Karate for Adults vs. Karate for Kids
Karate is a Japanese form of martial arts that uses hands and feet for self-defense. There are many benefits to karate that include
- A safe place to release energy
- An opportunity to achieve through the belt system
- Enhanced physical fitness and flexibility
- Enhanced mental acuity
- Improved discipline, which is helpful at home and in school
- Improved resilience, which will help students in various endeavors
- Self-defense skills
The benefits of karate classes for adults and kids vary. Each age group derives their own benefits.
Adults and Karate
Adults, particularly those over 35 years of age, often benefit the most from improved flexibility, balance, and fitness. In karate, we do a lot of kicks, (i.e. round kicks) that help to loosen up the hips. The kicks will push the synovial fluid through the hips, which will improve flexibility and strength. You may also get some range of motion back that has been lost through atrophy.
Karate will also improve your fitness so that you can come closer to obtaining the lean figure or physique you may have always wanted. It is often difficult for adults to get in the kind of physical shape they want due to the sedentary lifestyle that accompanies a desk job. Certainly, committing to a program that improves fitness is a great avenue to enhancing one’s physical well-being. In karate, we work on your core and upper body strength. We do this through abdominal exercises and push-ups. In addition, the kicking motion will continually use these muscles. Don’t be surprised if you are a little sore at first.
Many adults also prefer karate over the gym because they are training with a group and working toward a goal (e.g. a higher belt). Thus, karate is less likely to get stale or routine.
“I had to give up running due to joint pain and a bad hip. After doing karate for roughly a year, I started to run again. While karate didn’t make my joint pains go away, it helped strengthen my hips so that I could to do many of the activities again that I had previously given up.”
Kids and Karate
The benefits of karate for kids are often very different to those for adults. Children come to us with so much energy that needs to get released. A karate program offers a child the opportunity to release this energy in a safe place and have a lot of fun in the process. We include various games, such as dodgeball in our children’s karate program. Our instructors are tasked to teach children all of the kicks and blocks while keeping kids entertained.
Karate can also provide many life-long skills to a child, such as improved focused and resilience. In class, we help children train their mind to engage in purposeful motion through the forms and kicking combinations. We also help children gain confidence as they progress through the belt system. Children and adults may feel a bit inadequate when they start, but then as they obtain new belts, they gain the confidence of achievement. In time, with persistence children and adults start to perceive themselves as martial artists. Becoming a martial artist will enhance a student’s belief in their physical ability. The ultimate achievement is obtaining the black belt, which validates a student as a martial artist.