Why do people do Karate?
There are many reasons, however, the majority of people feel that with an ever-increasing violent society, the need to be able to protect themselves and their families becomes the most important.
With bullying still present at school, the self-confidence gained from Karate can make a big difference to a child's school life.
Reasons for starting Karate are myriad, for millions it is the benefits aside from self-defence that make karate an integral part of life and personal growth.
What is Karate?
Karate is a system of self defence and physical culture originally developed and refined in Okinawa and Japan. The word Karate is formed from the Japanese words Kara (empty) and Te (hand), symbolising that its practitioners - Karateka - are unarmed, but use their hands and feet for blocking and striking.
Training is conducted within an environment based on
certain Japanese cultural practices.
What is Shotokan Karate?
There are several fundamental styles of Karate which all conform to the above definition, but use slightly different training methods and place varying degrees of emphasis on issues such as the speed, strength and range of techniques - thus you will hear some described as "fast" styles, others as "strong" styles.
Shotokan is a style of Karate, which emphasises a balanced development of all these aspects, taught within a system, which instils confidence and self-control. The Shotokan style was originated by an Okinawan teacher of physical education, Gichin Funakoshi who introduced it to Japan in 1922, where the Japanese Master Masatoshi Nakayama developed it extensively.
From a self-defence perspective, all research indicates that during during real-life confrontation, the body undergoes a PCSR (Psycho Chemical Stress Response). When this occurs, the ability to access logical thoughts all but diminishes. Instead, under the conditions of PCSR, the human brain accesses what is referred to as the ‘Primal Brain’, which control instinctive behaviour. So what does this all mean? Unlike self-defence courses that show a person a set of logical defences against a potential attacker (none of which become instinctive) karate training sets out to develop appropriate ‘instinctive‘ habits in its participants. This gives them the ability to act accordingly under conditions of a PCSR.
Fitness, Energy and Vitality
From a fitness perspective, the techniques practised by White belts each class involve the use of every muscle and bone in the body making it an excellent all-over body workout. Involving the entire body also serves to develop balance, agility, coordination and flexibility. Many students who have never been good at regular sports often become highly competent in other sports after training in karate.
What is Kenshinkai?
This is the name of the club, which was formed in 1972 by the late Eddie Whitcher 5th Dan. The club trains at The Academy Health & Fitness Centre in Barrow, Suffolk which is owned by Sensei Moulds. Students are encouraged to train at all clubs should they wish. More information about class locations and training times can be found in the menu under 'classes'.
Junior Training at Barrow
Instilling Family and Success Values
While it is a system of self-defence and all-encompassing body workout, karate also promotes values in-line with the family and life success. It is an environment that promotes respect and courtesy. It teaches a student to become more disciplined, more patient within themselves, and encourages humility above ego.
The dojo environment does not tolerate foul language or negative social behaviour. In short it is a place where each participant can be their very best selves. The ultimate goal is that people then take this behaviour and apply it to their everyday lives; at home, work and/or school.
In most sports, you win or you lose. As karate is an individual activity there is no losing, nor is there any pressure of ‘letting the team down’. As such, a student may focus on developing at his or her own pace. And seeing themselves getting better, more skilled, fitter, stronger, more coordinated and so on. Week-after-week, a student of karate will witness their self-confidence grow.
Classes can be as hard as you allow them to be. Students can ease off if they are not in peak shape, but an instructor will regularly promote that a person push themselves just outside their comfort zone before easing off. By constantly breaking pre-conceived mental and physical barriers, a student will learn the power of persistence and come to realise that whatever they set their sights on, they can achieve - a valuable skill for life.
Junior Training at Barrow