Regardless of your age, gender or current level of fitness, the martial art of karate is an enjoyable activity with countless benefits. Here are just five of those:
1 – Learning Self-Defence
Male or female, child or adult, it’s an empowering feeling to know you have the tools to defend yourself against someone who aims to do you harm. Whether an attacker is striking or grabbing, karate focuses on the K.I.S.S system (Keep It Short & Simple). It teaches effective body mechanics so that anyone is able to develop more balance and stability while executing strong techniques towards an attacker.
2 – Improved Physical Health
Karate is one of the few activities that engages every muscle in the body, providing a total body workout. As students may train at their own pace, karate is suitable for all fitness levels.
Karate training develops agility, strength and speed, allowing for fast and effective techniques while also improving muscle tone and endurance. Working both the hands and feet, and left and right sides equally, it develops mental and physical coordination, as well as flexibility. This can help children participate more confidently in other sports. It also develops core strength, which can prevent or minimise back pain in adults.
The best thing about karate is that it’s fun! Improved health is just a by-product of the fun you are having while you train.
3 – Avoiding Danger
‘Prevention is better than cure’. Studies have shown that training in karate means you are less likely to be attacked. This includes both attacks in public and even schoolyard bullying.
Having a confident posture, walk and/or demeanour are major reasons why an attacker may choose to avoid you. As you appear more capable of responding with conviction or fighting back, you become a more difficult target in the attacker’s eyes.
“Self-defence is so important to know in today’s society. It’s not just that you might get mugged. It’s more for confidence. It’s the way you hold yourself when you walk into a room. Every step you take is more sure and you’re much more aware of your surroundings. I think it’s a really important thing – especially for women”
—actress, Milla Jovovich
4 – Improved Mental Health
When karate was first developed in Okinawa, nobles sent their sons to train as it developed their character as well as taught them self-defence. Respect and courtesy are major tenets of karate and the way we treat others in the class translates into how we treat others in the real world.
GKR Karate classes are fun yet disciplined, and a respectful ‘etiquette’ is always encouraged towards the instructors and fellow students. This teaches us to apply good character in other areas of our life including school, the workplace or in social situations. The inherent self-discipline developed through karate training will also allow students to apply restraint and self-control with all important life habits.
As an individual sport, and in a positive feedback-environment, students will experience consistent progress throughout their time training. This will develop confidence and self-esteem, and give them the tools to handle life’s challenges.
5 – Goal Setting and Achieving
It’s unfortunate to see people of all ages move through life aimlessly, and without direction. Just as bad is where people have a defined direction but lack the confidence, discipline or know-how to chase it down. It robs them of joy, success and fulfilment. If only we learned these skills at school!
Starting as a white belt, students move through a series of coloured belts as they develop new skills – with ten gradings before reaching black belt and many levels of black belt beyond this.
No gradings require skillsets that are beyond the physical capabilities of students, relevant to their age, fitness levels and body types. Students are encouraged to set goals for their next grading and to establish plans for areas that need work. They’ll also be encouraged to ask for help from their instructors along the way. This goal setting skill can obviously be used in many areas of our lives.
If you or someone you know would like to begin to unlock these benefits and many more, get in touch with us here to find out how you can begin your karate journey!