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The art of Karate is a system of combat developed on the island of Okinawa, Japan. The word literally translates to “empty hand way”. This refers to Karate originating as a system of self-defense that relied on the effective use of the unarmed body of the practitioner. This system consisted of techniques of blocking or thwarting an attack and counter-attacking the opponent by punching, striking or kicking. The modern art of Karate has developed out of a thorough organization of these techniques. Karate as a means of self-defense has the oldest history, going back hundreds of years.

It is only in recent years that the techniques which have been handed down were scientifically studied and the principles evolved for making the most effective use of the various moves of the body. Training based on these principles and knowledge of the working of the muscles and the joints and the vital relation between movement and balance enable the modern student of Karate to be prepared, both physically and psychologically, to defend himself successfully against any would-be assailant. Karate may be more popular than judo and taekwondo, but unlike its martial arts cousins, it is not an Olympic sport. The international Federation of KarateIt is bidding for inclusion in for London 2012. The Trinidad and Tobago Karate Union is the affiliate in Trinidad and Tobago.

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GymnasticsGymnastics has been one of the most popular sports of the Olympic games as it was one of the pioneering sports of the games in ancient Greece. The origin of the word gymnastics comes from the Greek word Gymnos which means naked. Competition events fall under one of three categories: Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Trampoline. Artistic Events are performed on apparatus. Men compete in floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, and horizontal bars. Female gymnasts compete on the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor.

The competition includes individual all-around events and team events, also scored over each apparatus. Rhythmic gymnastics, also referred to as “modern gymnastics,” is strictly a women’s sport. The gymnasts, perform on a 13-meter-square floor area to the accompaniment of music. This performance includes the use of rope, hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. The use of a trampoline can be dated back to the 1800s. Trampoline competitions recently debuted at the 2000 Sydney Games featuring both men’s and women’s individual events.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is the international governing body for gymnastics with 129 national affiliates and 50 million licensed gymnasts.

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JudoJudo is the Japanese modern martial art that incorporates methods for throwing or taking down opponents. The word judo translates to “the gentle way”. It was founded in Tokyo, Japan by Jigoro Kano around 1880 Kano started rethinking jujitsu techniques he learnt. He found that by combining the best techniques of various schools into one system he could create a physical education program that would embody mental and physical skill. In addition, he believed that the techniques could be practiced as a competitive sport if the more dangerous techniques were omitted. In 1882, he took the best throws and grappling techniques of ancient jujitsu, added some of his own, and removed such dangerous techniques as foot and hand strikes.

Kano at the age of 22, presented his new sport--Judo. He called this sport Kodokan Judo. The term Kodokan breaks down into ko (lecture, study, method), do (way or path), and kan (hall or place). Thus it means "a place to study the way." Similarly Judo breaks down into ju (gentle) and do (way or path) or "the gentle way." Judo made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and has been included since.

The International Judo Federation is the governing body for judo and oversees international tournaments. The Trinidad and Tobago Judo Association is the affiliate judo organization in Trinidad and Tobago.

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At a meeting of the London Football Association (FA) in 1863, the game of football was split into rugby football (the parent sport of American football), in which handling and carrying the ball was allowed, and association football, which banned the use of the hands. The FA established the first set of rules for football, which at that time, was played competitively (or officially) only in private schools and universities.

Soon after, amateur competition grew widely popular amongst British blue-collard workers. The FA Cup, an annual tournament first organized in 1871, sparked massive interest in football throughout Britain. The tournament, which is still played today, starts off with a large pool of teams and climaxes with the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in London. Working-class people followed, participated and bet on matches from the FA Cup.

In 1885, the FA reluctantly (after four years of debate) recognized the legitimacy of professional players. Early professional footballers were paid little more than the average workers who would pay to watch them. In 1888, 12 clubs from England founded the Football League, the first professional league competition. In 1900 and 1904, football was introduced as an exhibition sport and became the first team sport included in the Olympic Games. Since 1908, the sport has been held at every Olympic Games with the exception of 1932 in Los Angeles. Football quickly and successfully filtered into the West Indies.

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) was formed in July 1908. At the time, there was no national team since Trinidad and Tobago was a British colony, but there was a senior team that represented the colony and played against other teams. Football in Trinidad and Tobago since then has gone through many trials and tribulations narrowly missing out in the World Cup Finals several times until Germany 2006.

In September 1998 the TTFA officially changed its name to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) the current governing body for football in the country.

In 2013 the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation has since then reverted to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.

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Field HockeyThere are three classes of competitive hockey played today; Field hockey, Ice hockey and Roller hockey. Existing evidence suggests raw forms of hockey notably stick and ball games were played in ancient Egypt and Ethiopia some 4,000 years ago and in other historic civilizations. The modern day field hockey evolved in England in the mid-18th century, primarily around schools.

The sport has been part of the Summer Olympic Games continually since 1928 after making its debut at London, 1908 (Subsequently being dropped from Stockholm 1912 and Paris 1924) and the Commonwealth Games in 1998. The International Hockey Federation (IHF) was founded in 1924 after the Paris organizers refused to include hockey on the basis that the sport had no International Federation.

The Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board over sees hockey in Trinidad and Tobago.

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Rifle ShootingIn 1896, the shooting sport began part of the modern Olympic Family since its first steps. In the first Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896, 39 shooters from seven nations competed in three pistol and two highpower rifle events. Shooting also was included in the program of the second Olympic Games where 139 shooters from 13 nations competed in three pistol, five rifle, two clay target and one running target events.

The International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) is the international governing body. Though the Olympic games is the largest shooting competition, the ISSF also regulates the World Shooting Championships, the Commonwealth Games shooting events and other smaller events worldwide.

The Trinidad Rifle Association (TRA) is the governing body in this country.

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