Karate is both an art and a philosophy; because each person has a different personality and physical capability, this is reflected in their interpretation of karate. Therefore, the karate masters founded their own schools over the ages, teaching their own style, or Ryu.
Karate is a world renowned martial art which was developed in Okinawa in Japan. It can be defined as a weaponless means of self-defence. It involves defence and offensive techniques that uses many parts of the body to the maximum advantage. This includes blocks, strikes, evasions, throws and joint manipulations.
Today there are five major styles and a huge number of splinter styles and derivations. Note that we are talking of Japanese karate only, and not looking to the fighting arts of China or Korea. Ashihara Karate is what we call our Ryu or style, named after Kancho Hideyuki Ashihara, a man who has devoted himself to the pursuit of the most rational, logical karate techniques. The quintessence of Ashihara Karate lies in its innate rationality. It embraces a method which is probably the most scientifically logical. Picture a fight in which people clash head-on, making no attempt to block the opponent. Clearly the person with the longer reach will be the first to get in his punch, while the one with greater power only has to throw in his body weight to win. As such, Ashihara Karate is the most vital and practical in real-fight situations.
Ashihara Karate can be described as moving in circles. The symbol of Ashihara Karate illustrates the principles of the most efficient movements of the human body. The human body has a natural inclination to move in circles and in three dimensions, this transposes to the movement of a sphere. Circular movements mean that, rather than meeting an opponent head-on, you move around him, staying at his side or back, deflecting attacks and making yourself a difficult target.
Learning the techniques and forms of this “risk free” karate is pure pleasure. Punch without being punched! Fell your opponent without going down yourself! In striving to achieve the maximum performance of the human body, the chances of being injured are reduced and the probability of victory correspondingly increases. This is the philosophy of Ashihara Fighting Karate.