Karate’s life transforming power

     Dear GutsIsTheKey reader. This BEAM is about karate’s positive potential and power to change lives in a healthy way. Karate has been a life long experience for me. I remember, when I had my first karate lesson over 40 years ago; karate was practically an unknown in America. The only successful karate movie I knew of was Billy Jack and for the most part; karate was an art followed only by a select few in this country.

Billy Jack

     Now karate is a cultural phenomenon and known in every part of the country. Many, many box office hits feature and highlight martial arts and its value. It has grown, merged with other self-defense concepts and lead to the massive MMA movement in America today.

     Now, karate is prolific in the United States. And in nearly every country throughout the world,  millions of people regularly put on a white-colored uniform or gi with belt, and go to a work-out studio to learn this art with ancient roots.

Sensei Tim

Sensei Tim

     This is amazing really. In nearly every gym or dojo where karate is taught, people subject themselves to one of the most rigorous physical discipline’s known. And not because they have to for military training or are required for some work-place benefit. No, people all across the world regularly train in this art, for “Personal” reasons.

     What is it that attracts so many to the practice of this sport? [I prefer to call it an art.] It seems that there is a general consensus that the practice of karate can produce positive personality development and psychological well-being for the practitioner. Many benefits are cited by karate practitioners, as reasons why they train. Among them are physical fitness, relaxation, improved self-confidence, concentration and self-discipline.

     The following points seem to prove that the practice of Shotokan or other traditional karate systems can improve the general well-being of the participant.

  • There is an observable and significant increase in self-esteem among juvenile delinquents who trained karate for 6 months. 

  • Elementary children given traditional karate training have also demonstrated improved self-esteem.

  • Novice students seem to have a less secure sense of well-being than advanced students. {Proving that the ongoing pursuit of karate, yields ongoing results in personal self-concept and wellness.}

  • There are also studies that show that karate students, compared to fitness and health students obtain a higher degree of improvement, in self-confidence.

The above points are documented By L. A. Mata, Ph.D.

     I know that if I had to cite only a handful of accomplishments, as the greatest events in my life. Obtaining my black belts would definitely be one of the highest. It has been demonstrated that black-belts show a significantly higher perception of confidence and physical skill.  The ongoing and demanding training requirements and grading examinations involved in obtaining the Dan rank create a solid self-perception of worth, confidence and physical ability.. 

self defense attack points

     Karate, more than just the self-defense applications; produces in its devotees an increased readiness to face challenges. The black belt for me is worn in the heart, more than just on my body. It generates healthy attitudes that influence all of life, not just in the training hall.

      The diligent and persistent practice of kihon, kata and kumite with Sensei’s and Senior class instructors can be a life changing event. There is probably no better environment for mentorship, than the karate studio. My Sensei’s training shaped my development in ways that have positively transformed nearly every facet of my life.

     I know that I have this life molding opportunity with my students today. I guard and honor it as a serious responsibility. Karate, especially in its traditional forms is an awesome tool to help people experience positive and lasting transformations of their self worth. Karate truly has an amazing power to improve wellness. Therefore, I will spend the rest of my able life, in the teaching of this wonderful art.

2012 Karate Plaque

About timothygrantcarter

Author, Trainer, Pastor, Spiritual Coach, Inspirational Speaker, 12 step follower Thinker, Entrepreneur, Outdoorsman, Hunter, Fisherman, Gardener, and Shotokan YonDan (5th degree black belt). Visionary; Maker of original sayings, slogans and giver of spiritual help. "If God has a pulse, then I can feel it." Nicknamed "Slam" / Creator of #Slamism ... 's on Twitter @cccdynapro
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