I will take a break from the Niju Kun series for this, my first, and very late blog entry for the new year.
We are very happy to see a growth the number of new kids signing up for karate lessons at our dojo. Whenever parents come in for the first time to sign-up their kids I ask if they are interested in training as well. I usually get somewhat of a surprised look and generally one of the following responses:
- • I do not have the time to train
- • Looks too difficult
- • I do not want to get hurt
- • I am too old for that "stuff" now
- • I used to train when I was younger
- • I want my child to learn discipline
- • Insert other responses here
Before I respond to each of these, let me say I fully recognize and appreciate how busy parents are. I am one as well. Between work, family, normal tasks/chores, managing finances and other responsibilities I am amazed at times I am even able to get to the dojo myself.
I truly believe that there are significant benefits for adults to train any martial art, shotokan karate or otherwise. If we are honest, we all have time to pursue interests, hobbies or to do nothing at all. Time is not the issue. It is how we choose to use our time, albeit the very little time we have. How we spent our "me" time is a choice. Here is a short list of reasons why I believe karate training would be a wise choice (or investment) of your "me" time:
No better work out around- Many adults belong to a gym or workout on their own. Karate or any martial art training is the best work out you could possibly do as it combines all 3 pillars of good health, cardiovascular, muscle training and flexibility.
Set an example for your children- Many parents want their child to attend karate classes to help them with focus, discipline and confidence in school or at home. What better example to show your child about these things than doing it with them?
Not as difficult as you may think- When you first come to a dojo, you observe many students at various levels. It is natural to look at the black belts and say it looks too hard or I could never do that. Yes, it is difficult. That is what makes it so rewarding, like the old saying "anything worth doing is hard". Also keep in mind at one point a black belt was a white belt (novice) too. We all start at the same place. With practice it becomes easier, hurts less and is more and more enjoyable.
A zen like peace of mind- Adults and parents are extremely busy, full of tasks, duties, responsibilities and pressures. Every adult I encounter at the dojo or life in general wants one thing- peace of mind. Just a few moments to not worry about daily struggles and worries. Well, karate provides this too. When you are training you get so involved in the moment you forget about life outside the dojo for a little while. It provides a peace of mind that you can only enjoy while training- mind-body and soul.
You are not too old- Saying you are too old is just nonsense. We have all seen adults in their 80's running marathons and more active than most 20/30 year olds. Age is a state of mind. We will work with you to ensure a safe, healthy and enjoyable experience. We can work with all ages, body types and physical ailments. All we need is for you to give it a try.
Passing along a tradition/code- Karate is more than just exercise. It is a more than just a martial art or way to defend yourself. It is a way of life in terms of a moral and social code/etiquette that I hear may adults complain is missing today. Respect, honor, discipline, self-improvement, camaraderie, a sense of enlightenment and lifelong learning are all part of karate or any traditional martial art. We need to be the change we want to see, and ensure the next generation has the same opportunity to train in a martial art like the ones who came before us. If we do not these ancient traditions will be at risk of being forgotten.
There are many more reasons I could list for why adults should train karate but I will stop here. Please consider giving karate a try. It is one of the best choices I ever made.
Since 1988, Way Of Life Shotokan Karate has been committed to teaching traditional karate and values for a modern world. Under the leadership of Norman Smith Sensei, Way Of Life Shotokan Karate instructs hundreds of students at our various locations from beginner to advanced levels of all ages that come from across the New York City metro area. Our unique way of combining martial arts training, etiquette and philosophy with the modern concepts of fitness, self-defense and competition is unparalleled. We ensure your training is vigorous, while maintaining a safe and fun learning environment that encourages students to reach their fullest potential.
Way Of Life Shotokan Karate Do martial arts school is now offically open at 501 East Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck NY, 10543 serving the local Westchester County communities of New Rochelle, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Harrison, Rye, Port Chester, Mount Vernon, Scarsdale, White Plains and Yonkers as well as the Bronx and NYC metro area.