Shotokan karate is one of the oldest and most influential styles of karate. Developed by Gichin and Gigo Funakoshi in 1916, the style arose from different martial arts styles. Like other forms of karate and martial arts, Shotokan has many benefits—it helps to develop patience, courage, self-confidence, self-control, strength, flexibility, calmness and concentration, and it reduces negative or violent attitudes. In addition, knowledge of Shotokan karate provides you with a means of self-defense.
Learning Self-Defense Methods
Because Shotokan is a form of karate, when you learn this style, you learn how to defend yourself. In addition to providing you with a means to divert physical attack, Shotokan also helps to improve your speed, reaction time, striking ability and awareness of an opponent. If you lack the knowledge or self-confidence to protect yourself, you will find that Shotokan karate helps you in these areas.
Improving Fitness and Health
Most Shotokan karate classes begin with a 10- to 15-minute warm-up, which involves cardio exercise, stretching and basic calisthenics, such as pushups and crunches. When you add that to the kicks, punches and other moves you perform during a class, your body receives an all-around workout that improves your cardiovascular health, builds stamina and increases strength and flexibility.
Boosting Attitude and Confidence
Shotokan karate is an exercise in mental attitude as well as physical prowess. The training involved can increase mental maturity, improve your ability to make sound judgments and increase your calmness in day-to-day activities. Since your mental attitude is also tied in with your physical fitness, you will find yourself feeling more self-confident, self-sufficient and positive about life.
Karate isn't just about moving your body a certain way – it is also about holding certain morals and spiritual qualities. You are pushed to constantly question your own morals and spiritual beliefs, and you must face your own inadequacies and weaknesses in order to better yourself as a warrior. Qualities that are esteemed in a person who practices Shotokan karate are obligation, responsibility for your actions, respect for others, honesty, strong spirit and duty.
Benefits for Kids
Adults are not the only people who can benefit from the practice of Shotokan karate. Shotokan karate offers kids a safe outlet for any aggression they may experience, helps them find a positive role model in their teachers, aids in solving any balance or clumsiness they might experience as their bodies grow, helps them to overcome any introverted shyness or self-confidence issues, helps them learn how to control their bodies with grace and flexibility, helps them learn how to avoid conflict and offers a safe and structured method of self-defense if needed.