Why I Love Karate

14 Dec

Last winter, in an effort to instill some discipline into our children, we enrolled them in karate. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it but I can say it’s far exceeded whatever expectations I may have had.

Activity

The kids are active from the time they walk in the door to the time they leave. Back in January, when they started, neither one of them could do a real pushup. Now, they can crank them out. They do a great warmup with the kids to get them ready for the rest of class. For the first few months they boys were completely exhausted after class. Cameron and Logan have always been active but taking karate has stepped it up a notch for them.

Cameron is rocking some serious abs for a nine year old!

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That’s Cameron in black w/the silver helmet.

Concentration

They have to learn “forms” to advance to the next belt rank. The forms are different moves strung together and the more advanced they get, the more movements are in each form and the more difficult those moves become. They really have to pay attention and concentrate to know the moves and remember the forms.

This is one of the things that has amazed me the most. Both boys have a real grasp on the forms they need for their level. It’s impressive to see them learn and know their forms.

I was worried that they would struggle to memorize the forms but so far those worries have been completely unnecessary.

Hard work

In karate you have to work had to succeed. Everything is earned and nothing is given. It’s not easy to learn the forms. It’s not always easy to have the level of concentration needed and expected. What the boys have really seen is how their hard work pays off.

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Logan receiving a new belt rank.

The hard work pays off in achieving the next belt rank and realizing they can do something they never thought possible. They have to earn everything they do in karate, nothing is given and nothing is handed out.

The pride just rolls off of them when they receive their next belt.

Respect

They really ingrain respect into the kids. Respect for themselves. Respect for others. Respect for parents. Respect for their school.

Not that the boys were ever overly disrespectful but it’s been a nice reinforcement for our expectations at home.

The discipline of karate Cameron and Logan do is called Tang Soo Do.

As a parent, it’s hard not to like something that has the following as it’s codes:

Loyalty to country.

Obedience to parents.

Honor and friendship.

No retreat in battle (always finish what you start).

In fighting, choose with sense and honor.

They end each class with those words.

They begin each class with this:

I will develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that would reduce my mental growth and my physical health.

I will develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others.

I will use what I learn in class constructively and defensively to help myself and my fellow man and never be abusive or offensive.

We are a black belt school, we are Motivated, we are Dedicated, we are on a Quest to be our Best.

I wasn’t so sure about how the boys would take to the expectations since they give me a hard time when I ask them to do a simple task like brush their teeth. The instructors make all the difference though, they have a way of making the kids listen and do what they’re told with a, “Yes, sir!”

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Logan rocking the Flying Sidekick.

Not only do the instructors demand and receive respect but they make everything fun. They are firm with the kids without being abusive. They are strict but fun and I think that’s how they get the respect from the kids. They don’t put up with nonsense but they give the kids the opportunity to be kids at the same time.

If there is one thing that is quite clear, it’s that every instructor cares. They want to see the kids learn and succeed. They are willing to help out when there is a problem outside of karate too. As a parent it makes me feel at ease knowing that the instructors have my children’s best interest at heart.

Karate is not a team sport but it also teaches the kids to work as a team. It’s amazing how they can all be working independently but together at the same time

If you’re looking for a great activity for your kids that is a really well rounded experience, consider karate.

I will warn you though, it’s not an inexpensive activity. In almost a year we’re probably a little more than five grand in. Between the classes themselves, the gear, the tests and the extra activities at the school it adds up quick. We’ve tried to save a few bucks here and there by purchasing some of our weapons on Amazon and I’m sure there are ways to save even more if you’re clever.

I can honestly say that I feel the experience is worth every penny we’ve spent and all the pennies we will spend as they work their way up the Tang Soo Do ladder.

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Learning how to use nunchucks.

Are your kids involved in martial arts? How has your experience been with it?

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10 comments
My Life In Mommyland
My Life In Mommyland

You should! It's great exercise and they help teach the kids discipline, respect, sportsmanship, pretty much how to be awesome.

Kira Odunsi
Kira Odunsi

We went to a birthday party at the Karate place by us, and the kids seem to enjoy it, now we're thinking of signing them up.

Jessica Rubin Cohen
Jessica Rubin Cohen

I've written about my love for karate too. My oldest started at 3, and is still going at 12.

Colleen Kennedy
Colleen Kennedy

My kids did karate as well, such a great activity/sport.