From a self-defence perspective, all research indicates that during during real-life confrontation, the body undergoes a PCSR (Psycho Chemical Stress Response). When this occurs, the ability to access logical thoughts all but diminishes. Instead, under the conditions of PCSR, the human brain accesses what is referred to as the ‘Primal Brain’, which control instinctive behaviour. So what does this all mean? Unlike self-defence courses that show a person a set of logical defences against a potential attacker (none of which become instinctive) karate training sets out to develop appropriate ‘instinctive‘ habits in its participants. This gives them the ability to act accordingly under conditions of a PCSR.
Fitness, Energy And Vitality
From a fitness perspective, the techniques practised by White belts each class involve the use of every muscle and bone in the body making it an excellent all-over body workout. Involving the entire body also serves to develop balance, agility, coordination and flexibility. Many students who have never been good at regular sports often become highly competent in other sports after training in karate.
Instilling Family And Success Values
While it is a system of self-defence and all-encompassing body workout, karate also promotes values congruent with the family unit and success. It is an environment that promotes respect and courtesy. It teaches a student to become more disciplined, more patient within themselves, and encourages humility above ego.
The dojo environment does not tolerate foul language or negative social behaviour. In short it is a place where each participant can be their very best selves. The ultimate goal is that people then take this behaviour and apply it to their everyday lives; at home, work and/or school.
In most sports, you win or you lose. As karate is an individual activity there is no losing, nor is there any pressure of ‘letting the team down’. As such, a student may focus on developing at his or her own pace. And seeing themselves getting better, more skilled, fitter, stronger, more coordinated etc, week-after-week, their self-confidence grows.
Classes can be as hard as you allow them to be. Students can ease off if they are not in peak shape, but an instructor will regularly promote that a person push themselves just outside their comfort zone before easing off. By constantly breaking pre-conceived mental and physical barriers, a student will learn the power of persistence and come to realise that whatever they set their sights on, they can achieve – a valuable skill for life.