Is Karate a Safe Sport?

Karate is a martial arts that has immensely earned the favour of kids and adults in almost similar levels. Karate enables individuals to become active and physically fit as they use kicks and punches to defend themselves. Besides, it presents a wide array of benefits to those involved. It offers participants a chance to develop focus and master essential techniques to counteract hits. The stamina and confidence of participants develops too while engaging in the sport at different levels.

As opposed to many current forms of martial sports, Karate is a safe sport to undertake. If you are reluctant about enjoying this sport or worried that your child will be exposed to major injuries, it is time to shed off that mentality. In this article, we focus on 4 reasons regarding how Karate is a safe sport.  For more on the topic , check out Healthy Children’s blog looking at the martial art: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/sports/Pages/Martial-Arts.aspx

1. A weapon less form of self-defence

In practicing Karate, there are no weapons incorporated. The hands and feet are the ‘weapons’ used to enhance self-defence during the actual Karate endeavour. Hence the use of hands and feet translates to a sport that is devoid of harm thus very safe.

2. Injuries are very minimal

Although injuries can occur during Karate sessions, they can be avoided making the sport safe. It all depends on the Karate skills a person possesses. Hardly do skilled Karate enthusiasts get injuries when participating in this sport. The injuries if any, are very minimal. In most cases, individuals only sustain few minor injuries such as bruises and cuts. This is because skilled Karate people are guided by qualified Karate instructors who assist in preventing occurrence of injuries. The instructors extend useful advice and knowledge to individuals on the best techniques for kicking and punching. Further, they advise people on application of the right force to avoid injuries to opponents. They also nurture a spirit of self-control in trainees all in an effort to prevent serious injuries.

3. Protective and safety gear

The good thing about Karate as a sport is that it observes safety standards. People are allowed to wear headgear to avoid head injuries if there are high chances of flying kicks and high jumps. Other protective equipment such as mouth guards and body pads also make Karate a safe sport for people to partake of.  

4. Safety Flooring

It is also crucial for every karate establishment to utilise safety flooring to make certain that those participating in the sport remain safe in the event of any falls or tackles that may occur. Whilst some companies use safety mats, arguably the best safety surfacing to use is wet pour surfacing as this is an impact absorbing surface that once installed, doesn’t have to be moved or packed away like safety mats do.

5.  Warm Up Sessions

Warm up sessions precede actual Karate sessions. The warm up sessions are meant to instill flexibility prior to commencement of Karate sessions. This is crucial as it reduces the chances of injury manifestation thus enhancing the safe nature of Karate. 

An Introduction to Karate

Karate is a sport and system of unarmed self-defence which originated in eastern Asia and involves the use of the hands, elbows, and knees, or feet for kicks and blows to vulnerable parts of the body such as temples, throat, and groin. Karate should not be confused with a similar Asian sport, ju-jitsu, sumo, and judo which involve wrestling, throwing, and holding an opponent on the ground.

Karate during the seventies was actually referred to as an acrobatic boxing. This involves a little personal contact, and the opponent becomes immobile because of powerful and well-directed blows which are delivered far from the opponent as possible. Experts in Karate can crush a large block of ice using his fist, he can splinter a six-inch thick pine wood by a single kick, and he can shatter stacks of tiles using his head or an elbow.

Calisthenics, an area in karate, involves rigorous, acrobatic flexibility and speed. Another area in karate is called Kumite which involves training in specific karate blows, kicks, chops or blocks with the use of one’s knuckles, the ball and outside edge of the foot and the blade of the hand.

This sport can strengthen the extended fingers which can be very effective when used as a spear point. Katas, which is the third area in karate involves acrobatic forms of kicking, punching, blocking, turning, leaping, dodging and are often practice with an imaginary adversary. Those who are trained in karate school or dojo are barefoot on the wooden floor without mats when they do their training.

 Punching bags, weights, bamboo blocks, and deep boxes of any dry beans or coarse sand used to strengthen the extended fingers of the hand. A loose-fitting jacket and pants called GI is the traditional costume in karate.

The rank of someone who does karate can be indicated by the colour of his belt. Black belts are of course for experts and those using white belts are amateurs. Next to the beginner are the following in respective order – yellow, green and brown. The holders of black belts also have different degrees which are based on their skills and effectivity in teaching. Today, schools are only up to the 8th Dan.

Karate is still to this day very popular, however the sport was incredible popular during the seventies. Many movies were released like Bruce Lee’s Game of Death and David Carradine’s Kung Fu. The spirit of this sport has not died today. In fact, there are still movies today that are patterned using this theme. The most recent are the newly released Karate Kid’s third installment with Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith, son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.

In addition to this, plenty of animated kids TV shows have adopted  the sport into their storylines including the very popular Kung Fu Panda and Spongebob and Sandy’s famous Karate scenes (a snippet is shown in the video below) from the hit show Spongebob Squarepants.

The inclusion of this sport in kids shows has lead to a massive increase in participation of the sport from youngsters globally, which is proving crucial for the sport. In general, Karate has never been in a better place. Its a great time for kids and adults alike to get involved!