How You Can Benefit From Karate And Tae Kwon Do

by Michael Hehn - Date: 2007-01-03 - Word Count: 920 Share This!

The martial arts are one of the fastest growing sports in America. Enrollments in Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Soo Tang Do classes are on the rise. In addition to being thought of for the physical fitness aspects, martial arts also seek to emphasize the student's character and discipline. Offered in a secular setting, it teaches students to be 'good people'.

With ever increasing popularity, many church communities are now offering Christian Karate. While character and discipline are important, more today a third aspect is integrated into martial arts, building the spiritual life of students. Churches are offering martial arts instruction that relates to God's instructions in the Bible. These classes are often used as an outreach ministry to introduce the Gospel to those who normally wouldn't attend a church service.

Classes emphasize courtesy, integrity, self-control, perseverance and an unconquerable spirit. These characteristics are key to the development in Christian life. Each week the students are given weekly topic and a memory verse. An example of what the students may receive would be a topic on Boldness vs. Fearfulness. They are taught to be confident that what they have to say or do is true and right and just in the sight of God. Acts 4:29 in the Bible would be relevant to this topic - 'And now they're at it again! Take care of their threats and give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message' (MSG).

These are key characteristics to develop in the Christian life. Self discipline, picking yourself up after 'falling short', ministering to others, and striving to live a life that bears fruit are traits can be practiced through the study of martial arts.

Martial arts do not teach violence, but rather restraint, not anger but rather self control and stillness. Students will develop their bodies through physical effort, challenge, and learn techniques of punching and striking. Power is given to us by God in the freedom of choice in our actions. Martial arts help us to learn that our privilege of power must be controlled and not used recklessly.

Students learn that one must ultimately fail many times before true success is achieved, and that greatness is achieved only through perseverance. The goal of the class is to develop students who take responsibility for their actions, understand the limits of rules and who show an increased level of self esteem. Many classes are interspersed with teachings from the Bible to link the character tenets of Martial Arts with Christian values.

Now that we've covered those aspects of karate, tae kwon do, let's turn to some of the other factors that need to be considered.

Visit your local church or search online to find a group forming near you.

Tae Kwon Do is Korean Karate. It means The Way of the Hand and Foot (punching and kicking). There are basically four sections to the art: Toning, Sparring, Forms and Self Defense.

It is a well rounded exercise program that encompasses muscle toning, stretching and flexibility, increasing strength and stamina through aerobic sparring and mental challenges through becoming proficient at the patterns or forms.

Most classes start out with warm-ups. These exercises are the calisthenics such as push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, trunk rotations, squat kicks and various leg stretches. For certain you will tighten your abs and strengthen your arms just from performing the warm-up exercises. Before you know it, you'll be doing fifty knuckle or triangle push-ups at rapid-fire pace and will be able to lean up against a wall and have someone lift your leg up so that your toes touch the wall behind your ear. Tae Kwon Do will definitely help you to become or to stay limber.

Sparring is fighting in a controlled environment. It's not street fighting and all participants wear protective gear: helmet, gloves, shin guards and feet guards, called kicks. Usually you will spar in three minute rounds. It's basically kick boxing. Then a minute rest; switch partners, then spar again and repeat. You will get extremely hot and sweaty. Jab, punch, upper cut, side kick, reverse punch, round house, hammer fist, bob and weave and repeat. It's an excellent aerobic exercise.

Learning the forms or patterns can really tax your brain. Many of the forms have 26+ different movements. It's your job to remember them, in order, and learn them proficiently. In theory, by learning the forms, it'll help you to become a better fighter. For example, one form might start out: high block, front kick punch left; high block front kick punch right. Turn 90 degrees, down the center, knife hand left, knife hand right, knife hand left, spear hand. And so it goes. If you master these, when it comes time to spar, you can implement some of these patterns into your match.

Many people enjoy Tae Kwon Do, or any martial arts for that matter, because it is an all inclusive exercise program. It's fun, it's challenging, and it's an excellent way to get in or to stay in shape. As with any exercise program, start slowly and consult your physician. If you haven't participated in much physical exercise in a while, your muscles will definitely be very sore for the first few weeks. Don't be intimidated by the other students may appear to be in better shape that you are. Everyone started out as a white belt. Just have fun; and get moving!

Hopefully the sections above have contributed to your understanding of karate, tae kwon do. Share your new understanding about karate, tae kwon do with others. They'll thank you for it.

Related Tags: martial arts, karate, tae kwon do

Michael Hehn writes articles about various topics.Find out what he has to say about travel at Travel

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