The Value of Karate in Physical Development

August 27th, 2011 | By David Gomez No Comments

The value of an activity is an unusual ideal because it speaks to the real or perceived benefits associated with any discipline. However, understanding the value of karate as a physical discipline will aid, motivate, and encourage an individual to strive throughout the challenges associated with karate training.

One of the most obvious physical benefits of karate is that it can be used as an ideal form of self-defense. What is equally true is that proper karate training includes calisthenics, muscle strengthening, proper breathing, and gross and fine motor skill reaction drills. Both young and old individuals, including those with disabilities, can find karate of great physical and mental value. From a holistic view, karate training is excellent exercise and helps relieve stress.

Nearly Anyone Can Practice Karate

In the course of the last 15+ years, I have trained several thousand children between the age of 4 and 12. Many could not stand on one foot to execute a front snap kick without losing their balance and falling. But with consistent and correct training, every child improved gross and fine motor skill or improved technically.

I have also trained mature students, some starting karate well into their late 50’s and 60’s. Whereas young children tend to be more flexible, and teens and young adults tend to be faster and stronger, older individuals typically understand the limitations of their bodies and the importance of developing a good sense of timing.

Individuals with disabilities may also practice karate, depending on the challenges they have. Training must be adjusted to facilitate a person’s disability, but body strengthening, flexibility, and coordination can be accomplished.

The Elements of Basic Training

Karate training can be broken down into no less than five basic categories: learning technique, calisthenics, muscle strengthening, proper breathing, and reaction drills. Each category is important and ultimately affect the quality an individual’s ability level.

As in other athletic activities, many tools can and should be used during basic training to enhance performance: heavy bags, shields, jump ropes, elastic bands, and others. Basic training also uses a repetitious format when teaching technique, which also helps strengthen the body. Such conditioning can also have therapeutic results; it is well known that exercise can help relieve stress. One of the credos of an individual training in karate is to acquire self-control as a way of life; one of the by-products of training can be the ability to cope with the stress of everyday life, personal problems, or life-threatening situations.

Karate is More Than Just Kicking and Punching

The value of doing karate goes beyond learning basic self-defense or competing in tournaments. There are many physical and non-physical benefits to learning karate, including: strengthening the body, increasing vigor and vitality, improving overall reactionary abilities, and enjoying excellent general health. The non-physical benefits are related to stress relief and responding to difficult circumstances with poise and a positive attitude. Karate can strengthen the body and mind by teaching technique, proper breathing, reaction exercises, doing calisthenics, and muscle conditioning.

If you’d like to find out how to incorporate karate training into your health and fitness routine, visit

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