Our program of traditional karate builds confidence in many ways that have been passed down. Our teacher directly gave some of these to us, but most come from many generations of karate masters even going back to the first instructors as they trained the first practitioners. Traditional karate builds confidence in both adult classes and kids classes. Here are five ways that it does so:
1) TRADITIONAL KARATE BUILDS CONFIDENCE WITH RECOGNITION
We recognize our karate students’ achievements in many ways. One of the most modern of these is belt stripes. We award stripes for learning and being able to later demonstrate your kick, hand technique, kata or your level of sparring skills. For kids we also award a stripe for improvements in attitude and behavior. Ranking up in a belt builds confidence at our dojo because we do not give any belt rank away, nor sell it. Belts must be earned by your work in classes (and outside of classes too). An older way that karate instructors recognize their students’ achievements, which we practice regularly, is verbal commendation. At the dojo we recognize your hard work and that builds confidence.
2) TRADITIONAL KARATE BUILDS CONFIDENCE THROUGH SELF DEFENSE
Another way that traditional karate builds confidence is through the solid self defense skills which you learn and practice consistently. You learn things that you can do, giving you ideas of how you could react in many different threatening situations. You practice many of the options you have, over and over with different sizes and ages of partners. These things build your confidence.
3) TRADITIONAL KARATE BUILDS CONFIDENCE WITH SAFE SUPPORT
Karate is an active endeavor and as such, risk is involved. But for that matter, life itself is risky. Our traditional dojo has stood the test of time, with systems passed down for hundreds of year by teachers who cared about their students, as we do. I love that our dojo is a safe place to practice traditional martial arts, and I speak as someone who came up through all the ranks in those systems. I saw them work then as they do now to keep us all as safe as possible. Add to that the supportive environment provided by the instructors and your dojo mates. You can’t help but feel how traditional karate builds confidence with its safe, supportive environment where you are encouraged and allowed to grow.
4) TRADITIONAL KARATE BUILDS CONFIDENCE THROUGH PHYSICAL SKILLS
The improvements in your physical prowess are an easy way that traditional karate builds confidence. You take this with you as you move about in the wider world. You become more physically fit in our active art and you feel better about your body image. Your enhanced physical strength helps too. Balance and agility improve, for all students from the most agile to the clumsiest. (I have been a witness to that.) Eye-hand and eye-foot coordination develop until your “ninja” skills come out naturally.
5) TRADITIONAL KARATE BUILDS CONFIDENCE WITH SELF-EMPOWERMENT
I touched on self-defense above, and this is a good example of traditional karate building confidence by empowering you in your life. In practicing self-defense, you recognize that you cannot make other people do things, you cannot control them. But you can choose what you do, how you react, and your attitude in life. The bad news is that you have control over your life. You, as an adult, are responsible for your life. The good news is – ta da! You have control over your life! Even kids have much control over their own lives and always over their attitude about it.
Traditional karate helps you to make yourself faster, stronger, more agile, smarter and better able to protect yourself. In addition, our dojo provides a place where the positive support of your instructors and peers encourages you to improve all those things and more. You can do your best, fall on your butt, and be encouraged to try again. More good news? I discovered some awesome articles that will help martial artists as well as those who don’t do karate grow their confidence. Here are links to 10 techniques by Chris W. Dunn, and 25 ways by Leo Babauta. These, put into action, will also help you improve your own life. It takes consistent action to make it happen. Happy confidence-building!