Many people think of karate and they visualize dazzling high kicks and dropping into the splits ala Jean Claude Van Damm. Not everyone will be physically able to perform these feats that are seen at the movies that typically stereotype karate and we're not going to pretend that we'll be able to make anybody a star. Our purpose is to make sure that you work at a level that is comfortable, yet challenging to yourself.
Our workouts consist of a good mixture of cardiovascular endurance, strength training and flexibility exercises that are designed to benefit the whole body. Our instructors continue to research the best training methods known to the fitness world, and we're serious about it.
People feel good when their healthy. It may seem like a redundant statement, but it's something that people need reminding of. With a healthy body, you have a healthy mind. Everything from waking up in the morning, and thinking clearly at school or in our jobs in this fast paced society that we live in becomes easier to deal with and more enjoyable when your body and mind are in tune.
The key to self defence does not rely on punching and kicking. As a matter of fact, we discourse 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. We don't want people to be paranoid or scared to walk around their own block or to go to school, but many bad situations can be avoided.
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) 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.
Balance is a physical, and mental attribute that is developed as a result of karate training. Balance in the physical sense is acquired by performing drills that make you aware of what your body is doing while in motion. Balance as a mental characteristic is developed as you use karate as a mental stimulant.
For most people karate will not be as natural as walking so you will have to rationalize your movements as you learn them. With the presence of a good physical and mental balance you will enhance and develop your skills.
Control is a result of focus, concentration, and confidence. Through the efforts of repetitive karate training people learn their limitations. The more aggressive person may want to push those limitations, which is not a bad thing, but they learn to deal with what they have in front of them. Emotions such as anger and fear may never leave a person completely but by practice, like anything else, you can learn to control them.
Most educated people associate karate with discipline. This is because of the format in which the classes are taught. In karate there is a ranking system which lets people know where they stand. Karate doesn't have to be militaristic to the point it was originally intended (after all it is a martial art developed to defend ones' life) but these values are instilled. Generally a person who enters a karate class will see that people will bow to each other, call the instructor Sensei (teacher) and conform to the rules and guidelines set forth by the club. This makes a person feel rather awkward themselves if they don't conform to their surroundings. If there is a problem child or an adult with an overbearing demeanor they will be dealt with on a personal level. Most difficult people can be taught humility simply by being in an evironment where it is prominent.
People need direction. Most people enter a karate club with visions of wearing a black belt. The realization of reaching that goal can be overwhelming without proper direction. As instructors we help individuals set reasonable goals so that a person can make these ambitions attainable. Instead of thinking about a black belt that may be five or more years down the road, we focus on our ranking system which breaks it down to a few months at a time. At each level the student knows in advance what is expected of them to reach the next level. People that learn the importance of mile marking goals can more readily accept some of lifes challenges and learn to make realistic goals for themselves when there isn't someone there to do it for them.
You have to feel good about yourself and you have to trust in your abilities to be confident. Karate teaches you how to handle pressure by applying a little bit at a time. Every individual has certain a limit and once you find it you feel comfortable. Once your comfortable you can start to expand or push those limits and feel good about trying something you never imagined you could before. Karate is an endless learning experience that provides constant challenge keeping you alert and to let your confidence grow.
Like a school teacher, we as karate instructors have a responsibility to our students to instill positive values. Children benefit by the mental stimulation of learning the choreographed moves of the kata and the discipline of conforming to the rules of the club. An adult doesn't have to feel self conscious about getting the physical benefits of the exercise provided. Karate instills the confidence to walk away from confrontation, not to contest it head on. To teach these values at an early age will benefit a child for the rest of their life. On an adult perspective, it can shed a bit of light through the stresses of our daily routines.
Karate clubs, unlike many health clubs provide constant instruction by experienced leaders. Most people don't have the discipline to work out by themselves and it's human nature to work on what we already do well rather than to work at what is more difficult. By having the instructors lead a class through a planned routine you get a good balanced workout. Karate also promotes group support by having students work with each other under the guidance of an instructor. This teaches a more experienced student to work their leadership skills by passing along information that they have gathered over the years. A less experienced student will also ask questions that will challenge the senior student. This is a challenge that requires the senior student to put trust in their abilities and in return a adds a real sense of accomplishment.
Karate as a sport has been on a steady incline since the late 1960s. It provides a method of testing your abilities in a controlled environment. The sparring is fast paced not only for the spectator, but requires precision skill and control by the competitor. In karate you pull your technique, scoring points by showing the judges what you could do in a self defence situation. The kata competition shows a combination of grace and power in technique through a series of choreographed movements that represent the competitor defending themselves in a multi attack environment. Both provide a sense of self accomplishment and build confidence by performing in front of their peers and an audience.
Not only do you benefit from learning the techniques and routines that karate provides, you do it with other people that share a common interest. Any extra curricular activity you involve yourself with should be a release from the stress or anxiety that is built up in our daily routines. People involved in karate can established friendships for life.
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