Karate hasn’t changed fundamentally over many decades from a practical point of view, though, many classes have started to put more emphasis on it being a whole-body experience in terms of fitness and flexibility rather than purely being for self-defense purposes.
More specifically, many karate classes now include pad work, bodyweight drills, cardio, and even flexibility segments that can help to improve your overall fitness which means it’s easy to conclude that this makes it a great workout choice.
However, we wanted to highlight some of the points more specifically to give you a broader overview of what to expect — let’s take a look.
5 Reasons Why Karate Is Effective For Fitness
1. Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
Something that people devalue a lot, especially after they’ve left school is the importance of hand-eye coordination.
That is, to use your hands in a symbiotic fashion to what you see through your eyes such as for catching things or precisely striking a punching bag.
However, more practical purposes for the use of hand-eye coordination include things like driving which can impact reaction times, and the ability to accurately maneuver out of the way of obstacles or into parking spots.
As such, karate isn’t just an effective workout, it’s also a great way to help improve your hand-eye coordination which you’ll be using on a daily basis in many areas of your life.
2. Challenges Your Body In Different Ways
One of the main issues with traditional workouts e.g. spinning, running, and/or resistance training is that they don’t adequately challenge your body in enough ways to make them useful in a more holistic sense.
Sure, all of those things are great for improving overall fitness, however, they’re very specialized meaning they won’t always be useful for everyday life.
On the flipside, karate is an excellent workout because it challenges the body in a way that is more natural from a biomechanical point of view i.e. doesn’t overload the muscles unnaturally or in ways that can cause damage.
In fact, not only is karate a more natural workout, but it also helps to train your entire body from your neck all the way down to your lower portions and thus, is a superior form of fitness from a functional standpoint.
3. Improves Your Balance
When you say the word balance out loud to people they’ll usually have images of tightrope walkers or ballerinas in their minds — they won’t be thinking about everyday life implications such as bending over to pick things up or drying themselves off in precarious positions after a shower.
Balance is something that is so automatic that we forget it’s even a factor in our lives, or even that it’s something that will likely diminish with age.
In fact, traditional workouts do not put a lot of focus on balance because they’re usually designed to offset any requirement of balance (usually for safety reasons).
Again, this is something that practicing karate can naturally help you with, especially when focusing on learning Kata or your kicks.
As such, this is another great argument for karate being an excellent workout for someone wanting a more wholesome approach to their bodily development.
4. Focuses On The Whole Body
Unlike resistance training, throwing kicks, punches, or even grappling with an opponent is more akin to compound movements in that they challenge multiple muscles at once, and even some of the harder-to-hit muscles such as the obliques, neck, and spinal muscles.
This is why fighters or karate practitioners, albeit leaner than bodybuilders, are usually built more equally from top to bottom purely because their lessons and training require their bodies to move in a more symbiotic fashion.
5. More Productive
Why kill two birds with one stone when you can kill three?
Learning any kind of self-defense skill or martial art can add an extra layer to what would otherwise be a rather static process.
Sure, resistance training will get you fitter and can help you build muscle but it won’t help you defend yourself or allow you to build useful skills such as hand-eye coordination as much as karate can.
Again, with such obvious practical benefits, karate is the perfect choice for anyone wanting a challenging workout with more benefits to help them become a more well-rounded person and athlete.
- 5 Reasons Why Karate Is Effective (As a Martial Art and Sport)
- Is It Too Late to Learn Martial Arts at 20 or Older? (Analysis of Age and Combat Sports)
- 10 Reasons Why You’ll Love Martial Arts as a Hobby
- Most Fun Martial Art by Rank: Top 9 Picks
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