Karate is an excellent way to build strength. Even without lifting weights, a student will naturally gain muscle through practicing their karate. Working with a peer or a higher-ranked martial artist is also a great way to get stronger. Their advice and experience will improve your form, which will pave the way for increasing power and strength.
Martial arts will focus on stretching to improve the effectiveness of your kicks and strikes. Stretching improves balance and can often ease joint and muscle pain. Being more flexible will increase your overall fitness and allow you to perform day-to-day activities with greater ease.
Karate will increase your day-to-day energy level. As a karate student progresses with their training, they will become accustomed to the pace of class and naturally begin to build better endurance. Soon, they can practice more techniques without becoming as tired as they once did. This leads to more energy in their lives outside of the dojo as well. For kids, the dojo is a fantastic place to burn off extra energy in a productive, healthy manner that does not involve bothering their siblings or parents.
Karate greatly improves hand-eye coordination. With training students become familiarized with how their body moves and what it is capable of. This understanding of how their body works soon progresses to furthering their skills and reaction speed. Before long, the student will find that they are better coordinated and better able to block strikes they would not have been able to when first starting. For kids, this is very important, as their bodies are constantly growing and changing. The coordination gained will help them inside and outside of the dojo.
Karate practice has positive long-term effects on health and fitness, which leads to a happier and healthier life. With proper training, karate students are less likely to suffer from common age-related injuries. When they do become injured many students report that they are able to recover much quicker than if they were not training. I have met many older martial artists that report that karate has improved their fitness so much that they feel twenty years younger than they did before they started.
Stephanie Rodenhiser is a 4th Degree Black Belt at Buzz Durkin’s Karate School, having trained since she was eight years old. She teaches students of all ages and especially enjoys teaching kids and adults who work hard and develop great outlooks on life.