Common Reasons Why People Take Karate

Because Karate can be practiced by young and old, male and female, and because it can be approached in so many different ways (for example, sport, physical education, and self-defense), there are probably as many reasons for taking karate as there are people who take it.

Now, let’s discuss some of the most common reasons why people take karate.

Table of Contents

Why Do People Take Karate?

Karate Is for Just About Everyone

Some physical conditions might limit your ability to participate, but your age surely won’t.

Naturally, the younger you are, the easier it probably will be for you to start practicing karate, but that’s true for all physical activities, and no special skill or physical condition is necessary to try karate.

If you can move your arms forward and backward, then you can learn how to punch, block, and strike; if you can lift your foot as high as your other knee, you can learn how to kick.

If you can walk, you can learn how to get out of the way of a mugger.

If you haven’t guessed by now, modern karate can be practiced safely by just about anybody whose health permits participation in regular, moderate exercise.  

Note: Even though karate can be practiced safely by anyone in average or better health, it is important to consult your physician before beginning karate training or any other form of strenuous physical activity.

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Karate is especially beneficial to women because it is a great equalizer between the sexes.

The effectiveness of karate techniques relies more on coordination, timing, and body momentum than it does on strength, and this gives the women the ability to deliver powerful—even devastating—blows.

For children under age 12, karate is a wonderful way to develop concentration, coordination, agility, and self-confidence.

Classes are rather rigidly structured, and the emphasis is on developing motor skills along with learning how to focus.

The exercise component for kids is also usually very vigorous, which promotes healthy growth and peaceful sleep at night—and that’s particularly important today when more kids are getting less exercise.

For adults, karate’s benefits really shine.

Stress management, weight loss, strength, and confidence are among the most often cited benefits derived by adults in karate classes.

In purely physical arts—take boxing, for example— you learn to defeat the opponent with your fists and feet, but as you get older, your body stiffens, your muscles shrink, and your fists and feet become less effective.

In whole-life arts such as karate, you learn to defeat the opponent with timing, coordination, awareness, finesse, and experience.

These things can continue to grow as you age, so combined with the great physical shape you will be in from practicing karate, you will also be able to kick butt for as long as you live.

And you’ll be able to kick it from your rocking chair, if necessary. That’s an important benefit of karate training.

Purely physical arts such as boxing become less effective as you age, but whole-life arts such as karate become more effective as you age.

Kick Fast or Kick Slow

By now you’re probably wondering how the heck a hot-blooded teenager and an old codger who hasn’t exercised for 40 years could be in the same karate class.

You might be wondering if the karate class wouldn’t be better for the young buck, and something gentle like Tai Chi wouldn’t be better for the old dog.

Well, allow us to reveal to you one of the secrets of karate: It can be practiced strongly, quickly, and vigorously, or it can be practiced softly, slowly, and gently.

In fact, the movements of an art such as Tai Chi can be practiced only slowly and gently, and an aerobic sport such as tennis can be practiced only rather vigorously.

But in karate class, you can practice the movements in exactly the manner in which your physical condition will allow you to practice them.

While the instructor will always encourage everybody in the class to move faster and sometimes harder, the older adult won’t be left in the dust of the 18-year-old athlete because the adult is not competing with the teenager.

When you start training in karate, you will be able to train at your own pace, and that pace will increase over time.

In other words, you can find all the benefits of both Tai Chi and tennis in karate classes.

To Kick Those Pounds Away!

Granted, most of us who want to lose weight would much rather have a magic bullet than resign ourselves to a strict exercise routine.

That’s why the world spends billions of dollars on fad diets, creams, and pills that are supposed to melt our fat away.

Sorry to break this to you, but the only sure-fire, 100 percent, foolproof way to lose and control body weight is through a combination of diet and exercise.

The problem with fad diets is that they get boring pretty fast, and usually, they just don’t work.

Most people just gain the pounds they lost right back as soon as they go off the diet.

The problem with exercise machines is that they are even more boring than these diets, and that’s why the equipment usually becomes expensive dust collectors.

You don’t have to take our word for it, just check the classified ads in your local newspaper or Amazon and see how many exercise machines are for sale.

As much as we all hate to admit it, regular exercise is the best way to lose pounds and keep them off.

The trick is to find some kind of exercise that doesn’t bore you to death while it’s supposed to be making you healthy.

Our answer: karate! Not only does karate training provide all the benefits of regular, moderate exercise, but it’s also fun!

In karate class, you get to meet new and interesting people, you get to punch and kick at them, and you get to scream and yell and get all your frustrations out.

Most important of all, though, is that while you are kicking away those excess pounds, you also are learning how to take care of the mugger who might be lurking outside, waiting for you to go home.

If you go to an aerobics class, all you are essentially learning how to do is dance.

Think about it: When you’re walking down the street late at night and an ugly mugger suddenly jumps out at you, would you feel better knowing aerobics or karate? Yeah, we thought so.

To Kick Those Blues Away!

If you are like most people, you have days when you just feel blah.

You don’t feel particularly bad, but you sure don’t feel particularly good.

You want to eat, but nothing sounds good.

You want to catch up on the chores you’ve been putting off, but you just feel too tired.

So, you decide to take a nap, but your mind races and you can’t sleep.

Yep, no doubt about it—you’re suffering from the blues.

The blues get to all of us from time to time, no matter what we do to avoid them.

They usually are fleeting, but even for a short time, they can make us uncomfortable.

When they hang around for weeks and months, they can turn into full-blown depression, and depression can even be deadly.

So, you want to keep the blues away, right? Then take our advice and kick those blues away!

That’s right, just stand up, start moving, and start thinking about your movements.

You can’t be blue when you’re thinking about the timing of your punch.

You can’t be blue when you’re thinking about getting your knee higher in that kick.

In fact, you can’t be blue at all when your mind is occupied with trying to remember the pattern of that kata you started learning last week.

The blues come and go, but they always get worse when we let ourselves dwell on them.

We should be able to just concentrate on something else and make the blues go away, but telling our minds to not think about being blue is akin to telling our minds not to envision a purple elephant on roller skates.

Go ahead and tell yourself that right now. See, you can’t do it, can you?

There are only two proven cures for the blues, and karate practice provides both of them.

One way to get happy is to fully occupy your mind with something other than what is making you sad.

The other way is to exercise your body until endorphins—the hormones that make the body feel happy—are released into your bloodstream and bathe your brain in happiness.

The challenging and complex nature of karate techniques provides an abundance of the former, and the dynamic, full-body, multidirectional movements of the art provide the latter.

The great thing about karate, though, is that you don’t have to go anywhere to do it.

And unlike tennis, for example, you don’t need a partner to practice karate.

You don’t have to go to a court, and you don’t have to own a racket.

All you have to do, in the privacy of your living room, is stand up and punch and kick.

In no time at all, you will find yourself feeling better, and your blues will fade right away.

So now you have found an adjunct method of curing the blues that—while perhaps not scientifically proven—seems to work very well.

This method consists of going to the karate school, getting a partner, and knocking the bejabbers out of them—in a controlled manner, of course.

It might not be science, but when you’re feeling down, it sure can make you feel good.

Final Thought

Karate is a way to a better life, not just a method of fighting.

It is a great physical workout no matter your sex, age, or what shape you are in when you start.

Karate is great for the mind (concentration) and the spirit (emotional stability).

Related Post: Advantages of Martial Arts

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