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      04.07.2009 13:44
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      top martial art

      I was a bit of a karate kid I guess when I was younger but maybe not as good as the ones in the movies! I started up when I was around 12 and was doing it a bit on and off till about 17 when I had to focus a bit more on studies. I got up to two belts just below black belt beforeI stopped. As you get to the higher belts/grades you need to train more and be a bit more commited to get them and it was a bit unfortunate I couldn't quite make it to black belt but it definately was something useful to do anyway.

      Karate is a great martial art and teaches a number of things not just how to defend yourself and fight but discipline and focus. Some of the fighting techniques taught include punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes and open handed attacks such as knife-hand. Karate can be practiced as budo (self development), as a sport, as a combat sport, or as self defense training. When you do most types of karate and progress you will experience all elements of it.

      You will learn Katas which are a set of pre prepared sequence of movements which represent various attack and defense postures. These katas will become more difficult as your progress through the grades and belts.

      There is also Kumite which is sparring which can be light contact, semi contact or full contact. Once you have learned all the basic techniques and progressed through a few grades kumite is usually introduced.When I took part it was usually semi or light contact so you had to learn to control your kicks and punches so they made contact but were not full power. You will usually have to wear protective guards when you spar. I took part in some tournaments during the time I did karate and during these you spar against people of a similar belt/grade and age or at older ages weight.

      As you get to the higher grades you have to do both kata's and kumite in your gradings. The gradings are when it is decided whether you can progress to the next belt.

      Karate teaches a number of useful things for kids and big kids! It is recommended especially maybe for people who are a bit shy(which I was ) to get a bit more confidence. It can be quite hard though especially as you get to higher levels and needs commtment.

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        13.06.2009 01:12
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        Excellent for children or low self esteme sufferers

        I had never been a fan of any sort of contact sport i never saw the need to be violent towards anyone.

        When i first had my son I couldnt have asked for a better child as he was growing older i started experiencing a few anger issues with him. He was struggling to control his anger and expressing his feeling about all sorts of situation even to the point of the breakfast spoon was the wrong one. The situation just got worse when i was pregnant with my second child by this time he was 3 years old. We did take him to the doctors and we were told there was nothing that they could do to help us until he was 5. Things slowly calmed down then started again a few months after.

        After long discussions with friends and family we came to the decision to find him a karate club to join due to it not being a full on contact sport like boxing or kick boxing the last thing we needed was for him to take out more violence on us.

        He was still only 4 at this point and i contacted a club close to home and spoke to the main trainer. He luckly made an allowance for my son to join a little early. The club that he joined specialises in wodu-ryu he has been attending 5 months now and is due to be going for his first grading.

        Since he has started he has learnt to control his anger very well, if he feels like he is getting angry we have found that he has walked away and sat in his bedroom until he has calmed down. He is also showing alot of respect for people around him and an extra bonus is that he is also learning a skill and new language which should benifit him in later life if he still enjoys what he is doing. This club specifies that they do not have to spar if they choose not to so they will not get scared off.

        We now have the step son and my partner joining him it is a good job that it is not expensive at £3 per lesson for the children twice a week and £5 per lesson for my partner once a week.

        I would advise anyone who is having any problems with anger issuses respect issues and even low self esteme to consider joining a karate club but i would make sure you shop around to make sure you can find one that would suit you or your children.

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        26.10.2008 08:59
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        A good way of keeping fit,and enjoying keeping fit.

        Before my second child was born,I tried a dab hand at Karate.It had always interested me and plus,I needed to get fit.So 2 things in 1 was a bonus.

        I had to travel 8 miles to my nearest Karate class.I did feel strange in my Karate gear at first,but it is something you quickly get used too.When entering the hall,everyone was so welcoming and so it put me at ease straight away.They had childrens lessons before the Adults started.

        For the first month or 2,it seems like a very slow progress,but you will be suprised on how much you learn about stance and positioning. Proper fist clenching,arm adjusting and leg movement.Being set up with a partner is very common in Karate,as you need to practice against each other. My Karate was "Full Contact",which means you actually strike that person,.. (Sparring).Obviously not too agressively.But it has been known for a few accidents.

        Karate is very good for exercising the whole body. I used to love doing "Kata",which is a sequence of movements which represent various attack and defense postures.Some kata use low and wide stances.Kata vary in number of movements and difficulty.This practice develops leg strength, correct posture, and gracefulness also vigorous arm movements and enhances body strength. Which is what we mainly did infront of our sensay to pass our assessment to get to the next belt level.Sensay is our teacher who has taught us everything we know of Karate. I graduated 3 belts in 9 months.Starting on white,moving onto yellow,then moved onto Orange and then onto Green.By the time I got to green,it was told that this Karate class was finishing.And so I left,and never bothered going anywhere else.I made good friends,and it felt such a shame.

        Karate can be practiced as budo, as a sport, as a combat sport, or as self defense training.

        Karate Belt levels are:
        ---------------------------
        9th Kyu - White
        8th Kyu - yellow
        7th Kyu - orange
        6th Kyu - green
        5th Kyu - blue
        4th Kyu - purple
        3rd Kyu - brown
        2nd Kyu - brown 2
        1st Kyu - brown 3
        1st Dan onwards - blac.

        I miss Karate even now after years of finishing,and I am seriously considering going again.I have my book which shows proof of my grading.So I don't have to start back on white :)

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          14.05.2003 22:33
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          Karate was established on 1st May 1934 by founder Hironori Ohtsuka. Translated to English, the word ?Karate? means empty handed, meaning that traditionally we don?t use weapons (Although you could try telling this to my students who are determined to bring swords to every lesson!). The style of Karate I practice is Wado-Ryu, which means ?way of peace and harmony? (no really it does!). Now on to my review. I started Karate through my dad?s constant nagging that I should take up some kind of martial art. I didn?t want to join a club as such because to be honest, I didn?t have that much confidence. Anyway my dad found a poster in a sports centre that advertised a club which was about to open. Anyway, me being as daft as I am, I didn?t thought the club would be full of beginners so I wouldn?t feel out of place. It got to Tuesday night, my dad dropped me off, and I walked into the hall (a challenge in itself!). When the lesson started I found myself surrounded by ?high? grades?. All of which were male. Lucky me I hear you say? Well no, really. I was the only female in that club at the time, I was the youngest and I was the only beginner. We went through a basic warm up, consisting of running, jumping and stretching. Then went on to do some basic punching and kicking. This was all fine and fairly enjoyable. Then it got bad. We had to find partners so we could practice some ?sparring?. I got put with a man who had a blue belt (mid level). He proceeded to ?spar? with me, giving me no help, and bruised shins. Needless to say I didn?t want to go back after this lesson!!. Anyway skipping forward a bit before you back away from the computer with speed!. The club that I joined has about 3 clubs in my local area. I decided to try one of these instead. Again the club was male dominated, but they were much more encouraging. One man in particular had a daughter in the club who was roughly the same age as me, so he tended to look after
          me a bit more and go through anything I didn?t understand. 8 years and lots of hard work later and I now have my own club within the organisation. Now I find that clubs are largely ?child? dominated. I have about 30 people in my club, 2 of which are adults. I tend to teach a variety of different things. My lesson usually consists of a basic warm up, followed by some basic techniques and either sparring or Kata (a set sequence of moves which in theory could be used against an attacker). Because my club is largely child dominated I also try to include some ?fun? activities such as a ball game to improve co-ordination. I have paid visits to other clubs in the area and found them to be quite strict, also I found that the instructor doesn?t really like people watching the lessons (even parents). This may be a good way to discipline the children, but I feel that parents should be allowed to watch their children if they want and also the club shouldn?t be ?so? strict that you make your students cry on a regular basis (yes I have seen it happen!). Over the years I think that Karate has been watered down in the way that it is taught and the knowledge of students. However, for me it is more important that the students enjoy coming to the club, are more confident and can protect themselves against potential danger. The best thing about being an instructor for me is seeing a student do well on their grading, and their faces when they get their next belt. The best thing about a student was being involved in a friendly organisation and being fit. Don?t get me wrong Karate has given me more confidence, but I don?t go around thinking ?bring it on!?. I think a lot of people get the wrong idea about the benefits practising a martial art will give them. Karate does not make you ?invincible? or ?unbeatable?. If you are unfortunate enough to get into a fighting situation, then more than likely you are going to get hit. In my opini
          on, Karate teaches you to ?not be there? through self-awareness more than developing attacking techniques. My advice is to know what to expect if you are thinking of joining a club. You are not going to come out and put Bruce Lee to shame, and you are not going to work your way up the grades within a week. It takes hard work and time. Also as mentioned before, it is not going to make you invincible, so don?t try kidding yourself and taking unnecessary risks. Below are a few pointers for finding the right club: 1/ Try and find out a bit about the organisation, who is it run by? How long has it been running? 2/ Have a chat to the instructor, find out what?s involved in lessons and gradings, how much will it all cost and is there a contract to sign? 3/ see if you can sit in on one of the lessons to see what they do. 4/ INSURANCE. Make sure you are insured for your training. 5/ Keep an eye out for the ?big heads? in the group. Yes there will probably be one, yes they are annoying and no you cant trip them up as they pass!. 6/ most of all don?t be forced into doing something you don?t want to do. It is YOUR training. Don?t be bullied be other students or your instructor. 7/ finally, like with most things shop around. Clubs and their attitudes vary A LOT. If one style of teaching is not for you, try somewhere else. Hope this helps you a little!.

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