You may not realize it, but there are thousands upon thousands of different types and different styles of Martial arts. Some types that you may be familiar with are karate, jiu-Jitsu, Kung-fu, Tai-Chi, Nin-Jitsu, Aikido, Wrestling, Kick boxing and so on. Something else you may not realize, is that there are a handful people here in regi who do martial arts and you would not even know unless they bring it up. I know, because I have met a couple of them. Being apart of martial arts is not like being on a school team, where it’s fairly easy to figure out who does what. People who are apart of martial arts, are kind of in their own little community or bubble because it is not apart of normal school life. I myself take martial arts. I have been doing karate for what will be almost 5 years. karate actually just doesn’t stop at simply being karate, because it has hundreds of different styles and there is always changes being made to create new styles. To date I have trained in three different styles, Canadian Goju-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu and Meibukan Goju Ryu and am currently still training in Meibukan Goju-Ryu. This is because I move a lot. THough every time I’ve joined a new style, I’ve had to work my way up again through the different katas, kicks, punches, kicks and techniques I’m still glad I was able to broaden my spectrum of karate therefore able to take more from it.
Karate by itself translates to “Way of the empty hand” While Meibukan goju-ryu translates to “The clan of the pure minded warrior, hard-soft style, empty handed way”. A bit of a mouth full. Karate is not only about self defence, Karate to me is very significant because it has given me the chance increase my physical and mental endurance, quickened my reflexes and overall has been able to boost my confidence and feel more healthy as well has given me an amazing sport that I will hopefully continue on with me for the rest of my life. Upon joining karate, You learn quickly that your mental and physical abilities are very much linked. Everytime I enter the dojo I am challenged further and further. Almost everytime I go, I find myself telling my parents that I had just had the most intense work out of my life. I remember when I first joined karate, I was very fragile so to speak. At the end of almost every class I would have dark bruises up and down my forearms and legs. now with all my years in Karate, It’s much harder to get a bruise because of routine and muscle conditioning exercises.
Respect is essential in Karate, not only towards your sensei or senior instructor, but to every one of the students in the dojo. In the dojo, everyone is accepting and friendly and I believe this is because of the respect. In karate there are several ways in which we show respect for others. I think that the most iconic way and one of the most important ways of showing this is by bowing. Bowing differs between styles with regards to the placement of the hands, but none the less, a bow means the same. When you bow to someone, you acknowledge to them that you are prepared to work with them and you are greatful to do so. It is also dojo educate to bow lower than a person with a higher belt rank than you. This tells them that you respect their position and work they have done to get to achieve their rank.
In conclusion I would say that karate has had an enormous impact on my life. I’m always amazed at the talented people that you meet at tournaments, seminars and even in my own dojo. The atmosphere in karate is always warm and welcoming and I feel like I really belong there. One day I hope to dip my brush into other styles of martial arts as well. I would encourage anyone who is looking for excitement, a challenge and an amazing sport, to try karate, or any other form of martial arts. Thank you