My most influential teachers always said the most important karate lesson was whatever fostered greater discipline and self control. They wisely pointed out, that with this foundation in place, everything else follows in natural order.

I’m glad that people have started to ask about discipline and self control in karate, because it is not inherently obvious how the practice of punches and kicks can lead to improvement in these areas.

In fact it almost seems like a paradox that the practice of martial arts could possibly develop calm, assured and highly disciplined individuals. Are we all falling for the hype that is touted in the popular martial arts magazines or is there really some truth to the claims of improved discipline and increased self-control?

Just like anything else, lasting change must come from within. No matter how much we all think a person should change they will only change if they believe it is necessary and no amount of karate training will alter this.

However if you have an individual who has acknowledged that he or she needs more discipline and self-control then the martial arts can definitely help. Also if a parent sees that their child is out of control more often than they are in control then martial arts can certainly provide a possible solution. This is how and why a positive turnaround can happen.

· Martial arts provide a very structured training system and methodology for teaching the various techniques and drills. Structure is essential for improving discipline and just by being exposed to set parameters, rules and clear goals a person can begin to understand the importance of discipline.

· Learning karate is often very attractive to an unruly and angry individual because it seems like the ideal method to learn how to hurt and punish others. If such an individual joins a reputable dojo (karate school) he will quickly realize that the martial arts are not really about this at all, however he should also realize that many people within the dojo possess exceptional self-defense skills yet show tremendous self-control. This type of leadership by example can often have a very positive effect on somebody who initially has set off down the wrong path.

-All people need some kind of guidance from a higher authority while they find their own way in this world. Many young people unfortunately turn to gangs to find this kind of brotherhood but a martial arts school can offer an alternative solution with far more desirable results.

The authority figure is of course the instructor and if he or she has the right charisma and calming presence about them, this can be very inspiring to a young person looking for some guidance in life. Strong discipline and self-control in this positive but challenging environment will be natural by-products of the overall experience.

-Discipline comes from making a decision to commit to something that is deemed valuable. Becoming a black belt in any martial art has many positive connotations and benefits. There are numerous stories of current black belts and even high-ranking instructors who turned their whole lives around through their involvement in the martial arts. Probably every martial arts school in the country has at least one student on their roster who can attest to this fact.

-Self-control comes from having respect for one another. One of the core tenets of the martial arts is respect and if you want to guarantee a swift exit from your karate school then not showing respect to your instructor and your fellow members is a sure way to achieve this. Conversely through understanding the importance of respect for everyone around us our self-control cannot fail to improve.

All of the above are, in my opinion, some very clear reasons as to how and why the martial arts can provide a very positive and enriching experience to everyone who begins their journey on the path to self-improvement.

Good luck and best wishes on your journey in the marital arts.

Martial Arts is the combination of physical techniques and mental discipline. It is used for self defense, body strengthening, relaxation, and even competition. Women often take martial arts classes to learn moves that will help them in the event of an attack. The moves of Martial Arts are designed for even a small woman to use them effectively.

The arms and legs are used in Martial Arts moves. Practicing them will help you get fit and strengthen your body. Doing these moves will also help relax your mind. There are many different types of martial arts including karate and tae kwon do. Karate involves various kicks and punches. The goal of karate is to defend rather than to hurt the other person. Tae kwon do is the most commonly used type of martial arts. The moves are very graceful and requires exceptional coordination.

The level of skill varies greatly in martial arts, from beginners to experts. Martial Arts competitions are very popular. In addition to karate and tae kwon do, kickboxing competitions are very popular as well.

Martial arts is a great sport for children of all ages to participate in. They will get fit, learn about self discipline, and have some basic skills for defending themselves. It can help with behavior issues too including a short attention span, following directions, and communication style.

There are many variations of the martial arts. It is important to identify the types of techniques and training that will be used in a class before you sign up. The instructor can help you determine if it is right for you. There are also martial arts videos you can purchase to use at home. This is a great way to pick up skills in the privacy of your home. It is also great for those with a hectic schedule.

Many types of Martial Arts have a colored belt system. Judo was the first type of Martial Arts to adopt this practice. The color of the belt indicates the level of skill the student has. Students have to pass skill tests to move on to learning techniques and moves of the next color. Beginners start with a white belt. In the old days, the white belt was dyed the new color as a rite of passage and honor in Martial Arts. Today the belt is simply replaced with the new color of the skill level. After white, the colors are yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, and black.

While the goal of each student in Martial Arts is self improvement, the belt in some forms of it offers the student a way to display their efforts to the other students. It is also designed to help students engage in fair sparing activities. To respect the culture of Martial Arts, it is important that you wear the belt properly.

Never let a white belt get dingy or dirty. The belt needs to be tied firmly above the hip bones. Make sure it is loose enough to move during your activities but tight enough to stay in place. The ends of the belt hanging on both sides need to be even. This can take time to learn so practice finding the amount of material needed to tie it. Some people place a small market on the inside of the belt to find the location easily. The belt should never be allowed to cross itself in the back. Never let your belt touch the floor.

Having the proper respect for the Martial Arts includes honoring the belt color system. Never wear a belt for a level of skill you have not accomplished. This is considered to be dishonorable. Your instructor will help you learn to tie your belts properly. Enjoy learning about Martial Arts, improving your skills, and proving you are worthy of a higher ranking belt.

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