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CYPRUS KARATE FEDERATION HOLDS PANCYPRIAN TOYRNAMENT

PAGE ot WOOD. SU-Liéec. 0, Ld. CYPRUS KARATE FEDERATION HOLDS PANCYPRIAN TOURNAMENT Hopes for inclusion in World Federation The Judo and Karate Federation of Cyprus with branches in Nicosia, Paphos, Larnaca and Limassol will be holding a Pancy- prian Karate Tournament on the 2nd of December. Professor Tasuo Suzuki, chief of the Wado- ryu system in Europe has already applied for the Cyprus Federation to be included in the World Union of Karate Organisations. But what is Karate really, besides a martial art which has become a cult in the West and a money-making film business in the East. ALMA PIETRONI reports: The origins of Karate are steeped In mystery, legand and secrecy. The most likely explanation for its development and eventual establishment is to be found in the travels of Daruma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, when he undertook the arduous journey and spiritual task of introducing Zen into China, 1,400 years ago The spiritual training of Daruma's disciples was severe and demanding, so he introduced them first to a method which would enable them to at- tain the mental and physi- cal well-being which would allow them to cope with the rigours which lay ahead. The monks of the Shac-lin Temple became renowned for their feats of courage and endur- ance, The art of Shorin-ji- Kempo, as this method came to be called, gradu- ally spread and diverged into other systems. Deterrent In these times, the monastic orders and tam- ples of India were ex- tremely rich and were constantly being attacked by marauding bandits. As a deterrent to these at- tacks and as a means of combatting the effects of prolonged meditation — which could result in a weakening of the body and complete detach- ment and alienation from the material world —the monks developed, and practised in secret, a form of unarmed combat very similar to Karate: a farm of special movements like dance sequences. There was another similar sytem called, Tai Chi-Ghuan. ‘Ghi' repre- sented the spiritual energy passing through the human body. In gain- ing control of this ‘Chi’, one could perform seem- ingly miraculous feats such as, levitation or the shattering of bricks and wood by a single blow. Tai-Chi-Ghuan is still practised in Europe, Ja- pan and China for physi- cal fitness, although little is known about the spirit- ual side of it. These forms of un armed combat gradually spread and stimulated competition between oth- er developing systems which finally resulted in the perfecting of Karate itself in Okinawa. pure state which was free of shallow selfish desires or in a state oftrue humili- ty. Unfortunately, the true meaning of “Kara” has been forgotten or, in many cases, ignored and Karate today is often con- sidered to be a killer art. Suggestions that Karate be introduced as comba- tive training in the police department of Okinawa and the Japanese navy were quickly dropped when it was realized how dangerous this martial art could be when appliedin- discriminately. Humility and respect The Sensei (teacher- ‘master of Karate) has to ensure that his students are properly instructed in the true meaning and taught such self-control that he can step short within tenths of an inch of actually striking the ob- ject aimed at. The Cyprus Judo and Karate Federation, a member of the Cyprus Sports Organization, has as its chief instructor The- mis Georghiou (Black Belt}, of the Wado-ryu school, who received his training under Professor Tatsuo -Suzuki whe, in turn, studied under the founder of the Wado-ryu style of Karate, Hironori Otsuka. A karateka to receive a ist Dan {Black Belt), must do at least eight ye- ars of consistent training after which he receives higher Dans according to his progress, Cyprus is extremely fortunate in having instructors who have studied under Pro- fessor Suzuki. Black Belt Peter der Arakelian runs the Zanshin School Peter der Arakellan (right) performing a Jodan Ushiro- Gerl on a green belt student. Literally translated, Karate means empty (Ka- ra) hand (Te). The “kara- teka therefore fights without any weapons but the concept of Kara also implies the original state of mind which a person is. born with. According to Zen Buddhism, there are two states of mind. The first state is the “unborn” state which is pure. The other is the worldly mind which |s fundamentally materialistic and rooted in pains and pleasures. The real purpose of the original Karate was to take the mind back to the aims of Karate which in- cludes humility, respect for human life and the im- provement of his mental or spiritual well-being as wall as his physical condi- tion. The true Sensei tells his students that it is bet- ter to run away from a pot- ential attacker rather tgan display his prowess, cause a single well-aimed kick or punch atany ofthe 40 vital points onthe body could render a person un- conscious and cause traumas to the nervous system, loss of motor function and eventually death. The karateka is of Karate in Nicosia and was also one of Professor Suzuki's first students in 1964. He is a member of the United Kingdom Karate-do Federation Wado-Kai and has re- ceived his Black Beit both in Karate and Judo. Peter is very adamant about training his stu- dents in tha spiritual aspects of Karate, as weil as the physical ones. “That is why | called my school “Zanshin, which in Japanese means awareness. In my school | concentrate onthe theory of Karate just as much as on the actual physical iit 4 WV LER TT Bed Professor Tasuo Suzuki, 8th Dan Hanshi (left) with his student Peter der Arakellan. training. The student must be aware of his or her physical weaknasses and psychic blocs, such as phobias and certain kinds of mental frustra- tions. And so, in training, we start with the physical body and then, by using the connecting link, cer- tain breathing and medi- tation techniques, we move on to the “mental” aspects of Karate.” Transtormed Peter also insists that the art of Karate should be treatad with respect and should not be prac- tised If a person means to use it for selfish or agres- sive reasons. “I want to stress that the best form of fighting or self-defence is fighting without fight- ing. | believe in not fight- ing at all, mot even physical contact. Al- though people come into the school thinking they can become supermen, they soon realize that physical and mental dis- cipline are necessary. Hu- mility is esséntial and once you accept this, you realize that everyone is equal. Eventually, this takes the aggression out of your system so that al- though you become an expert in the martial art, you understand, having overcome your fears and frustrations, that you are being transformed into a much more evolved hu- man being. Peter feels that Cyp- riots are well-suited to Karate because they are generally very fit and very determined. However, ha points out that they must learn to channel their de- termination in the proper way: “Karate is bad if you consider it as a form of killer art only, It is like nuclear physics. It is a deadly weapon in the hands of the wrong per- son butin the hands of the right person it is a noble thing. That's why the art of true Karate is a very closely guarded secret.