Karate? Really? Why?

I am not athletic. Seriously. Because I am not an athlete, I am such a sports klutz that I would probably be a detriment to any team playing any type of game. And where’s the fun in that? Having other’s depend on my skill (or even practice schedule) for their success is simply unfair to them.

I am also simply not motivated to run in circles, pedal in place or lift something only to set it down again. Working up a sweat for the sake of sweating seems pointless to me, even though I know it is not. I can convince myself to start, but eventually the boredom sets in.

However, the highest purpose in many martial art traditions is to seek perfection of character. Now that is a pretty good reason to sweat! Martial arts also provide a workout for the body, the mind and the spirit.

The body aspect is pretty obvious; it is a physical workout, and you push yourselves to go beyond your previous skill level.

The mind must be engaged, too. The techniques are not moves just to move. Each position and exercise had a specific form, mechanical reason and practical purpose. Plus, karate is traditionally taught using Japanese vocabulary for the count, forms and formalities.

The spirit is exercised by the continuous requirement to practice control and refrain from violent behavior, to respect others, to endeavor, to be faithful, to seek perfection of character and to continue training with patience.

I am in karate because I really need the physical exercise, I do appreciate the mental challenge, and I truly value the spiritual practice.


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