Features of Japanese Martial Arts
The features of Japanese Martial Arts can be summed up in some characteristcs : weighty, stable, simple with much implications and meditational.
SIMPLE : Japanese emphasize one punch, one kick and one swing of a sword so strong and fast that they need no more motion to kill their enemy. So every motion in japanese martial arts is very simple with no excrescence unnecessary, but powerful at once. Owing to this simpleness its motions are not continuous but intermittent. They make each motion then pause and do another, especially in Karate. Of course, you can find some continuous movement like in Aikido, but its movement still contains simpleness. Compare it with some of Chinese martial arts. Even if the motion of Aikido look continuous it is very simple comparatively. I mean simpleness not only in its continuity but in whole characteristics. This simpleness is both merit and defect of Japanese martial arts. We can get easier in erasing unnecessary surfacial features to reach the essence of martial arts, TAEKWNODO, which has no shape. But TAEKWONDO is in its essence very changeful and dynamic, so that the simplicity of a motion may restrict our understanding.
STABLE : Japanese martial arts in general are stable compared with another oriental martial arts. They emphasize the firm stable poses and simple skilles in practice and the patience in spirit which is necessary to endure the boringness and hardness in such a stable poses. The stableness of Japanese martial arts requres much pain in both mind and body, sometimes unnecessary. This feature leads us to the significancy in Japanese martial arts.
SIGNIFICANT : Japanese have such a disposition as to put really much implication and meaning even in a simple and trival motion and ceremony. Take, for example, the ceremony of tea. This is a kind of getting a tea or a coffee when considered in its practical aspect. But they put more implication than that. They want to find as much implication on the life and inner spirit even as they cannot explain extinctively. This disposition can be found in martial arts too. They interprets every motion as a significant. This interpretations also follows the rule of simplicity. For example, the motions of Karate, which was taught by the people Kaya(so it is called "Kayate>Karate"), was consititute of skills powerful when interpreted as continuous motions, but they were divided into each simple movements by Japanese with some ideological interpretation. The Grand Master Lee, Kwang Hee can interprete the original practical meaning of each movement in Karate Poomsae(Kata). Any way, many people agree that the significancy is distinctive feature of Japanese martial arts.