Martial Arts is a practice that develops: Character, humility, gratitude, charity, confidence, self esteem, self control, determination, patience, temperance and a sense of obligation to pass on what is learned. No other physical discipline offers so much.
Spiritual organizations and religions strive to impart these qualities on their members and students as well, but the art of Karate also develops and enhances physical abilities that would take a multitude of sports to develop. Students improve balance, coordination, muscle tone, cardio-vascular conditioning, timing, rhythm, hand-eye coordination, hand-foot coordination, and flexibility. Complex neural pathways are developed through the study of Karate that also give students an advantage in every other physical activity.
…All that, and self defense as well.
Boxing and wrestling may provide excellent self defense and conditioning, but they don’t stress humility, respect and gratitude. Soccer and basketball stress agility and teamwork, but will they develop a desire to help someone in need? You definitely won’t learn any of this lifting weights or running on a treadmill at a gym.
Karate is an education in body mechanics.
A martial artist may, at any one time, be doing something completely different with each hand while carrying out complex combinations with his/her feet and maneuvering their body like a master contortionist. Karate is, above all, an education in body mechanics, and students find their ability in other sports improves greatly through this practice. Whether it is golf, soccer, tennis or gymnastics, understanding how to use the entire body to create force is the core of all athletic endeavors, and nowhere is this point more dramatically revealed than when learning the proper technique to throw a punch or kick. Anyone can fight, but fighting efficiently is the groundwork on which Kimura Shukokai is based. As students learn how to use the body with this efficiency and understand the importance of self-control, they have gained invaluable knowledge that can be applied to every aspect of their lives.
Karate is something that takes a lifetime to master: it is a discipline that keeps teaching and developing an individual forever. One of our instructors, a sixth degree black-belt, still trains and teaches at the age of 92: perhaps Karate has a positive affect on longevity as well.
Above all, Karate should be viewed not so much as a sport, but as a way of thinking, learning, and behaving: Karate is a way of life.