Many people ask me, why Karate?
Does it have something to do with violence, confidence, or discipline? Here I will explain the advantages of training in martial arts:
Self defence – anyone can kill when holding a club or knife. Not anyone can kill with their bare hands except a martial arts student. Karate runs by the rule of “No First Attack”, which means that violence is actually frowned upon. Never attack unless attacked. And when attacked, you always know how to defend. After a while, it simply becomes instinct.
Respect – in the Dojo respect is not just ask for, its demanded. Disrespect to anyone within the academy in any shape or form is unacceptable. I believe that this is helpful especially in children. It teaches them that respect goes all around, with all ages and sizes, with all different kinds of people, and at any place and time.
Self-control – In Karate we aim to develop complete control over our own body. We increase muscle mass, core strength, and flexibility. In the dojo you don’t want to kill your friends, so we aim to either a light touch or no touch at all, just very very close. This goes for both arms and legs movements, increasing the way you control your body altogether. This helps with balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility.
Friendship – the academy members are family, friendship should come naturally around those who you are familiar with. Its only normal to bow into the dojo and say hi to everyone then start your warm up while chit chatting to the rest of the team. I think it’s very important in karate to be close to those who train with you. If you start this way in a dojo, this friendship and respect will spread out into the rest of your life, and become somewhat of a second nature.
Relieves stress – Sometimes you want to scream. Do that in the dojo. Sometimes you want to hit something. Do that in the dojo. Sometimes you want to just sit and shut your eyes for a moment. Dojo. Karate is an all around sport. Mind. Body. Spirit. Even when in such a bad mood, or when feeling really sick, train. Exercise in general helps to relieve stress, but when in the calming dojo environment, it makes it all the more effective.
Discipline – karate insists on discipline, not only in the dojo. Rules must be followed – calling the coach Sensei, persistent training even when you’re not feeling too good or in a bad mood (that’s an important one), or the mere acts of properly tying your belt to the equal and correct lengths. Keeping a calm mind in the dojo when u have a lot to think about and so much worry on your mind helps to keep you relaxed and cool you down. Having rules to follow helps show your loyalty to the academy. Karate is the perfect sport for out-of-hand children, not because of the toughness of its training, but the advantages of its discipline.
Health – people associate health mostly as physical, but karate focuses on mental health just as equally. Karate helps to give a person a more positive outlook and frame of mind in general. I started off as a tiny runt with absolutely no physical power. Karate taught me that to be successful in the art I don’t need to be incredibly physically strong, but I need to be smart and fast. It helped me feel braver, and a tonne more confident. I grew mentally, I concentrated more, I learnt faster, and made smart decisions.
I hope that this post has answered some questions about why people train Karate, and my further research will prove even more points I shall hopefully be posting about too. Please help spread the love for martial arts!
“Karate is a lifelong challenge that is explained by the dojo kun — seek perfection of character, be faithful, endeavor, respect others and refrain from violent behavior. Studying techniques gives you self-confidence and that gives you self-defense. But, self-defense is a state-of-mind, not a combination of techniques. The best defense is avoiding trouble. Karate is not the study of fighting, but of people.Kata and kumite are like the two wheels of a bicycle. Kata hones the edge of your sword … kumite is using the sword.”