Karate is one of the most formal martial arts practiced today, next to Tae Kwon Do and Aikido. Although most people know what to expect when they walk into a karate school, they are generally not aware of what exactly they want to achieve by practicing karate.
The reason for learning karate largely depends on your circumstances and therefore you should choose the right karate school to achieve your objectives. You might just be looking for a way to defend yourself in the event of an attack or you may have something else in mind, for example, fitness or character development.
Keeping in view the common objectives of various systems of martial arts, five main directions of learning this form of martial arts have been identified by the experts:
- Self defense
- Physical fitness & well being
- Character and confidence development
- Competition training
Self defense is probably the number one reason why people learn karate. This factor is also connected to confidence development because, if we know that we have the skill of protecting ourselves in a dangerous situation, we feel confident and secure.
Fitness is another common reason for a lot of people out there who wish to learn karate. Although this objective is a little confusing because a number of karate teachers would tell you that you should not expect to regain your shape or physically fit body by learning karate, but you should be fit already in order to practice karate.
Still, it can be regarded as an important objective since karate does undoubtedly provide physical gains.Most karate schools also teach other attributes like discipline, focus, character building, dignity, and coordination.
When you practice karate, you automatically learn humility and how to give respect to your opponent. Karate does not and should not teach you to develop a violent attitude towards others. In fact, this type of martial arts should serve to make you a down-to-earth person who shows respect to others and lives a disciplined life.
Karate not only serves to build character but also makes a person confident and self-assured. If you are shy and timid, then karate is going to change you. Remember, karate is not an aerobic exercise but it can be complemented with such exercises like running, cycling, jogging, etc. Karate schools that advise their students on practicing these activities are doing the right thing.
Last but not the least, competition training is another reason that attracts many people to join a karate school. Many karate teachers will not teach you to be competitive or learn karate simply because you wish to outshine somebody. This is against the principles of this style of martial arts, but still, many schools are working to promote competitions.
Knowing the objective is very important before you join a karate school so that you can be aware of what to expect from a karate session. This way you can choose the right karate school that focuses on one or more of the above mentioned areas. Consult with the trainers before joining a class so that you get exactly what you are looking for.