1. PastPresentNFuture
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    PastPresentNFuture Senior Member

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    Karate Workout?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by PastPresentNFuture, Aug 25, 2011.

    Hey guys, I am considering going back to karate. And I would like to know, does practicing karate, offer a good all around workout, that can substitude weightlifting, situps, and cardio?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Absolutely. Not so much strength training/muscle bulking, but coordination, aerobics/cardio, and general fitness. Also it improves confidence and focus, and teaches patience and calm.
     
  3. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    The question is extremely difficult to answer because there are vast differences between individual karate classes, with many different styles of karate, and teachers having their own concept of how training should be conducted.

    I personally trained in Shotokan karate for several years to black belt standard, and from my own perspective, my fitness level was very good. However, at no point did I rely on my karate training as my only source of fitness/exercise, and I don't know of any dan grades who did. I also had a dedicated home exercise routine, and regularly went running.

    Karate classes are generally too stop/start to truly be considered as an effective means of aerobic training. I had one teacher who liked to occasionally force us to fight non-stop for a full three minutes so that we could sample the level of endurance/aerobic fitness that boxers require just to get through a round. It was always a real eye-opener.

    Overall, however, karate is very beneficial to your physical and mental well-being, so definitely go for it. :)
     
  4. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    When I was younger, I remember we always warmed up before we got into karate. We'd run from the end of he room to the beginning and have to tap the punching bag before we ran back. We also did push ups. We did squats. And other stuff.

    I think Karate is a perfect workout. But I don't know all the classes.
     
  5. e(g)
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    e(g) Member

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    It does depend on the particular class. In my class (taekwondo) we spar, and I'm fairly interested in sparring and going to tournaments. So, I tend to do my own conditioning to include stretching, heavy bag workouts, running, jumping rope, and of course, sparring in class.

    However, if I wanted to, I could do none of that and just do the minimum in the class to pass each grade, and I wouldn't get much out of it.

    These days, a lot of martial art schools are belt-mills. My school is no different. However, the instruction is there; the opportunity is there, and I can get out of it what I am willing to put into it. I'll get my belts if I do the minimum, but I take it more seriously.

    The same would go for you. I do highly recommend joining a class that has regular sparring. Otherwise, there will be no point in going the extra mile to condition yourself.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    It really depends on the teacher.

    However when I did Karate it did wonders for my stamina, balance, cardiac, core and flexibility. It is no substitute for weightlifting, however. Karate is all technique, you have to gain muscle on your own.
     
  7. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    Sounds like it would depend on you. If whatever they do is not considered enough by you, do more by yourself.
     
  8. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I practiced a japanese style for karate called kyokushinkai several years ago, and made it somewhat close to black. We had two grades for each belt, with the colors being white, blue, yellow, green, brown and black. I made it to the first green. ;) I could have made it to the second green too, but we had to focus far too much on physical endurance for my taste. To get the grade, I had to do 100 push-ups, 100 situps and 100 kneebends in a row as well as made a great effort during the graduation. In short, I failed the first green the first time because I didn't run fast enough and didn't push myself hard enough. The actual "karate" part (punching, kicking etc) was less important. I mean we did have to learn that too, of course, but we had to memorize the names for every position, every punch, every kick, and even study some of the background for karate in general and the kyokushinkai style.

    My point is karate is far more than just punching kicking, and yes, situps is a vital part of it. But most of it is up to yourself. You won't get far unless you really push yourself, but if you do push yourself, you'll be in great shape. When I was in my best condition, I ran three floors up the stairs, taking two steps at a time without break, and I didn't even breathe heavily when I got to the top. But that was a looooong time ago. :redface:
     

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