Martial arts all have a different focus, so each has its own philosophy. If you are not sure if karate is the right sport for you, here you will find answers and learn until when you could master karate.
Suitability of Karate
To anticipate: Karate is suitable for everyone. Not everyone will mature into a professional athlete, but it helps to maintain fitness, defend yourself and make new friends.
Is karate suitable for self-defense?
Learning karate is undoubtedly an effective way of self-defense, although in case of emergency the techniques should be used only by an experienced karateka, who can estimate the effects of a hit well enough.
- Attacks can be repelled with hands and feet
- Kicking and punching techniques quickly incapacitate the opponent when hit or give you time to escape.
Self-defense may only be used according to the “principle of proportionality“. This means that you may not send your opponent, who threatens only a loose slap, with four broken limbs on the boards. The danger of causing serious damage with a karate technique is unfortunately very high.
The option of improving one’s physical constitution by learning karate also offers good chances of success. Through the variety of different techniques, almost all muscle groups are addressed and a special focus is on the rapid strength, that is, the acceleration of the hands and feet from a standstill.
In Shōtōkan, which is taught by most dojos, the deep stances also train the thigh muscles in a very intense way.
There are no restrictions on age, weight or gender for karate training in a club. The karateka can train here with the others as long as his physical condition allows the execution of the movements, which is often possible until old age. The Japanese Kanazawa, for example, still conducted courses himself when he was over 80 years old. Only for the participation in championships and other competitions you need an enormous physical fitness, which can no longer be achieved in old age.
It does not hurt if professionals train with beginners (of course not in sparring). However, there are often different training groups, for example one for very advanced karatekas, for children or possibly for seniors.
How long does it take to learn karate?
The bigger hurdle in the beginning will be your body, because you will be using muscle groups that you don’t need in everyday life. So don’t be ashamed if you can’t walk or sit normally after the first few hours of training due to soreness and simply reduce other activities during this time. After a few weeks, the muscles will start to get used to the new load and you can go back to your usual weekly routine.
Once you have overcome this physical hurdle, there is also the mental one. This means that you learn parts of another language, force the same concentration on your mind as on your body, and still move into the training despite occasional reluctance.
So learning karate is first and foremost about self-discipline and perseverance. If you succeed in overcoming all the inner and outer pigs, then after 9 to 12 months you should be able to participate effectively in the training. As a “guideline” for a beginner that he no longer belongs to the absolute newcomers, the examination for the 6th Kyū is often mentioned, although this can not be judged across the board. Every person is and remains unique.