Benefits of Karate
Karate is a Healthy Choice
Karate is the traditional Japanese martial art of weaponless self-defense; it literally translates as “The Way of the Empty Hand”. It consists of dynamic offensive and defensive techniques using all parts of the body to their maximum advantage. Karate uses mental focus, discipline and rigorous physical training to develop skills such as speed, strength, agility, quick-reflexes, stamina and co-ordination between body and mind.
Many researchers now believe that karate exercises stimulate specific enzyme systems and hormones, which in turn reduce risk factors for diseases. Training the mind and body together results in more productive benefits as opposed to monotonous exercise routines found in most fitness gyms.
Clinical Facts of Karate Exercises
- Strengthen our heart, circulatory system and lungs
- Decrease risk for heart disease and stroke
- Make arteries and veins more elastic
- Lower our blood pressure
- Increase high-density lipoproteins (“good” cholesterol)
- Decrease low-density lipoproteins (“bad” cholesterol)
- Decrease triglycerides (blood fat)
- Improve the body’s ability to prevent clot formation (fibrinolysis)
- Increase insulin sensitivity (cells are then better able to utilize glucose)
- Reduce weight
- Help to prevent and control type 2 diabetes
- Improve strength, posture, flexibility and endurance
- Increases serotonin levels improving mood, depression, stress and sleep problems
- Improve bone density and strength
- Improve body resistance to fight infections
- Lower risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes
- Help brain work better, making you smarter
Fitness and Overall Health
Karate-Do training improves flexibility, strength, coordination, and endurance of an individual. Karate-Do’s punches, thrusts, kicks, blocks, and sweeps and throws tone the whole body in an explosive and dynamic workout.
In addition to the stress reducing benefits of any physical activity, karate practice also improves concentration and awareness of mental attitudes that can cause stress. Intense karate training increases the production of endorphins which increases your sense of feel good and relieves your tension.
Karate teaches you how to handle pressure by applying a little bit at a time. Every individual has a certain limit and once you find it you feel comfortable. Once you are comfortable you can start to expand or push those limits and feel good about trying something you never imagined you could do before. Karate is an endless learning experience that provides constant challenge keeping you alert and to let your confidence grow.
Awareness and Self Defense
The key to self defense does not rely on punching and kicking. As a matter of fact, we discourage physical action in any confrontation unless it is an absolute last resort. Learning to be aware of your surroundings and avoiding dangerous situations is the focus of awareness. Simple things that people probably already know are used as constant reminders so that awareness becomes a natural way of thinking. Karate training conditions your body for every situation by building lightning fast reflexes and a better hand-eye coordination.
We don’t want people to be paranoid or scared to walk around their own block or to go to school as many bad situations can be avoided.
Focus and Concentration
Concentration is something that for many people has to be taught. Many doctors are now recommending people with A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder) and A.D.H.D. (Attention Deficit and Hearing Disorder) to learn karate because of the concentration skills that are developed through the training drills and the practice of kata – a serious of movements, much like a dance choreography with the use of karate techniques. The level of mental concentration and focus required for karate training helps you in remaining calm and clear in everything you do. Karate training is meditation in motion.
Control of the body
Control of the body leads to control of the mind. When one knows how to control one’s mind, the impossible becomes commonplace.
By concentrating on one’s breathing, the mind becomes aware of internal sounds. With time, this will develop into the ability to withdraw the consciousness from the physical being to the inner sanctum and fortress of the mind. In such a state of meditative balance, the body is sustained and protected by the energized electromagnetic aura which Western science has only recently acknowledged.
We rarely use one muscle at a time in real life rather a combination of them is required to do any work. Karate exercises train a combination of muscles at a time rather training one exclusive muscle as in gym exercises. This type of training builds a high level of coordination between different muscles and improves mind and body coordination.
Respect, Discipline, and Humility
Human beings are the most valuable treasure of nature. One who respects human life loves life better and who knows human life better knows Karate better. Moral principles provide the basis for maintaining a stable relationship between man and man, and between man and society. Everyone should learn from each other to improve and be united and cooperative with each other. A karateka exercises good manners in all situations with self-discipline, integrity and respect and accepts accountability for his/her actions.