Karate for Health
When people hear the word karate they have a preconceived idea of what it is, they either believe it’s an activity for their children or something for ultra-competitive athletes who only want to punch and kick each other. But it is actually an ancient martial art rich in tradition and respect, it also is a great exercise for the body and mind. When I suggest karate to people the response I often get is “I’m too old for karate”, when in actuality there is nothing further from the truth. Anyone, at any age can begin martial arts training. So, you’re probably wondering “why should I do karate instead of some other exercise?” well the simple answer is besides getting in shape you also learn a skill that could save you and your family’s life in a self-defense situation. I would like to take the next few minutes to explain a few of the many benefits in learning karate.
Improvement of physical health
The obvious benefit from learning karate is the improvement of physical health. The student learns to exercise regularly several times a week, which is one of the most useful lifetime habits. This results in balancing blood pressure and circulation, lowering the cholesterol level, and reducing the number of visits to the doctor and all medical expenses. Karate will also help you get flexible muscles and joints, which increase mobility and your overall quality of life.
Improvement of mental health
Physical activity works to increase the production of your brains “feel-good” neurotransmitters called endorphins. This results in increased energy, positivity and optimism, which can help to remain calm and clear in your daily routine. You also get strong dopamine levels, which can help improve your mood. Whenever you are participating in class you use 100% of your mental concentration to focus and learn. At that moment the mind cannot think of anything else but the task at hand which leaves no room for stress or anxiety. Without any psychological stress your mood simply feels light and your stress level is reduced.
Building self-esteem and strengthening self-confidence
Building self-esteem and confidence is based on the fact that you set a goal, put in the work to achieve the goal, and at the end you get promoted to the next belt. In a nutshell that is the formula for success in life. So, let’s say you set a goal to become a black belt, the instructor splits the long-term goal into a number of short-term goals. Progress in karate is measured with the belt ranking system. Each belt is an award for a completed short-term goal, this system keeps you on track to complete your long-term goal. Completing short-term goals will boost your self-esteem and you will grow more confident in your self-defense skills. You will also begin to understand that almost any goal can be achieved with a good plan and hard work.