”Learn Martial arts, it will be fun and necessary for self-defense ”, my parents told me. Well, I am not sure about the fun part but as a proud holder of black belt from Okinawa Martial Arts Academy, I feel there are many more advantages in learning martial arts than self-defense. The main reason was always self-defense but I slowly started to realize that it helped me in building a good immunity system, disciplined lifestyle and no weight gain. Whenever we participated in competitions, I always felt that Kata was easier than sparring because I could memorize the steps correctly and sparring was simply not my thing.
The most important thing I learned from my sensei was discipline. Attending my practice sessions on time, learning the kicks/punches correctly, etc. ”Latecomers!! 5 rounds of frog jumps of the Arena”, was his favorite line of punishing, young or adults didn’t matter to him. So just in fear of his punishment, I, myself at 3years of age, used to be the first one present.
Practicing in sync with other students was also necessary. Sometimes after I got my brown belt, Sir would ask me to teach the older boys who couldn’t memorize their Katas. I remember them getting upset and making faces, but I was never scared of them. Having started Karate at the young age of 3, it was easier for me to do the stretches and exercises. Another good thing I got from Karate is self-control and confidence. Maybe it goes hand in hand because if we stay focused on whatever we do, we can achieve success and be confident in our lives.
So learn Karate and say Kiya.