What is Karate?
Karate is one of the World’s most popular martial arts. Modern day Karate was developed in Okinawa, a small Island off Japan. Karate is a highly effective system of self-defence, and also an excellent form of exercise that promotes a number of life skills and values. Karate as a Form of Self-Defence As a self-defence system, karate does not so much teach a set of standard responses to a set of limited scenarios, but rather it teaches a set of principles that can be applied to any situation. While karate teaches a person combat skills, karate does not promote aggression. Instead it promotes awareness to avoid conflict. Combat should only be used as a last resort.
Health Benefits of Karate
As a health and fitness activity, karate tones and shapes the body, increases aerobic stamina, improves muscular strength and flexibility, enhances balance, agility and co-ordination and quickens the reflexes. Karate also improves our mental health. As it challenges the brain, it improves focus and concentration. It also develops a person’s composure and provides a deeper insight into one’s mental capabilities. One of the advantages of karate is that students may train at their own pace so even those who have not exercised in some time can start learning and gaining from the benefits of karate.
Karate as A Way of Life Karate promotes a number of values to live by, including integrity, respect, courtesy, humility, loyalty and compassion. Karate is an individual sport. Therefore the focus is not to compete against another person or team, but rather to compete against one’s self. This ‘self focus’ accompanied with continual improvement develops self-esteem and self-confidence amongst those who practice it. Karate also promotes self-discipline, goal setting and leadership. People who study karate can attain a high level of commitment and dedication to any chosen endeavour simply because of the skills and habits they develop.