Karate As Exercise

Aside from physical exercises and yoga, martial arts are also good practices that can be used by people to stay fit and healthy. Unlike physical exercises, which normally involve running or various workouts, martial arts involve intense trainings.

Martial art trainings are not only meant to lose weight but also to alleviate stress and make a person more confident. Thus, to achieve weight loss, peace of mind, and healthy lifestyle, there is not better ways but for people to engage in martial arts. For starters, they should learn some of the most popular martial arts today:


Karate can be considered the most popular type of martial art, which was first introduced in Mainland China in 20th century. This type of martial art is perfect for losing weight and maintaining fitness. Karate is focused on strengthening a person and teaching him about self-defense. Practicing karate aids in strengthening muscles, bones, and joints and increasing resistance. Karate can also be practiced by people to keep their bodies well-toned.

  1. KUNG FU

Kung fu is another form of marital art that can help people attain their desired body shape. This martial art involves intense workouts that are very effective in improving cardiovascular health. Kung fu is most known for a variety of moves, including kicks, jumps, pushing, and dodging. Some experts also claim that this martial art aids in relieving back problems, cervical spondylitis, and knee pains. Kung fu is perfect for individuals who want to tone their upper bodies and muscles in general.


Brazilian jiu-jitsu comprises combination of moves, such as grappling, throwing, sweeping, limb manipulating, choking, joint locking, controlling positions, and ground fighting. This martial art is also characterized by aerobic and anaerobic practices. The most notable characteristic of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is absence of punching and kicking moves. This martial art requires constant rolling on the floor which is perfect for burning significant amount of calories.


Capoeira is also of Brazilian origins and comprises combination of dance, acrobatics, and music. This martial art is focused on the human core and aids in achieving toned and flexible body. Capoeira is characterized by constant repetition of movements and techniques that require high amounts of energy.


Before it became a popular sport, kickboxing is more known as form of martial art. One-and-a-half-hour session of kickboxing allows a person to burn around 1000 calories. Kicking and punching moves are also effective in burning fats and more calories.


Kalaripayattu is a form of martial that hails from Kerala. This martial art requires total control and body power. It is also effective in burning fats in short periods of time.

  1. TAI CHI

Tai chi is a gentle form of martial art. This practice is more effective in relieving stress in people. However, tai chi also improves strength, flexibility, and endurance. Surprisingly, one-hour practice of this martial art can burn around 1000 calories.

  1. JUDO

Judo was first introduced in Japan in 1882. This martial art is more about defense and taking down opponents. Judo effectively builds body strength, and its techniques are more about self-defense. People may also practice judo to relieve their stress and give their bodies cardio workouts. In judo, both upper and lower body is toned by practice of lifting opponents and throwing them.


Taekwondo is very much like karate but its origins can be traced back to Korea. This martial art is focused on strengthening the body and trainings that involve kicking. Taekwondo very much involves the legs and places less pressure on hand and upper body. Practitioners of taekwondo experience health benefits, including toned hips, thighs, and lower abdomen. Taekwondo also positively affects the brain and aids in preventing some health diseases.

Guide To Martial Arts Schools

Learning martial arts is one important thing that children can learn, and parents are very much aware of this. However, when looking for a good martial art school for their kids, adults sometimes have a difficult time selecting the institution that can provide their children’s needs. Thus, before they decide to enroll their kids to any establishment offering martial art classes, parents must learn some important things to help them choose the right one.


Though some schools follow specific qualification guidelines when hiring instructors, the same is not true for all martial art schools. Thus, parents should check whether a particular institution follows certain protocol when it comes to hiring instructors and whether the hired ones are truly qualified to do their jobs.


Parents may try observing classes for a few sessions. They should also choose a martial art that will not cause any trauma to their children who may have specific phobia. For example, judo is not advised for those who are claustrophobic. Still, when the children think they can handle it, then parents may very well give them the chance to face their fears.


Parents can search the internet for specific martial art schools that are just within their neighborhoods. This way, they can narrow down the list of schools that they should check out. Official websites of schools can also provide them with important information that can help them selecting the proper martial art institution for their children. Parents may also be interested in those have teaching ranks, which are basically the formal passing of martial art to student.


Some schools do not have teaching ranks but may still provide good teaching practices. In this case, it would better for parents to personally visit such schools and converse with the head instructor. They may also stay for a while and observe how classes are handled. If the instructor is able to maintain the interest of the children and lets them enjoy while learning, then parents can assume that the teaching offered by the school is good.


Aside from the instructors, parents should also check out the facilities of a martial art school. Training halls should be clean inside and out. Sometimes, schools require their students to clean the hall before and after their lessons as part of their holistic development. Collaborative cleaning of teacher and students is also an indicator of the students respect for their teacher and the martial art.


A number of martial art schools are basically businesses put up to earn money. In addition, one of the primary concern of parents when sending children to school is the fees that they must pay. In case that they are in tight budget, parents may try checking out not-for-profit martial art schools, which survive based on the students that attend their classes. Though not-for-profit schools are less expensive, parents and children may be asked to volunteer and participate in efforts implemented to ensure the schools’ survival.


Parents should also consider the contributions of a specific school to the community. Some hold fund-raising programs or honor previous instructors and students. These types of activities are proof of a school’s concern for the students and the community that it is a part of.

How To Pick Martial Art School

Martial art classes are good way of teaching kids not only about defending and fighting but also discipline. In this regard, parents face the challenge of choosing the right kind of martial arts school for their children. Parents can expect a good martial arts school to provide the necessary training to their kids, developing their agility and coordination, which are needed for other sports as well.

On the other hand, parents are also concerned regarding the type of martial are that their children must learn. In this case, there are some important things that they can do first:


Parents should first scout some martial schools within their neighborhood and check them out. They can visit these places and look at how instructors teach the students. Parents should also determine whether the teachers positively or negatively affect the children, and they must learn about the techniques used in disciplining.


When selecting a martial art school, parents should not only consider the distance of the place and price for the lessons but also the way things are taught to children. They should examine the type of learning structure employed or whether instructors follow specific lesson plans when teaching. Parents should assess whether teachers have goal during each class. In assessing teachers, guardians should be able to identify whether such individuals possess the necessary skills and training to teach their children. Both new and experienced teacher can be effective in teaching martial arts, but parents should ensure that those who will teacher their children are fully equipped and can maintain enthusiasm of the students.


Good martial art schools know that children need some warm up first before they are required to engage in performing various martial art styles. Drastically asking children to do splits can cause muscle injury. Understandably, martial art instructors should be well-learned in fitness exercises and proper conditioning practices necessary for learning martial arts. Though some hard exercises must be taught, it is up to the teachers to instruct the children in a manner that will not cause any injuries or too much hardship. In addition, a good martial art instructor recognizes the importance of warm up in increasing blood flow to large muscle and preparing the joints for intense training.


Fees are important consideration when selecting a proper martial art school. Before they sign anything, parents must be aware of the all the costs, including uniform, spare uniforms, sparring equipment, belt, testing, fees, tournament fees, and other things that may require additional fees. Parents should also realize that their children will eventually want to participate in rank tests. Moreover, fees for martial art schools differ from other schools, and thus, parents should not be too surprised with the prices that will be offered to them.

Karate Types


Karate is a popular martial art that was first developed in Okinawa in early 20th century. After its introduction to the world, the martial became very popular in various parts of the world, and its techniques continued developing. Variations in karate resulted from establishments of different ryu or ryuha, the school of thought employed in teaching the martial art.



Shotokan karate is a form of karate developed by Gichin Funakoshi and introduced to Japanese mainland in 1921. This type of karate is known for its linear style and hard techniques.


Kenwa Mabuni, a member of a samurai family, studied Shurite-an, an Okinawan martial art, before he established Shito-ryu. This type of karate is popular for its wide range of kata or training forms and stylistic elements.


Kanryo Higashionna first learned Okinawan Naha-te before he decided to develop Goju-ryu. With combination of words “go” (hard) and “ju” (soft), this type of martial arts become well-known for its powerful punches and circular joint locks. Goju-ryu is also popular for the kata Sanchin, which serves as technique drill, meditation, and body conditioning exercise for practitioners.


Wado-ryu is combination of striking of Shotokan and grappling of jujitsu. This type of karate was developed by Hironori Otsuka, a student of Gichin Funakoshi. Otsuku developed this style before World War II.


Shorin-ryu was developed in the 1930s by Chosin Chibana. Shorin is Japanese equivalent of the word Shaolin. Shorin-ryu is combination Shurite-an and Chinese martial arts.


Uechi-ryu is a form of karate that was named in honor of Kabun Uechi, an expert in Pangai-noon, a southern style of Chinese kung fu and one of the first instructors to teach karate to foreigners.


Shuri-ryu originated from the United States and was founded by Robert Trias. Trias became adept in martial arts during World War II. This karate type is highly varied, with forms based on Shuri-te, Naha-te, and the Chinese Hsing-I and kung fu.


Kyokushinkai was developed by Masutatsu Oyama in 1920s to 30s. Compared with more traditional styles of karate, this martial art is considered newer and features extremely difficult styles of karate. Competitions of kyokushinaki only result in knock down or knock, and participants can both take and deliver hard blows.


Budokan was founded by the Malaysian Chew Choo Soot, who first studied judo, jujitsu, wrestling, and Shotokan.


Chito-ryu was developed by Tsuyoshi Chitose in 1946 and is based on the Okinawan martial art, Tode. This style is very similar to Shorin-ryu and Shorei-ryu and known for techniques involving fast rotation, tension, and relaxation of the lower body.

Martial Arts Explained

People usually associate martial arts with Asians or Jackie Chan’s hit movies. However, there something that goes deeper than what people see in martial arts. In reality, martial arts, originating from Latin words and associated with Mars, the roman god of war, comprises numerous codified and systematized combat modes. Though these modes vary to some extent, they are all aimed at achieving one common goal: to defend against threats and to beat opponents.

For most people, all types of martial arts are just the same. However, different martial art forms actually focus on different aspects, such as striking styles, grappling styles, and throwing styles. Thus, people who want to learn martial arts should realize that main styles taught in one specific martial art may overlap with other styles taught in other combat types.

Defend styles include striking, standing, blocks, punches, and kicks. These styles also keep a person standing on his feet and perfect for getting out of an undesirable situation without a hitch. Some styles that are popular for their kicking styles include Karate and Taekwon-do.

On the other hand, grappling is a technique used for bringing the opponent to the ground. Martial arts focusing on these styles is mainly used for defending against an attacker. Brazilian Jiu Jutsu and sumo wrestling are examples of martial arts that focus on grappling styles.

Throwing styles are different from grappling styles, but they tend to overlap. People learning martial arts must then be able to differentiate such styles. Throwing styles focus on throwing and taking down opponents to continue the fight while on the ground. Judo and Aikido are martial arts that specialize in throwing styles.

Meanwhile, other martial arts, such as mixed martial arts, are combinations of different combat styles.

To share their knowledge in martial arts, some martial art clubs collaborate to provide free instructions on different sports, including Judo, Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Taekwon-do and Mixed Martial arts. These free sessions are a great help especially for beginners who have little knowledge on the world of martial arts.