Taking the step to enroll in your first karate class could change your life. Karate is a great form of physical fitness and can help people achieve many fitness goals including weight loss and toning. This total-body-workout not only trains your body but your mind as well. The discipline developed from martial arts can help you to stick with it and make it a life-long habit.
Karate promotes two kinds of balance – physical balance and life balance. We all understand that the physical balance has to do with things like being able to stand stably on one foot, but life balance is something that is a little harder to come by in today’s world. Life is a balancing act, we need to learn to find a happy medium in all aspects of life: what we eat, how much time we spend working versus relaxing, spending time alone or with a group, etc. Karate can teach teens and adults how to find their own personal sense of balance in their lives by making them more aware of their surroundings.
This one is a less obvious benefit of learning martial arts, especially for teens. Being able to control one’s own emotions in social situations is something that many teens struggle with. Karate can help develop this sense of self control. Many instructors have the philosophy that if you can learn to control your body absolutely, you can also learn to control your mind and emotion in the same way. Developing this skill as a young teen will carry over into adult life. The detailed control learned in karate helps students to understand how they completely control their own actions and can then learn to manipulate their thoughts and emotions effectively.
In martial arts, everyone is treated equally regardless of size or gender. Because of this, students face a wide range of opponents. This array of opponents can help build self-confidence because you may be fighting someone that is bigger or stronger than yourself. Sparing with opponents, learning skills, and achieving goals all give students a sense of accomplishment and confidence.
One of the core values of martial arts is respect. This respect is not just for your sensei (instructor) but also for yourself, your fellow classmates, and everything around you. Learning to have respect for things, no matter what, can help develop control and balance as well. For teens, learning respect will help in all aspects of their lives, be it school, friends, or a new job. It helps people of all ages to establish a sense of dignity and well being.