In this day and age, where crime and intent lurks all around us, self defence is the need of the hour. But apart from the obvious need to be able to protect one's self and kith and kin, karate also helps in the growth and development of an individual.
Apart from studies, a child needs to learn early the virtues of Confidence and Discipline to be successful in future and Karate helps to develop these traits in any individual. When you begin learning the art of karate from an early age, you inculcate focus and coordination in your life and these traits go a long way in shaping a person to become a successful human being. It helps you keep calm and composed at any given point of life and also helps maintain mental and physical health.
Karate is an ancient art of unarmed combat. It dates back to 14th century where it began as a fighting system introduced in Ryukyu islands (today in modern Japan) and has evolved especially in the past century into one of the most popular martials that is practiced worldwide. Karate can be practiced as an art (budō), as a sport, as a combat sport, or as self defense training. While there are almost 14 different styles practiced around the world, the World Karate Federation recognises the 4 prominent styles - Shotokan, Shitō-ryū, Gōjū-ryū, Wadō-ryū. Lately though, a new form of karate called Kyokushin (a synthesis of Shotokan and Gōjū-ryū) has emerged that teaches a curriculum that emphasizes aliveness, physical toughness, and full contact sparring.
Understanding the need of improved physical and mental health, many parents as well as schools are encouraging their kids to attend karate sessions. Also the habit of preparedness is a good one and helps your child sail through rigorous academics and examination stress. It empowers the mind and prepares the body with greater resilience and strength to persevere. Isn’t that what we all wish for our children? With precisely that vision in place, schools are introducing this art of self-development to create better individuals.
Today, Karate is steeped in popular culture, so much so even other martial arts are commonly mistaken for Karate. A lot of movies in the West have Karate as the central theme. But popular culture aside, it is important to understand the principal tenets of this martial art and adopt them in our daily lives.
(Shihan Jacintha D’Souza is one of the first students of the Indian KarateDo Kyokushin Kai (IKK) and has been influential in the growth of IKK ever since its inception. She has represented the nation at many International events and won many laurels along the way. She continues to conduct training at various schools and private institutions. Presently she is a faculty of Karate at St. Mira’s school, Pune)
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Why parents should encourage children to take up Karate
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