Karate

Karate and personal development
Karate and personal development
What has karate got to do with personal development, is a question you may well ask

Karate is one of the most popular forms of martial arts around the world. Like other forms of martial arts - for example aikido, judo and tai-kwon-do - it teaches self-defence. However, it also teaches self-discipline and the importance of mental focus.

The benefits of developing your ability to clearly focus the mind and eliminate mental distractions extends beyond just being able to defend yourself. It is an ability that students need to succeed at school ...... it is an ability people need to succeed in business.

Your mind can become either a friend or an enemy in terms of how it influences your emotions and your performance. Anything that can help you to gain more control over your thoughts, so that you can direct your thinking in a positive and empowered way, may be worth learning.

Karate, like other martial arts, provides you with opportunities to set yourself a goal and commit yourself to working towards achieving it. There are grading opportunities that allow you to measure whether you are making progress...... and you do not necessarily have to compete with others. When you enter a "grading" you are simply competing against yourself, trying to reach a "personal best" you might say.

And making progress when learning a new kata in karate takes patience ...... Like learning anything new, there's no point beating yourself up if you don't get it right first time. It will take you time and it takes practice - so try to enjoy the process and don't be too self-critical, because that's not going to help.

Being too harsh and self-critical will simply undermine your self-esteem and confidence. So don't expect perfection - just look for small signs that you are making progress

One of the traditional styles of karate is Wado Ryu - however there are several other styles of traditional karate - all similar, but different.......  I have a young friend Lucas, who is just starting to learn some karate techniques.

Here is an example of a group of students at a dojo who are demonstrating some "white belt" basic kata's ... You will see that kata combines a mixture of offensive attacking techniques (punches and kicks), together with blocking and deflection techniques.......
   

 
Here is another video clip in which a sensei from the Shotokan style clearly demonstrates the "Kihon" basic kata. You might find this video especially useful because of the way in which the instructor more slowly demonstrates the steps involved. By the way, different styles of karate do have some slight variations to how this kata is performed.
 

I mentioned earlier the importance of learning to control your mind - you might find the article, Mental Toughness to be of interest.

All the best on your journey. Karate is something that I have enjoyed for the past ten years - I wish that I had been introduced to it earlier in life. But it is only one path to personal development - there are many and you will find the one that is right for you. You might like to try karate - and see what you think ......... Have faith whatever you choose to do, as long as you keep moving forward ! And also try to remember in life, to Play to Your Strengths

In closing, you might perhaps find some inspiration in this final thought ...
"Every expert was once a beginner"

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