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Karate
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.46

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    sincerity, self-discipline, combat, federation, split-second, striking, martial, muster, teaching, entertainment, competitive, benefits, religion, testing, favor, confidence
     content words:    Zen Buddhism


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     Spanish: Karate


Karate
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Okinawa is a small island in the chain of islands which make up the country of Japan. This island, according to legend, is the home of one of the most practiced of the martial arts, karate. As the story goes, a man named Bodhidharma traveled through India, China, the Philippines, Japan, and other parts of the Orient teaching his religion, Zen Buddhism. He was called Daruma in Japan. Part of his religion included exercising the mind as well as the body to give a person strength. Karate is said to have developed from the practices taught by Daruma.
 
2     Karate was developed as a form of self-defense. The Japanese characters that represent the word literally mean "empty hands." This is because there are no weapons used in karate. Students of karate are taught to defend themselves by punching, striking, or kicking. The people of Okinawa called this form of combat "Te."
 
3     People have taken up the study of karate for a variety of reasons. Many people like the idea that karate does not focus on strength alone. Studying karate can help develop strong character and respect for others. Men and women of all ages can successfully learn the skills needed for karate. A person studying karate for use as self-defense can develop a confidence they might otherwise lack. Many women have found that karate not only gives them a way to defend themselves, but it also is a very good exercise which helps to keep their bodies trim. You must be in good physical health in order to practice karate successfully. Perhaps one of the most stated benefits of karate is self-control or self-discipline. An expert in karate can control the use of muscles throughout the entire body. The mind controls those muscles. There has to be focus, concentration, and coordination of the mind and the body to do well in karate.

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