Karate is my most favourite sport in the world. I was born into this. My whole family trained karate. My grandfather opened his own school back in 1989. Back in 2004, my mother put me and my two younger sisters in to the class to learn some self-defence techniques. Since then I am hooked!
In 2011 I quit and after a six year break I am back in the game. It is fascinating how much I have learnt in these five short months of training and how my body is already changing to the better!
This article is a little summary of lessons I have learnt whilst training karate.
1) Your body is capable of so much more than you think
Holy smokes… I discovered sore muscles that I didn’t even know I had! Karate is a sport where you need a lot of stamina. A SH*T TON OF. Every lesson starts with thirty minutes of warm up and stretching. We jump around, kick around, sweat around and stretch around. I always feel like the only one who is dead after warm up.
Those little kiddies… Sometimes they do not participate fully, but on the other hand, I put on 20kgs of weight since I quit six years ago and I am turning 24. I know this does not sound old, but in comparison, I am one of the oldest besides my trainers.
2) Your mind is strong
Willpower. Mental strength. Endurance. This sport is challenging me in every aspect of my life. You have to do what your trainer says. It is not that he punishes us. He guides us.
But when you have to jump around AGAIN or skip roping AGAIN you know what willpower means. You know there is no way to quit. This willpower helps me in my everyday life too!
3) You have a mean girl/ego
I knew that I have a mean girl/ego. She is strong and she always tells me it would be easier to sit at home and watch TV. She asks me at least a hundred times why on f… earth I am doing this. I acknowledge her, but I learnt to close the door on her.
4) Learning how to pursue goals
I am so eternally grateful for my mentors/trainers. They empower me the best way possible and believe in me. My biggest goal is to reach black belt in two years. I have to pass three more tests to be able to apply for the black belt test.
I have this big goal in front of my mind. Chasing this goal, working on my stamina, my overall fitness is worth it. Because I know EXACTLY why I “punish” myself two times a week for two hours each.
Hence this is the best way for me to help my coaching clients reaching their goals as well.
If you want to learn more about my coaching services click here.
5) Finding friends in unusual places
We are such a great team! Most of the people there are at least six years younger than me.
But we have a great bond, and it is fascinating how we trust each other.
6) Dealing with pain
Oh if I would tell you all the pain I endured the past few months I could go on and on. The first training I attended in May 2017 we had a little casual fight, and my shinbone hit my trainer’s shinbone. Jeez, I haven’t sweared this much in a long time.
I had a big bump immediately, and it took over three months to heal completely. The other biggest bruise I had was the size of my hand on my thigh. I got three to four kicks on it, and now even a month later it still hurts a little bit.
As we are sparring and fighting with contact (hitting each other physically), my body is painted with bruises, marks and small bumps. It sounds horrible, but you learn to deal with it.
We could hit each other mindlessly, but this isn’t Karate. In Karate you respect each other, and you try to work as precise as possible. You do not want to hit someone to the ground. You respect each other, but you still give your best.
Little addition (January 2018): I have watched Karate Kid 3 (the old one) and I cringed the whole time as they were showing so many things Karate isn’t! There was this bad guy and they did all the things you do mustn’t do in Karate! Like holding someone and then kicking mindlessly, hitting someone’s head or just react like a bloody idiot. There is so much spirituality behind Karate and not the intention of hurting someone.
8) Weakness is okay
I am still struggling with all the stamina work. Pushups, Jumping Jacks, Sit Up’s and so much more are a pain in the a**. But it is important to have this stamina as mentioned above. It is okay to be weak, but you get stronger every time.
I love my muscles I gained on my biceps and my legs that are getting in shape.
Maybe I haven’t lost a gram in weight, but I gained muscles!
9) The importance of taking a break
In our lives, we are always hustling. We try to cover everything. But sometimes all you need is a break. Just two weeks ago when we did our warm-up, I jumped and landed on the ground with a straight leg. My knee got hurt, and I needed a little rest.
Two days later we were supposed to train at another facility for five hours, and I had to cancel. I told myself it is better and far more intelligent to take a break and not force anything. A week later the pain was already gone!
10) Karate is fun!
A lot of people do not understand how Karate can be so much fun. We aren’t always hitting ourselves. The funny part is that out of two hours we sometimes only fight for 20 minutes. Sometimes all we do is training techniques or Kata. As a result, I have to admit I regret the six-year break.
In conclusion, I wished I had continued with my training. On the other hand, it was the perfect break I needed to see the bigger picture. Realizing that Karate is fun. Seeing that it brings me further than anything else.
Are you doing some sport too? What is your biggest take away from this post?
Share with me in the comments down below!