Karate is an ideal sport for women because it teaches self-defence while providing a full-body workout. It also serves to develop self-confidence and is an excellent form of stress release.
Self-defence For Women
While self-defence courses may teach someone the basic skills for self-defence, all studies show conclusively that in self-defence situations a person is rarely able to access their conscious mind and instead relies purely on instinct. This is where karate becomes so valuable for self-defence.
The techniques practised in karate are not complicated and do not require physical strength. Those taught are simple and proven as effective, and practised each week until they become instinctive. Once this instinctive ability is reached, more techniques are added to one’s repertoire.
As the legs are stronger than the arms and possess more reach, students are taught various kicks that strike out to the front, side and rear.
Some women have delicate knuckles or long fingernails so making a fist is not ideal. Therefore students are also taught to effectively use their palms, backs of hands and elbows as weapons.
The karate that is taught is non-contact so while students are taught dangerous techniques, they are not actually struck with these themselves.
Karate And Fitness For Women
Karate is a rare form of fitness because it not only works every muscle and bone in the body; it also develops muscular endurance and strength. Additionally, as there is no resistance involved the muscular strength comes by way of toning and shaping.
Women tend to store fat around their hips and buttocks so the karate’s kicking techniques and various long postures proves an ideal weight loss tool as it tones and tightens the legs and lower-torso area. Meanwhile, the process of upper body striking serves to tone and tighten the arms and upper torso area.
Karate is an activity where every student may go sat the own pace. This means the fittest of people can find it to be an excellent workout while those who have not exercised in years may stay well within their comfort zone.
According to the American Journal of Public Health, regular exercise may encourage on-time delivery (of babies). Pregnant women are no longer being advised to sit back and relax for nine months. In fact, exercise (unless, of course, your health-care practitioner advises otherwise) is fine, and actually increases the chances of on-time delivery, rather than increasing the risk for pre-term delivery, as was once believed.
Being A Role Model
Adults are role models for children and youth. If parents want their children to be active and healthy all their life they need to first set the example themselves. Staying active and doing exercise regularly will teach their children and other youth around them about the importance of exercise.
The Karate Environment for Women
Unlike some martial arts, the karate ‘dojo’ environment is not an aggressive one. Many martial arts adopt the self-defence methodology of helping women to become proficient in self-defence by turning them into an aggressive person or developing a male-like physique. This is likely why 35%-40% of the students and a large percentage of its instructors in GKR are women.
Karate does not intend to add aggression to any student’s persona. Rather it aims to soften their persona, teaching them to become more calm. Nor does karate intend to take the femininity away from a women’s physique. When one is trained properly in karate, strength and aggression are not important for self-defence. Understanding the many weaknesses of the human body, and developing the instinctive ability to apply well-trained techniques to these areas is the key to karate’s effectiveness.