Karate and Fitness
Karate is a martial art developed in Okinawa, Japan. It can be practiced as an art, sport, and combat sport or even as self-defense training. Traditional karate usually was considered as self-development. However, in this modern society, people started to consider karate as psychological element incorporated into a proper attitude such as perseverance, fearlessness, virtue and leadership skills. Karate is generally using punching, kicking, knee strikes and elbow strikes. When people are practicing karate, their muscles would move, and therefore it would help to provide a full body physical fitness workout. Front stance and side stance can strengthen leg muscles, extending endurance and balance. Front kick and side kick works different core leg muscles, from hip to thigh to calf, and merely lifting each leg exercises it and helps tone the muscles. Punches and blocks are good for the arm and side muscles by using the push and pull of muscles against one another. This will result in a tremendous amount of force. This force not only provides a strong physical workout, but it also helps a person hit a target harder and more accurately. Stretching before and after each martial arts session also tones, lengthens, and prepares the muscles; ensuring participants avoid injuries and receive the most effective workout possible. In addition to strengthening and toning muscles, karate helps improve a student’s physical coordination. Holding stances for extended periods of time not only strengthens the leg muscles, it aids in achieving greater balance. Balancing the legs in a specific stance provides a firm foundation for the body. Balance is also required when executing kicks, to keep the body upright and to place the kick appropriately and consistently. Similarly, it takes coordination to throw a punch at a consistent level and location as well as to be able to quickly adjust that level if the target moves. Repeating forms and...
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