Karate is a martial art, a system of self-defense, a fitness tool, and a cultural tradition from Okinawa, Japan. In Cambridge (or anywhere else for the most part) it is simple to start a martial arts program BUT it’s not easy to stay with it. In fact, the path is difficult and challenging by design in order to make you stronger mentally, physically, and technically.
So here are 6 things we LOVE about teaching martial arts programs in Cambridge to help you get started in karate classes and continue with your training at ANY age:
1. PHYSICAL fitness
You’ve heard it so many times but somehow the message is getting lost. Canada is receiving failing grades in physical activity participation. The key is finding an activity that inspires you and makes you move! A martial arts program that gets you kicking, punching, jumping, lunging, and stretching your limits would give your body what it needs! (fitness while learning and having fun?…great idea!)
2. MENTAL toughness is the KEY
No matter who you are, the day you become self-aware is the day your stress level picks up. From student to professional to parent, you NEED TO BE MENTALLY TOUGH! It’s not going to get any easier so it’s time to put your head down and push through…everything you want is on the other side of fear. Proper Martial arts teaches you how to break down a challenge into small attainable goals and then use those skills in context.
3. BE PREPARED
The world is an amazing but sometimes precarious place. Learning karate can keep you strong, aware, vigilant, and capable of protecting yourself so you can live the life that you choose. It’s not about fighting, it’s about safe and healthy living. These ideas are summed up in Gichin Funakoshi’s (the founder of Shotokan) guiding principles.
4. A Tradition of EXCELLENCE
On a recent trip to Okinawa, I noted again that the idea of tipping in a restaurant is frowned upon and sometimes insulting. WHY? In Japan, there is a cultural idea that doing your job with sincerity and pride is a matter of honour that makes you part of a strong society. It’s not about money, it’s about excellence…IMAGINE THAT! Too often in our culture money is king and pride in a job well done is lacking. Karate teaches that the MEANS is as important (or perhaps more important) than the end result.
5. A Family for ALL
I love coming to the dojo we have in Cambridge. Each martial arts program and karate class has it’s own set of characters who learn to face adversity together and support one another. Over time, it begins to feel like family and life long friendships form. The price of admission? Show up, try your best, cheer others on, smile….and repeat!
6. There is no FINISH LINE!
One of the keys to happiness is engaging in something you believe with your body, mind, and spirit. One of the beauties of karate training is that the invitation to become better is a daily occurrence and one that has no expiration date. You can start and continue at any time. In fact, the most senior member of our organization in Japan is over 80 years old…. And he still practices and shares his lessons everyday!
I could go on and on about my personal experiences and love for this martial art but it’s more important for you to start finding out for yourself. Maybe it’s time for you to start on the path?
I’ll be writing in more detail on each of these points as time goes on so stay tuned and subscribe to keep up to date! Feel free to post questions or comments BELOW…