Karate is one of the most popular words associated with martial arts. In fact it is used in the past as a general term for any form of oriental martial art – taekwondo is karate, judo or aikido is karate, even kung fu is karate. This mixed up is understandable because karate was the very first martial art that broke through popular culture with many famous movies made on its behalf (remember “Karate Kid”?).
Karate is basically a striking martial art originating from Okinawa. It teaches kicking, punching, knee strikes, elbow strikes, even toe strikes and open handed strikes. Thanks to the popularity of karate it does not only teach people a specific combat sport but it is also a source of learning for life in general. Read and understand what karate can offer people when they choose to learn it and make it a lifestyle.
Karate is for Self Defense
This must be the most overused phrase in the world of martial arts but it does not make it less true. In fact this remains to be at the core of learning combat sports and must not be shamefully admitted by people who want to feel safe wherever they go because they are equipped with knowledge how to act and react in dangerous, sometimes life-threatening situations.
Self defense is a wide word. It can include having pepper spray in your pocket, or carrying a gun in your purse, or enrolling in a self defense course. While all these can work, it is important to note that these have some serious drawbacks. Self defense tools are good to have but what if you cannot reach for it when attacked? What if your crash course knowledge gets clouded with fear and panic during an attack? Fear can easily leave you paralyzed to apply everything what you have learned in a self defense class.
This is where karate can become a huge advantage in self defense. First it is not necessary for you to bring any tool to defend yourself. You only need both your hands and feet so you will always be ready to counter any attack. Secondly, karate is not a crash course of sorts. It is an ideally lifelong pursuit of combat sport training and knowledge. It teaches you defense principles, correct posture, discipline, and the mental control and awareness that will allow you to react by instinct.
Fear and confidence issues of whether you can fight or not are not applicable in karate. Karate gives you the skills to fight AND also give you the confidence to apply the techniques when you need to. Karate will also help you to be aware of your surroundings at all times allowing you to avert dangerous situations. All these contribute to you defending yourself and your loved ones effectively.
Karate is for Fitness
There is no doubt that karate can improve your overall fitness. Karate on its own cannot be classified as an aerobic exercise because it can never get your heartbeat up to 80% capacity for at least 20 minutes but the warm up exercises of karate can be considered aerobic even the sparring sessions. The great thing about karate as a fitness tool is its ability to work our every muscle in your body. This allows you to focus your attention to all your muscle groups.
The value of karate for one’s fitness is significant because its training is innately intense. It exercises the whole body and greatly improves your stamina, flexibility, strength, and even speed. Karate however demands time and dedication from you. It requires massive amount of discipline. The good thing about it is that it rewards your hard work very well. If you are motivated to train longer and harder, you also get to burn more calories and at the same time increase your skill level significantly. There will be differences on how much you can improve your fitness level but one thing is for sure, karate can lead you towards a healthier you.
Karate can Instill Confidence
People who have confidence issues are often the ones who are not sure of their limitations and those who doubts if they have it in them the capacity to overcome their limitations. In karate training, personal limitations are one of the first things that are addressed. Karate exposes limitations yet provides for the drive to address these limits. A person who is able to conquer his fears and doubts in life will surely have a heightened sense of self worth. This new found confidence does not breed superiority but humility. This confidence is hard earned and so it does not balloon up an ego. It is quiet confidence that will not only make a person a better karateka but also a better, stronger person.