Karate Interview Questions & Answers

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Karate Interview Questions

    1. Question 1. Who Is Known As The Founder Of Shotokan Karate? He Is Also Known As "the Father Of Modern Karate"?

      Answer :

      Funakoshi Sensei is credited as being the founder of the Shotokan style of karate although he himself was never in favor of classifying karate into "styles". Kenwa Mabuni was the founder of Shito-Ryu karate, Choki Motobu was the founder of Motobu-Ryu and Chojin Miyagi was the founder of Goju-Ryu karate.

    2. Question 2. Who Was The Founder Of Shotokan Karate?

      Answer :

      Funakoshi was an Okinawan school teacher who went to Japan to demonstrate karate to the Japanese. His pen name was Shoto.

    3. Question 3. What Is The First Move You Learn As A Beginner?

      Answer :

      Kihon means basic, so the Kihon kata consists of basic blocks and attacks.

    4. Question 4. Edmund Kealoha Parker Was Widely Known As Who?

      Answer :

      Ed Parker was known as, "The Father of American Kenpo", because he developed Kenpo Karate by introducing significant modifications in the art of traditional Kenpo Karate.

    5. Question 5. What Is The Real, Full Name Of Ed Parker?

      Answer :

      Edmund Kealoha Parker was born in Hawaii (March 19, 1931), and died in Honolulu of a heart attack (December 15, 1990).

    6. Question 6. White Gloves Have Been Banned For Some Time Now On Wkf-tournaments. What Color Gloves Are Allowed?

      Answer :

      Shiro was the name for the competitor wearing the white gloves. The belt and leg protection are also both supposed to be in the right colors.

    7. Question 7. What Style Does The Kata Anan Come From?

      Answer :

      This kata has won 1st place at several WKF World Karate Championships. And it is quite old. The Ryuei ryu style was founded by Kenko Nakaima. It is of Chinese origin.

    8. Question 8. What Does The Word Japanese Word "karate" Mean In English?

      Answer :

      The gentle way is the Japanese word for Judo. Karate is used mostly with arms, elbows, knees, and feet.

    9. Question 9. What Is The First Thing You Do Before Entering A Dojo?

      Answer :

      The bow is a show of respect and therefore is always 'performed' before entering the dojo.

    10. Question 10. Who Was The Founder Of Gojuryu Karate?

      Answer :

      Miyagi created the style from the Shoreiryu system he learned from his teacher, Kanryo Hiagoanna.

    11. Question 11. A Front Kick If You Are Right Handed Is Kicked With Which Foot?

      Answer :

      Although your kick will usually come from the back, with your left foot in front.

    12. Question 12. The Japan Karate Association (jka) Is One Of The Biggest And Well Known Shotokan Karate Organizations In The World. Who Was The First Chief Instructor Of The Jka In Japan?

      Answer :

      Masatoshi Nakayama was a prominent student of Gichin Funakoshi. He was also responsible for many of the changes which were made to the original karate which Funakoshi taught on mainlamd Japan. At the time of the formation of the JKA, Funakoshi was 80 years old and held a position equivalent to emeritus chief instructor. Nakayama was designated as chief instructor. Isao Obata and Hidetaka Nishiyama were also two very prominent Shotokan karateka who were also involved with establishing the JKA.

    13. Question 13. What Does Wskf Stand For?

      Answer :

      The WSKF is an off-shoot of the original JKA, Japan Karate Association.

    14. Question 14. Hakutsuru Is An Ancient Chinese Form (kata) Which Is Said To Have Influenced Several Shorin-ryu Kata. What Does The Name Hakutsuru Mean?

      Answer :

      Hakutsuru means White Crane, and although there are very few people today who still practice the authentic form, many of its moves have found its way into other Shorin-Ryu kata.

    15. Question 15. In Kenpo Karate, The Chain Of The Belts A Trainee Can Advance Is What?

      Answer :

      In Kenpo Karate, the official belt's chain is White, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Blue, Green, Brown (3 levels), and Black. In traditional Karate, the standard belt color system is white, yellow, green, brown, and black. Although, some Karate schools and styles have changed this chain to white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black.

    16. Question 16. Who Was The Founder Of Kenpo Karate, And First Teacher Of Ed Parker, Before Mr Parker Started To Develop The Techniques Of Kenpo Karate?

      Answer :

      The founder of Kenpo Karate was not actually Ed Parker but his instructor, Professor William Kwai Suin Chow, who began calling his system "Kenpo Karate". Chow trained by the Great Grand Master James Mitose(in "Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu") who had learned the art of Kenpo Karate in Japan from his grandfather, Sakuhi Yoshida. Ed Parker created his own system (Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate) by adding many innovations in the traditional Kenpo Karate and it's techniques style.

      Miyamoto Musashi was one of the greatest samurai of all-time.

    17. Question 17. What Is Karate? What Is The Difference Between Karate And Karate-do?

      Answer :

      Karate is one of the "martial" or fighting arts from Southeast Asia. It originated in Okinawa as a system of self-defense based on the native Okinawan fighting art called "Te" combined with fighting techniques learned from China.  Before 1880, karate was a secret art. Once it became public, the excellent physical condition and character of karate students led to karate being included in the physical education clases of Okinawan schools. 

      While karate is known for punching, kicking and striking techniques, it also includes grappling and throwing techniques.  Around 1920 karate spread to Japan.  In Japan, it was greatly influenced by the Japanese philosophy of Bushido ("the code of the warrior"), which stressed the need for proper character to be a good leader.  Karate became known as karate-do, "the way of karate".  This is what we usually mean when we say karate.

    18. Question 18. Why Study Karate-do?

      Answer :

      Karate-do is excellent for self-defense and physical conditioning.  It strengthens and stretches all the muscles of the body while providing aerobic exercise.  People can work and learn at their own pace - either in a formal class, or on their own - with very little space or equipment.  Most people find that karate training builds concentration and self-discipline.  Karate can be practiced by people of all ages and all sizes.

    19. Question 19. Who Should Study Karate-do?

      Answer :

      Karate-do training is for anyone interested in a way of maintaining lifelong physical and mental fitness while learning self-defense skills.  

      Some examples include:

      • Professionals looking for stress relief, and fitness on a flexible schedule.
      • Former athletes looking for a life-long way of keeping fit - endurance, strength, flexibility - and a way to keep competing with minimal risk of injury.
      • Children looking for a mental and physical challenge - whatever their athletic abilities are.
      • College age women who want to learn self-defense skills.
      • College students who are bored with kickboxing, or who are tired of the wear and tear on their bodies.
      • Anyone who has watched a martial arts movie and said "how hard can that be."
      • Children who need physical fitness, but who don't do well in team sports.
      • Families interested in an activity they can all participate it.
      • Parents concerned about the violence their children see in the media, and are looking for a way to deal with it.
      • Individuals who have already discovered the value of martial arts but are looking for an organization that better meets their needs.

    20. Question 20. Aren't There Different Styles Of Karate?

      Answer :

      Years ago, karate was taught in secret to one or two students at a time, who had proven their character was worthy of learning a deadly fighting art.  You could not "buy" lessons, even if you were able to find a teacher.  Each instructor taught things a little differently.  About a hundred years ago, karate began to be taught openly.  Karate techniques became more formalized and the styles received names.  This led to the many styles of karate that exist today. 

      There are eight major styles of karate - four Okinawan (Shorin-Ryu, Okinawan Goju-ryu, Uechi-ryu and Isshin-ryu) and four Japanese (Shotokan, Shito-ryu, Japanese Goju-ryu and Wado-ryu).  When the founders of these styles died, their senior students continued teaching their own students in a way true to that of the founder. This lead to separate organizations, each with its own leaders taking responsibility for what is taught and whom is authorized to teach and to grant rank.

    21. Question 21. What's The Difference Between Karate And Tae-kwon-do? Or Kung-fu?

      Answer :

      Tae Kwon-do is a Korean fighting art that looks very similar to Japanese karate.  Kung-fu (or Gung-fu) is a term meaning "hard work" or "skilled" that is commonly used to lump many Chinese fighting arts together.

    22. Question 22. What Style Is Taught By Minnesota Genbu-kai?

      Answer :

      We teach Shito-ryu karate-do.  Shito-ryu karate is a style of Japanese karate, founded by Kenwa Mabuni, who was a senior student of both Master Itosu (the founder of the Okinawan Shorin-ryu style) and Master Higoanna (the founder of the Okinawan Goju-ryu style).  When Master Mabuni died in 1952, his senior students carried on his teachings, through their own organizations.  One of those students, Master Ryushu Sakagami, named his organization the Itosu-Kai.  Shihan Fumio Demura, one of Master Sakagami senior students, came to the United States in 1965 and worked to promote Shito-Ryu throughout the world.  In 2001, Shihan Demura formed the Japan Karate-do Genbu-kai.  We belong to this organization, which currently has over 20,000 members in more than 30 countries.  The Japan Karate-do Genbu-kai is also affiliated with Shihan Shigeru Sawabe's organization called the Shubo-kai.

      Shihan Demura has been training in the martial arts for over 50 years and was All Japan Champion in 1961.  He has also been named twice to Black Belt Magazine’s Hall of Fame, once as karate instructor of the year and once as martial artist of the year.  Sensei Demura travels around the world teaching karate and building the quality of the organization.  In 1996, Sensei paid his first visit to Winona and taught seminars at the YMCA that were attended, not only by Genbu-kai members, but by martial artists from other organizations and other states who wished to expand their knowledge. Sensei Demura visits annually in July.

      Shihan Sawabe was the senior student of Master Sakagami and has been training in karate for over 55 years.  He has also been Chair of the Federation of Japan Karate Organizations, Chair of Japan-Karate-do Rengo Kai.

    23. Question 23. What About Karate Tournaments?

      Answer :

      Tournaments let a student see if they can perform at their best in a stressful situation and compare their skills with others and improve from what they learn.  We encourage our students to compete but do not require it.  Most importantly we teach that winning meant you were better that day, but you need to train hard to keep at that level.

      Competition is usually done in fighting (called sparring or kumite) and in individual forms (called kata).  Kumite is done under rules designed to maintain safety, while providing as realistic an atmosphere as possible.  Kata competition is scored on a point basis – like figure skating or gymnastics - with emphasis on proper execution, balance, timing, power, and intensity.

      Our tournaments are based on the rules of the World Karate Federation, with minor modifications.

    24. Question 24. Is Karate Effective For Self-defense?

      Answer :

      Yes. Karate was developed for self-defense and protection at a time when escape and calling 911 was not an option.  It teaches how to escape from attacks of violence and develops the striking power to deal with attacks.  The art of Okinawan kobudo teaches how to use common objects as weapons for situations where they are necessary.

      More importantly, karate-do teaches how to anticipate and avoid violent attacks whenever possible.

    25. Question 25. But I'm Only Interested In Self-defense. Aren't All The Other Parts Of Karate Training Just A Waste Of Time?

      Answer :

      The best form of self-defense is learning how not to be attacked -by being aware of possible attacks and dealing with them before they happen, and by presenting the appearance of someone who is very capable of dealing with an attack.  Training in karate-do develops this.

      "I knew this might happen and I am prepared for it".

      But when you are attacked, you have to deal with the "adrenalin rush" that clouds judgement, and impedes coordination.  Simple techniques, practiced many times, with the proper body dynamics, are the best way to deal with this problem.  One needs to practice the techniques with a variety of partners, of different ages and sizes.  And then keep those reflex actions honed - even when you don't have a work-out partner. Training in karate-do develops this also.

    26. Question 26. If Karate Is An Empty Handed Art, Why Do Some Students Use Weapons In Training?

      Answer :

      At the same time Okinawans developed an empty handed fighting art for self-defense, they developed a fighting art using weapons.  This art, called kobudo, is unique because what it uses as weapons were common tools - usually for fishing or farming.  While it is unclear where this art began, it became more developed during the time Okinawa was ruled by the Japanese Satsuma clan.  Some speculate it may have developed to allow the Okinawans to defend themselves against the Japanese samurai. As the empty handed art of karate became public, kobudo training was neglected and began to die out.  A few individuals preserved this art and passed it down to their students.  Sensei Demura was fortunate to train directly under one of them (the legendary Master Shinken Taira) and we are fortunate to to have Sensei Demura pass the training to us. Kobudo training is beneficial to students because it builds strength and coordination.

      Kobudo is taught on Saturday mornings at our downtown facilities and during Sensei Demura's visit.  We also practice "kobudo kumite" or practice fighting using kendo armor and/or padded weapons.

      Japanese karate was influenced by other Japanese martial arts.  Training in those arts is helpful in learning karate.  For this reason advanced students study Toyama-ryu batto-do, the art of cutting with a samurai sword.  Students learn basic techniques using a wooden bokken or a non-sharpened sword and advanced to a Shinken (a "live" blade or real sword.  Test cutting ("tameshi-geri") is practiced to evaluate the effectiveness of the technique.

      Batto-do is taught and practiced at our downtown facility on Thursday nights, with permission of the Instructor.

    27. Question 27. I've Read About Lots Of Benefits From Karate Training For Children. Are They Real?

      Answer :

      The benefits of karate training at all ages are very real but they don't happen by magic or overnight.  They require time and energy.  Karate helps children exercise and focus their attention in a way they find enjoyable.  Good karate instructors are good role models and emphasize the essential traits of budo - courtesy, responsibility, fairness, respect for authority, hard work - in a way children can relate to.  Karate lets children progress at their own pace.

      They do their best and improve without feeling they are "hurting their team" if they don't learn as quickly as someone else.  All students participate, not only the "stars".  As students become more experienced, they are expected to be good role models and to help the newer students.  The best students are expected to behave the best and work the hardest - both in and out of karate classes.  Exceptions for inappropriate behaviour are never made because a student is a "star".

    28. Question 28. How Do I Know My Child Won't Use Karate Training To Hurt Other Children?

      Answer :

      This is an issue that always concerns parents and has concerned karate instructors ever since karate became public. There are really three different ways that traditional karate deals with this issue. First, is that the proper use of karate is emphasized. Students need to know that improper use will result in expulsion. Second, is the realization that karate training does not make a student into a “deadly weapon" overnight. Karate techniques depend on learning how to focus the power of the body.
      Until this skill is learned, children are probably more likely to hurt each other playing with techniques they learn watching TV than karate techniques. By the time they can use karate techniques, the discipline and control taught along with the techniques should prevent improper use. Third, is that the techniques taught are matched to the maturity and character of the student.

    29. Question 29. What Is The Highest Rank That A Person Can Achieve At Karate?

      Answer :

      I only know of a handful of people who have actually achieved this rank (grade). Ranks above 7th dan are honorary (i.e. 8th and 9th).

    30. Question 30. Which Karate Kata Means 108?

      Answer :

      The 108 is related to principles of Buddhism. It is a very old kata originating in China.

    31. Question 31. How Many Kata Does The Matsubayashi Ryu Branch Of Shorinryu Karate Have?

      Answer :

      Nagamine Shoshin the founder of this karate style taught these 18 original kata in their unchanged form, as handed down from generation to generation.

    32. Question 32. In Karate, A Staff Is Also Known As A What?

      Answer :

      Although most Bo’s are about six feet high, they can be fitted to each person’s height.

    33. Question 33. In What Year Was The Japan Karate Association Established?

      Answer :

      The JKA was formed on 27 May 1949 by senior Shotokan students who trained under Gichin Funakoshi. Among these were Masatoshi Nakayama, Isao Obata and Hidetaka Nishiyama.

    34. Question 34. What Does The Tiger Represent In The Official Crest Of Kenpo Karate?

      Answer :

      The tiger represents the stage the earthly strength derived through the early stages of learning. This is the stage where the individual is more impressed with his own physical prowess.

    35. Question 35. What Are The Nine Principles Of Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate?

      Answer :

      The nine principles of Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate are:

      • Do not think dishonestly
      • The way is in training
      • Become acquainted with every art
      • Know the ways of all professions 
      • Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters
      • Develop intuitive judgment and understanding of everything
      • Perceive those things which cannot be seen
      • Pay attention to trifles
      • Do nothing useless

    36. Question 36. What Is The Name Of The Founder Of Wado-ryu Karate?

      Answer :

      Otsuka was a master of Jujitsu, before he started studying karate with Gichin Funakoshi of Shotokan. He combined the concepts of jujitsu and karate to develop the Wado-ryu style, which is one of the five major karate styles in Japan.

    37. Question 37. Hirokazu Kanazawa Is A Well Known Shotokan Karate Master. Which Well Known International Shotokan Karate Organization Did He Establish In 1977?

      Answer :

      Kanazawa left the JKA in 1977 to form the Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation (SKIF). The SKIF maintained Shotokan karate as its core but also introduced elements of Tai Chi Chuan into its training.

    38. Question 38. What Does The Dragon Represent In The Official Crest Of Kenpo Karate?

      Answer :

      The dragon represents spiritual strength which comes with training. It is placed above earthly strength, as seen on the patch, since the individual at this stage has learned to develop humility and self restraint.

    39. Question 39. What Does I.k.k.a. Stands For?

      Answer :

      In 1962, one of Mr. Parker's black belts opened a school in Ireland, which enabled Ed Parker to create the I.K.K.A. (International Kenpo Karate Association).

    40. Question 40. Although Karate Is Translated As 'empty Hand' In Modern Times, What Was Its Original Meaning?

      Answer :

      The kanji (Japanese script) was actually changed by Funakoshi to reflect its modern meaning of 'empty hand'. Funakoshi's system of karate (Shotokan) was modernized to assist its export outside of Okinawa, and the use of traditional karate weapons was removed. Hence the modern meaning, empty hand.

    41. Question 41. Who Was The Usa National Karate Team Head Coach During The Two Decades 1990s And 2000s?

      Answer :

      Tokey Hill was the first American to win a Gold medal in the WUKO World Championship. That was in 1980 in Madrid Spain.

    42. Question 42. What Special Belt Can A Kyoshi In Karate Wear?

      Answer :

      The red and white kyoshi belt was first used in Judo. It is mainly used in ceremonies like belt tests and special classes.

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