The United States and much of the Western world has a serious problem with obesity. The growing number of sugary and fatty foods coming on the market coupled with the increased advertising budgets of food companies means this is not an issue that is going away any time soon. While families tend to bond over pizza and movie night, there is a better and healthier way to spend quality time together: karate classes!
This form of martial arts is the perfect blend of cardio exercise and self defense. While it is not easy to become proficient in karate, a little hard work and encouragement can go a long way and when the family practices martial arts together, there is a readymade support group available to push each member to their individual limit.
A Worrying Trend
The decrease in the level of activity of schoolchildren in the last 20-30 years is noteworthy. We now live in an era of convenience ranging from food to television to the Internet. Good old-fashioned after school activity is not as prevalent as before with kids preferring to stay online or on their mobile phones rather than play outdoors. One of the best ways to combat this problem is by engaging entire families in programs to promote a healthier diet and lifestyle.
Regardless of whether a student is a child or adult, it can be difficult to persevere with any fitness program when you’re all alone. When you combine the whole family, each member can seek to help others and parents can lead by example. There are many reasons why karate is one of the best family activities. When families learn the kata (a series of structured moves), they are forced to work together and this fosters a sense of community and teamwork. If one family member is struggling, the rest can join together to help and instead of failing alone, each family member can succeed as part of a group.
The physical benefits of karate are manifold and well documented. These include an enhanced level of fitness, conditioning, strength and flexibility. Because karate helps you to defend yourself, kids in particular will be eager to come back for more and are likely to bug their parents to join them! The colored belt system is the perfect way to track progress and gives all students a tangible goal to aim for. As you receive different color belts, you know you’re on the right path.
Close the Generation Gep
Unlike other sporting activities, there is no age gap as karate can be enjoyed by all age groups. As well as improving fitness, self-defense and confidence, karate can bridge the generation gap and bring families together.