13 Benefits of karate

Karate is good for the body, the spirit and the mind. Here are 13 reasons why you and your child should take karate classes.

1. Fitness & flexibility

How are you quiz?Exercise is well-known to increase health and it is a great way of burning calories! Stretching and flexibility help keep the body supple and moving. Interval training is a great way of helping control body weight and you don’t have to take up running. Karate offers all of this. It’s great for kids. And according to a recent report, karate might be just what you need if you’re aged 40-60. Click on the pic to take the How Are You test.

Baymax: I fail to see how karate makes me a better healthcare companion.

Hiro: You wanna keep me healthy, don’t you?

– Big Hero 6

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2. Self-confidence & respect

Exercising and becoming fit and training alongside others teaches students how to interact in a confident manner. It teaches you to speak to new people, to do a martial shout in a crowded room and perform in front of others. It teaches you to respect yourself and others.

The martial arts are ultimately self-knowledge. A punch or a kick is not to knock the hell out of the guy in front, but to knock the hell out of your ego, your fear, or your hang-ups.

– Bruce Lee

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3. Family time

Often children and parents pursue different activities meaning precious little time for the family as a whole. Karate allows parents to train with their children. No need to drop-off and then pick-up later or to stand outside in the cold rain. Senshi Karate is run by a family who train together. Don’t just drop off your kids and pick them up later – try it out too. You never know, you might love it as much as we do!

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4. Complements ballet, football, dance,  musical theatre….

Karate is not for girls.” Do people really say that these days? Senshi Karate has at least 50% women and girls in the class who love karate.

Karate doesn’t work with football / ballet / dance.” While the timing of the classes might conflict with ballet, football, dance etc, the muscles you use are the same in all activities. Strong core muscles are important too to keep good posture and reduce the likelihood of back problems, especially if you hunch over your phone or tablet. Karate gives you a strong core, good flexibility,  fitness and balance. No need to choose one or other. All these activities work together nicely.

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 5. Friendships

Some students start karate classes with their friends. Some start on their own and make friends when they get there. Karate classes allow you to meet new people and make new friends or engage with existing friends in new ways. Even if you don’t know anyone, doing karate together immediately gives you something in common and sharing experiences brings people closer.

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6. Fun

Yes, karate has Japanese etiquette and Westerners find that a little odd. But karate also allows you to have fun. It’s not just about being serious, it’s about having fun and enjoying yourself. And let’s face it, sometimes mistakes can be hilarious!

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 7. Discipline & focus

Karate requires concentration and it provides a great opportunity for children (and adults) to learn discipline and focus. How many times can you say that about the iPad generation?

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8. Improved posture and co-ordination

Karate helps muscle development and in particular helps build core muscles. This helps you literally stand tall(er) and the techniques help improve hand-eye coordination.

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9. Memory

Students learn new moves and some basic Japanese terminology and work hard to memorise things. As a result some students say they find their memory improves.

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10. Teamwork

Working with a partner or as part of a karate team helps instil teamwork. Supporting your partner or team is a vital life lesson.

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11. Mental resilience

Most people have good days and bad days. It’s the same in karate. One day you do everything brilliantly, another day it doesn’t seem to work. Coming back to class after that teaches you to keep going, even when it gets tough. It also allows you to “get in the zone” and forget your problems for a while!

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12. Goal setting

Whether you want to be fit, increase flexibility, be more confident, meet new friends or get that coveted black belt, karate gives you something to work towards.

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13. Self-defence

Karate is about self-defence, of course it is. Nobody likes violence and fighting is not the answer. In karate, there is a well-known rule that you don’t strike first. But that doesn’t mean you wait to be attacked. Karate teaches you techniques to help diffuse situations with aggressors. It also gives you the confidence to avoid conflict. And, of course, if necessary to defend against attackers. Remember, learning to look after yourself often increases your awareness, meaning you are less likely to get into trouble in the first place.

Aha… here are the Two Rules of Miyagi-Ryu Karate. Rule Number One: “Karate for defence only.” Rule Number Two: “First learn Rule Number One.”

– Mr Miyagi, The Karate Kid

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Contact Frank Jennings for more information on sensei@senshikarate.com

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