The benefits of training in the martial arts are vast, and many students come for different reason. Some train to improve their physical fitness (see item 1 below), while other come as they want to learn self-defence. Both Karate and Kobudo provides this. The student learns how to stand up to certain intimidating situations. Regular training teaches the physical skills and mental conditioning to deal with everyday problems. The classes are enjoyable, social and will provide a feeling of accomplishment. Some other benefits are given below:
- Improving Physical Fitness
By taking regular classes and by the nature of Karate or Kobudo an improvement in fitness is obtained. Over time the student improves their cardiovascular system and flexibility. Core strength and strength in the body is also acquired by the regular training exercises.
- Improvement of Character
Because of the nature of traditional martial art, in that it’s steeped in Etiquette, it can change the behavioural attitude of the student. For example, it can calm students down that are hyper and a bit unruly, and on the other hand it will reduce shyness as the student integrates with other members and gain confidence within themselves.
Through regular training the student obtains the ability to control their feelings and be able to overcome their weaknesses. This could be very important in conflicts or in other everyday life situations.
By the very nature of martial arts, such as Karate and Kobudo, the student will acquire confidence in defending themselves as they acquire the skills to be able to do this. This might not be to win a fighting situation, but it may be to talk down a situation or just walk away. This feeling or belief that they have in themselves will be reflected in other life encounters, such as in school or in their employment. Furthermore, it is reflected in the way they appear and act, which may prevent them getting into situations where they need to defend themselves in the first place, that is they don’t look like a victim!
As they student learns they become more motived through the feeling of having achieved their grades and learning new techniques. This can spill out into other life endeavours, such as in their school. I have had many parents say to me that their child’s school work has improved since doing karate. Motivation in going to a gym and working out on your own is very hard. In martial art classes, such as with Karate and Kobudo, the instructor motivates the student.
This is part of character building. The student’s attitude changes as they progress through their grades as they learn the Etiquette involved in a Karate or Kobudo class. Right from the start the classes teach the correct way to enter a dojo, how to address the instructors and other students in the class. These lessons spill out into their everyday lives.
As the student learn, becoming more motivated and confidence, their self-esteem improves. That is, they begin to have the feeling of worth in what they do or are doing. This can then be seen in everyday situations, such as in their school or their jobs.