Perhaps one of the most popular forms of martial arts around the world is Karate. Its popularity could very well be based on the fact it consists of all that is good about martial arts. Karate will help you to be physically and mentally fit, it could be a competitive sport and it can offer skills for self defense. Karate means “empty hand” in Japanese and anyone from all age groups can learn kicks, punches and strikes in this all round system. In reality it is a great martial art for all the family to get involved with. In case you are curious about what would be involved in a typical Karate class, this article will give you a basic overview.
Karate has quite a few different forms and some are based on power whereas other styles count more on speed. Nearly all Karate lessons start with exercises and stretches to limber up. All these warm ups help improve our flexibility so that we can do our kicks and moves without hurting ourselves. It is crucial to be well conditioned and well toned so these warm ups are necessary. You’ll see that after taking a couple of Karate class sessions, you’ll be feeling much stronger and more focused than ever.
Once you’ve warmed up, you will start to do some of the specific moves associated with Karate. Posture and just how you place your feet is a very important aspect and to ensure you are getting each part of the move right, you will often practice a particular kick or punch several times. You’re going to usually be shown the move first by your trainer and then you get the chance to do this yourself. The continual repetition can help make the moves you master become part of your instinct so that when you perform a specific strike, it all comes to you naturally.
One other aspect of Karate is what is called “kata” which is essentially executing a sequence of different moves in a combination of strikes, kicks and blocks. It’s quite common to see “kata” being executed at a Karate exhibition and it is taught to students as they move up the grading system. At some point during your lesson you’ll also have a chance for some fighting with others of a similar experience to you. It’s to help you get some real experience with someone and help you determine where you stand in your learnings. The sparring will often only involve light contact but you will gain valuable experience of distance and angles when trying different types of strikes.
Towards the end of the lesson, you will be stretching to help you cool down from practice. Make sure you spend some time to see how clubs are run but in general many classes follow this routine.
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