Karate is a Japanese martial art whose physical aspects seek the development of defensive and counterattacking body movements. The themes of traditional karate training are fighting and self-defense, though its mental and moral aspects target the overall improvement of the individual.
Karate may be defined as a ‘weaponless form of self defence’. The dynamic nature of the sport means that mind and body are perfectly in sync: ‘it is not the possession of great physical strength that makes a strong karateka; rather it is the ability to coordinate mind and body’.
Karate is a sport for both adults and children alike. It has been proved particularly useful in providing an outlet for young people, helping them to avoid conflict and become comfortable in their bodies.
Karate has been proven to improve cardiovascular health. Research indicates that the only real way to improve the status of the cardiovascular system is by participating in activities that stress the heart. Martial Arts are some of the best of these activities and can also serve a dual purpose in promoting weight loss. A one hour session of moderate intensity karate can burn up to 500 calories. Alongside these benefits, Karate also serves to improve stamina, whilst increasing strength and flexibility.
Not only is Karate good for the body, it also improves mental health, wellbeing and self-confidence. The most obvious improvements come in creating confidence in unfamiliar or threatening situations, through the skill of self defence. There are, however, many additional mental health benefits, most notably an ability to focus and be still, practicing the art of self discipline.
Karate is an accessible martial art which does not require too much equipment for the beginner. As an individual progresses through the levels, there may be more kit to purchase. The sport requires anyone participating to wear a uniform, which can be purchased under advice from your club
There are a few simple steps to take before you get started with Karate. With several different styles of the sport, it can prove useful to research which would be the best for you, however a good club will be able to guide you through this.