United Karate Sports Centre Group in UAE Since 1979
Intl. Okinawan Shorin - Ryu Seibukan Karate Do
Okinawan Jinbukan Kobodo & Shudokan Aikido Institute, UAE

United Karate Group International

Martial Arts Center

What is Karate


Karate is the way of the empty hand; karate is a type of sport, which is used for self-defense or to defeat an opponent.

That or something similar would be the answer from a normal karate teacher if asked by a student "What is Karate?"

If one were to put the same question to a karate master of wisdom and knowledge he would probably answer "Karate is Kata!"

A young karateka or teacher with a keen interest in sport tournament karate would laugh about such an answer, because the deeper meaning and way of karate-Do is not so easily understood.

The main interest of many tournament karate fighters and teachers is to beat their opponent, to be successful, to become a seasoned (street) fighter or to guide their students into these directions.

It is not strictly necessary to be a member of a karate school in order to become a good fighter. Everyday experience in combatin the streets, in bars and so on, can also make a good fighter.
Even for fights in competitions it is not strictly necessary to study the basis of karate-do
It is often quiet sufficient to familiarize oneself with the correct moves and kicks, the rules and the point system from competition sparing in order to be successful.
It should – however – always be remembered that kumite, the fight, is only a small part of karate, kumite alone must never be seen as karate.

Karate is like the ocean and the fight can only be seen as drops in the vast masses of water. Karate is one of the most disciplined of the martial arts; its very essence is kata.
The true art of karate combat cannot survive without outstanding discipline and a trained mind.

A truly dedicated and traditional karateka will always see that he becomes perfect in the eight virtues, which the traditional kata teaches the student:


Respect for higher ranks, older people and opponents. Politeness can always befound at the beginning and end of each kata. "Rei", bowing respectfully opens and closes every karate training.


A good karateka should try to keep body, mind, clothing and in fact his whole life-style clean and in order. He should set a good example to others.


"Yoi", at the beginning of each kata indicates the ability to detect even the most gentle movement or sound and to be in constant readiness to react with whole body.

Inner Strength:

By means of correct and exact breathing the inner organs of the body can be kept healthy and inner strength (ki) can be built up.

Physical Strength:

In order to carry out the movement precisely yet with elegance, kata supports the development of a healthy and strong body trains in agility, speed, balance as well as a correct posture.

Self Defense:

The first move of a karate-kata is always a defense technique, which shows, that karate beyond all is meant for defense and not attack. The karateka should be able to defend himself successfully against several opponents attacking him from different directions by using his whole body.

Mental Strength:

The karateka is able to carry out all moves and techniques simultaneously with his body and mind in total harmony, through concentration and meditation.


As mentioned before, the bow expresses respect for teachers, parents, his country and for all fellow men. Without kata, its soul, karate would be not more than "Punch and Kick", one combat sport among many, which could be given another name. Karate can be compared with a large tree; kata is the root that feeds it, keeps it strong. Karate without kata is like a tree without roots.

Traditional Karate

Shorin-Ryu and especially Seibukan Karate is a style that originated in Okinawa, Japan. It contains many movements from a ninety degree stance and emphasizes the learning of correct, precise movements through repetition of Katas and forms. Aggressiveness and the ability to block and instantaneously counterattack are also basic principles of this style. Hands and feet are both used for fighting on an equal basis. Shorin-Ryu is neither a "soft" nor a "hard" style. It is powerful and precise; but at the same time requires speed as well as agility. Although Shorin-Ryu is not the easiest of the karate styles, it is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and graceful style. There has been no change in this style throughout the centuries. Over the years in many of the karate styles the original names of katas and techniques have been changed due to political reasons, still calling themselves traditional karate style even through the original traditions are not being carried on, not so with Shorin-Ryu. Shorin-Ryu is the oldest karate style in the world. Where many other karate styles have derived from such as Shotokan, Shito-Ryu etc. And we are proud and privileged to say that we are learning and teaching the Shorin-Ryu style practically the same way that the old Okinawan karate masters learned and taught it.