Is karate safe for kids?
All martial arts are generally designed for self defence which by definition involves learning skills to injure other people.
However, this does not mean practicing it should lead to injuries. Many martial arts are practiced in a way that leaves one exposed to the possibility of being injured. For example, Jui Jitsu whilst a great martial art, involves another person imposing their will on vulnerable parts of your body like ankle, elbow and knee joints as well as the throat though choking maneuverers designed to restrict breathing.
When done by a professional with experience the risk is lowered. On the other hand, when rolling with another beginner who doesn’t know their strength or is able to feel pressure on your joint as they try to submit you the risk of injury is great.
Most karate schools especially Goju Ryu are practiced with protection of the body in mind. Not only do we train to protect from attacks from others we train in a manner that is designed to improve the strength and flexibility of the body itself. Training is conducted with control and steps are put in place to minimise the risks of injury.
Is Karate good for fitness?
One of the best reasons to begin karate to improve your fitness is that practicing karate is engaging and motivating. You not only see results in your body and health but also in your skill levels and confidence. Fitness almost becomes a bi-product of the training. A standard karate class will give you as much of a workout as running, rowing, weight training, yoga and the like. You will engage muscles that you don’t use during everyday life. You will strengthen your core and posterior chain, an area known for causing injury if not properly strengthened. Often people go to the gym alone which can make it difficult to stay motivated over a long period of time. In a karate class you have an instructor and fellow students to motivate you and keep you on track. All in all karate is a great way to keep fit and learn life skills at the same time.