Karate is one of the most practiced martial art forms in the world. Martial arts rely on increased physical coordination and mental focus. Karate was developed in Asia – mainly in India, China and Japan – over several thousand years. Throughout this time, there have been countless variations of karate.

The modern version was developed in Okinawa, a Japanese island. For hundreds of years, martial arts experts have refined their fighting styles there, partly due to the political situation in the region. According to history, the ruling authorities prohibited the peasants from possessing weapons, leaving them only their bodies and household objects to defend themselves.

Why do karate?

There are a million answers to this question. When we think about karate or more generally about martial arts, we imagine a violent sport. However, nothing could be further from the truth, at least for real karate. If you have an interest in this spell, you will find what you are looking for here. Here are some reasons why everyone should practice karate.

Karate is a self-defense sport

Feeling safe is important for everyone. Karate is a way to build self-confidence and to defend yourself in case of danger. However, it is important to remember that karate is not an attack sport.

Karate is fitness.

Karate training can be intense, but each student can progress at his or her own pace. Although karate is not considered an aerobic exercise per se, when you practice karate, your heart rate increases by 70-80% for 20 minutes or more. It is rare to leave the dojo without sweating. Furthermore, fights are very aerobic and many warm-up exercises are also considered as such. In addition, karatekas complement their training with physical exercises such as skipping rope, running.

Karate builds self-confidence

Students who begin karate training are rather discreet, calm and often shy. This is normal, because it is something new and unknown. They meet new faces, new clothes and new movements that are not obvious to perform. However, it is important to understand that being arrogant is not the same thing as being confident. Karate builds self-confidence by teaching each of us our limits, helping us overcome fear, and improving our self-image.

Karate increases coordination

Karate develops awareness of one’s body, how it works and how to control it. This process leads to improved coordination.

How to do karate?

Karate takes time and commitment. Now that you know why to practice karate, let’s see how to do it.

Learn the basic positions

The position is very important in martial arts, even more so in karate. Indeed, the position adopted not only allows you to find and keep your balance, but it also helps you to reach your target or to dodge its assaults. Knowing when is the best time to change position will give you a considerable advantage over your opponent.

Learn to block shots

In karate, blocking plays an important role. Indeed, whether it is to limit the impact of the opponent’s blows or to counter-attack immediately afterwards, blocking is indispensable. They can be done in several ways, with arms, hands or legs. To practice blocking, take a friend and ask him or her to simulate blows. This will put you in real fighting conditions to improve your progress.

Learning attacks

Karate is a martial art that is practiced bare-handed. It requires the use of arms and legs to assault opponents. There is no need to strike like an ox during attacks. Karate moves are based on precise and fluid movements. Indeed, this art advocates mastery and control. To perfect your attacks, practice in front of a mirror to see your movements, or hit in a bag.

How does a karate training session go?

Before you start training, everyone greets each other. Then comes the warm-up, which consists of running, trotting on the spot and jumping. Then, there is a small weight training session (push-ups, squatting…), followed by stretching.

Once all this is done, we continue with the “kihon” which is a set of techniques (positions, moves, blocks, hits, dodges, etc.). Then the Katas which are combinations of kihon to simulate a fight with several assailants. As the kata is close to a choreography, it reinforces the artistic side of karate.

The next step is to put into practice what is learned in the learning phase, which is the kumite. It is a matter of kicking in a bag or confronting each other under the supervision of the sensei to make it safer. Finally, we show respect by thanking and greeting each other.

At what age can you start practicing karate?

Concretely, there is no age limit to learn karate. However, officially, children can start karate competitions from the age of 6.

How does a karate competition take place?

The completions take place in a very supervised setting and in single combat led by a referee who opposes the two karatekas. The rules of karate competitions are very strict. Indeed, in order to score points, the movements must be executed with precision and good timing. Fights are limited in time, ranging from one minute and thirty seconds to three minutes depending on the category of opponents. The one who scores the most points within the time limit is declared the winner.