sport Karate is the direct antithesis of Traditional Karate in several ways In Okinawan traditional dojo schools a prospective student had to undergo a rigorous selection process Once accepted the student had to continually prove his worthiness to train by exhibiting correct attitude The sensei instructor was ever on the watch for any reason to expel the student from training In the traditional dojo students had to follow a strict code of conduct and dress This code included intricate protocol which taught the student humility respect and manners Students and teachers to signify equality purity and humility wore only white uniforms The white uniform also symbolized death in Okinawa and served as a constant reminder to the student of the deadly aspects of karate In traditional karate the training was non-competitive Students were encouraged not to fight unless they found themselves in a life-threatening situation They were taught the maxim Karate ni sente nashi which means In karate there is no first attack The training process of traditional karate involved repetitious meditative movement Following the idea that you fight like you train students concentrated on learning to hit vital areas out of pure reflex action In this way karateka karate students learned to execute
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