Karate For Kids - The Importance Of Practice

kids practicing karate


A few months ago researchers started conducting a survey to determine how many classes a martial arts student trained in per week. You’ll be surprised to find out that the average worked out to be about 1 (in fact, the actual number came in at 0.9!). That is, on average, the karate student trains 1 time per week! So what does this mean when we talk about Karate for kids?  
 
This came as a surprise to many senior instructors. When they saw this statistic they were quite shocked! Countless number of times that Shotokan students asked ‘how can I improve my karate?’ Some students would confide in in their instructor that they did not feel like they would get any better without more proper and focused training. They believed that  they’d never improve. ‘You cannot train and not improve’ is Karate and Kung Fu's motto. 
 
Maybe I was wrong. I can’t recall if I asked these students how often they trained per week. Perhaps I could have been a little more helpful if I did ask them, and if their answer was ‘once per week’, at least I could talk to them about their training habits! 
 
Karate training habits are important when just starting out. Training should take place 2 times per week, and that should not be negotiable. Whenever a tournament is looming, the training should be extended to 3 or 4 times per week. So from early days of training karate for kids should see on average training 2 times per week. Now instructors can see why so many students ‘may not’ be improving at a desired rate. 

Kids martial arts instructors might not be encouraging or more the point guiding students to train often enough. Not because they have not cared about their students, but perhaps because they assume that everyone knows how many classes they should be doing. Maybe sensei's have not stipulated clearly enough just how many classes a karate student should be doing per week. 
 
For example, if you were going to join a gym with a goal of either building muscle, toning up or losing weight, you’d need to make a commitment to train a minimum of 3 times per week, right? You would not assume that to reach any fitness goal all you’d need to do is get to the gym 1 time per week. To gain the benefits of a gym routine, the standard commitment that most gyms recommend is 3 times per week. This is not assumed, but actually spoken about! 
 

In terms of karate, to develop the skills, reflexes, fitness and overall ability the student should commit to a minimum of 2 classes per week. Based on experience, 2 sessions per week will provide the foundation to develop the karate skills that the student is aiming to achieve. Karate jitsu refers to the physical karate skills and the benefits are obviously plentiful, eg. self-defence, co-ordination, fitness, weight loss, balance, strength and many more. This may be described as the first benefit, not necessarily the most important one though. 
 

military kids stay fit to fight

The second benefit is mental strength. Mind discipline for want of a better way to describe it. So through many months and eventually years of hard disciplined training, things happen in you of a non-physical nature. You become more confident, you become more disciplined, you develop determination and persistence – where you develop the will to ‘battle on’ against odds that previously might have defeated you. You are able to set goals and create a plan methodically to achieve them. In general, you become a person who becomes aware that you have a greater control over your life than you previously thought you had. So potentially you have the opportunity to live on a higher plane, or you might say a level of happiness and fulfilment than in your previous life before karate-do


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