Martial Arts has long been recognized as a great way to enhance health, focus, and well-being. Those who study traditional karate have even found that the deep rooted cornerstones of the art help them to create structure and consistency through all aspects of their life in a sometimes chaotic world. Although training in martial arts brings so many health and lifestyle benefits, adding in a competitive element can enhance the overall benefits of long term training.
Through the vehicle of competitive karate, students learn much about their strengths and weaknesses; this allows them to hyperfocus their training on areas that will consolidate their efforts and bring them to a clear path toward success. Competition in traditional karate events allows for a competitive edge to be added into one's training, while still keeping to the long standing foundational principles like respect, humility, and hard work.
Our competitive team trains hard, and we go on the mats with an intense focus and determination to win; yet we also balance that with the concept of respect for oneself and for others. The opponent is not seen as the enemy, but a 'brother' or 'sister' in the art of traditional karate; and because the officials are themselves black belts who have fostered a love of the art, athletes in turn offer up much respect to them as well. It's a beautiful balance of fierce determination and humility.
Children who train at the competitive level find that the long term training and repetition that is required in traditional karate is enhanced by the immediate goal of an upcoming competition. The ability to test one's skills is something that can't be understated when it comes to helping youngsters stay focused on a long term goal like achieving black belt.
Instructors celebrate alongside students when they win, and help them to learn about humility, respect, and good sportsmanship when they do not. It's a great way to foster a healthy approach to competition in children of all ages.
Adults who enter the competitive arena also benefit from their time on the mats. Many say that the camaraderie and team atmosphere is something they have been missing since leaving their academic sporting days and entering the adult workforce. The competition team is a family of martial artists who share a love of karate and a dedicated focus to a common goal. Members of the team cheer each other on at events, celebrate wins together, and help to lift each other up when losses come.
Aileen and Liddy are a great example of how many benefits can be gained by adding a competitive element to their karate training. Both began training in karate as adults and decided to add in the competitive element to their weekly training routine as a way to increase their skills and have fun.
Entering in karate as an adult has made a big impact in our lives. It's never too late in life to make a change. Competition just proves the hard work we've put in and we want to show our daughters that anything is possible, no matter how old we are or how difficult it may seem.
~ Liddy D. Ingram's Student
Whether you're looking for fitness, fun, or a competitive edge you can find it through traditional karate training because the martial arts are a micro chasm for life. Obstacles and setbacks may come, but in karate one learns to stay focused on the goal and overcome.
~Sensei Jen Davenport