Karate-do literally translated from the Japanese language is the way of the empty hand. Karate-do is an empty-handed art of self-defence in which the hands and legs of the exponent are trained in techniques whereby even surprise attacks can be warded off by the karate practitioner with his bare hands as if using actual weapons.
A very important aspect of Karate-do training is the development of character so that the Karate player can surmount any obstacle tangible or intangible. Hard training helps the karateka train the mind to overcome mental obstacles like fear, anger, excitement etc. Simultaneously, it also develops the physique of the trainee such that physical obstacles can be overcome with the help of karate training.
The kata in karate-do is a complete form of exercise as the karate practictioner masters all body movements.The kata helps an all round developement of the complete physique as katas contain movements like bending, jumping etc. which help the body remain supple Karate kata while exercising the body also teaches the karate practictioner a variety of techniques for both defence and attack. Defensive measures are blocks, evasions by body shifting,and attacks are by ways of punching, striking or throwing and kicks. Various locks and holds are also used for the purpose of joint manipulations. All these techniques of karate-do are well controlled according to the karate player's will power. Punches, kicks and strikes are directed at the target accurately and with maximum power but during practice a blow is stopped before it comes in contact with a vital point.
Dai Sensei Funakoshi Gichin added the the suffix "-do" (pronounced "doe") meaning "way," to the word "kara-te" hence the term "karate-do". By this the practictioner implies that karate is a total way of life that goes well beyond the self-defense applications. In traditional karate-do, it is always important to keep in mind that in life the true opponent is oneself.