Glossary Martial Arts / Term


We call Taiso all those exercises that serve as a pre-warm-up to Karate techniques. There are many exercises that can be performed to put the body in optimal conditions for the subsequent effective development of martial art. We must deduce from this idea that Taiso is very important.

Sometimes the warm-up takes it to a lower level than the specific techniques of Karate. However, without minimal physical conditions or adequate warm-up, the Kihon, Kata, Kumite, etc. cannot develop in their highest degree of expression.

Limbering, stretching, and warm-up exercises performed by martial artists before a class. Taiso is necessary to prepare the body for the spontaneous movements demanded in a training session. Since different martial arts emphasize different movements, taiso varies from school to school. In most karate and tae kwon do schools, considerable time is devoted to vigorous stretching routines, especially for the legs. In judo schools, however, the emphasis is placed on push-ups, sit-ups, etc., to increase strength and stamina. Sometimes, these exercises are performed at the end of a class as well. The main objective of taiso is to eliminate stiffness and promote flexibility so as to prevent muscle injuries during a workout.
THE BELT: In most Okinawan, Japanese and Korean martial arts practitioners wear a long colored cloth belt around their waist. They are generally long enough to be wrapped twice around the wearer's waist and then tied in a square knot, with 10 to 15 inches hanging from either side of the knot. Before the 20th century most belts were colorless, but since students were prohibited from washing their belts, belts grew steadily darker through years of accumulared sweat and soil. When the colored belt system of rank was incorporated, it was afranged so that the belt color became darker as the student advanced in rank, ending with the black belt. the highest level of proficiency. Belts vary according to style and type of martial art: in some schools there is only a small colored tip on the end of the belt to show rank. In each case the color represents a different established rank; for example, brown in Japanese and Okinawan karate responds to red in Korean tae kwon do. The most common colors used in martial arts are white, yellow, orange, blue, green, purple, brown, and black. If the belt, called obi in Japanese, becomes undone during practice, martial arts etiquette is observed. The wearer turns around, facing away from his partner, and while kneeling on one knee reties his belt before again facing his partner. See also dan; gup; kyu.

Permanent link Taiso - Modification date 2020-07-26 - Creation date 2020-01-05

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