Getting Back Into Karate Training?
Many people who trained in Karate or other martial arts (such as Kung Fu or Tae Kwon Do) in the past and had to give it up for one reason or another often look to get back into it at a later date. If this applies to you, then it is our intention to give you extra information on this page as you will have a better idea what you’re looking for than most other people.
But first, to address the main concern that many people have (especially higher grades) when looking at returning to training after a long time off. That is, that they’ll be rusty and not be able to perform up to the level that they had previously been. In short, no longer worthy of their previous grade. Relax, we’ve had a number of people, especially adults, return to training after a long time off. Even instructor Charlie Wildish had a number of years of training due to domestic circumstances before returning to training. So you will be treated sympathetically and eased back into it. You will NOT under any circumstances be thrown in the deep end, belittled or embarrassed in any way. Holistic Karate has a strong ethos of supporting each other in a friendly environment.
The next thing you’ll probably notice with us is that our classes, whilst structured and professionally taught, have a more relaxed atmosphere than many other martial arts classes. There is a good reason for this. In pre-war Japan, they had military conscription and it was noted that young men with a martial arts background fared better than those that did not. So martial arts were often geared to preparing young men for conscription and hence the militaristic nature of many Japanese and Korean martial art classes (Japan occupied Korea at this time).
Football and rugby clubs have discipline without the semi-militaristic format, so we don’t really need to adhere to it rigidly. We keep some of the etiquette for structure and tradition, but we’re not preparing young men for war and prefer to treat adults like adults!
On the technical level, we have a number of different approaches to training compared to most martial arts schools:
- We have a sensible approach for the more “mature” warrior. Japanese martial arts often take a “one-size-fits-all” approach where they have a specific way of doing things and won’t budge from it. We believe in going more back to the Okinawan way and adapt to the individual. For example, if you can’t kick high, we’d rather you do a good kick/stamp to the knee than a rubbish kick to the head.
- Karate is a means of preventing an aggressor from damaging your body. So there is nothing more pointless than damaging your own body, trying to do something that your body can’t do just because “our style does it this way”! We will not ask you to do anything that hurts or damages your own body and we expect you to be honest and open about any physical limitations or injuries that may prevent you from doing certain things. Don’t worry, you won’t miss out, we’ll find a sensible alternative for you!
- We’ll teach you to generate more power for less effort. Physical strength and fitness are always advantageous, but relying on them for self protection will limit you. We’ll teach you to breathe properly to engage your core (hara) and to use your body like a like a whip? A technique based on the “whip” principle will always generate more impact than a technique based on strength.
- In many schools, kata (forms/patterns) are often seen as just formal exercise where the applications only work with a compliant partner attacking in prearranged manner. The defences are often applied only against other Karate attacking techniques. Most street thugs won’t attack you with a Karate technique, so there’s one flaw in this approach straight away. We’ll teach you the underlying principles and how to apply them in a realistic and street effective manner.
- Of all that is taught at Holistic Karate, the thing that has been used most is conflict management and how to de-esculate a confrontation. The best self protection is not get into a fight in the first place.
- If you really want to learn self-protection, then you need to know the different types of violence, the different tactics to deal with them and which one your age/gender is most likely to encounter.
So if you’re interested in getting back into training, and this page hasn’t answered all your questions/concerns, then please feel free to contact Charlie on 07940852496.
Come and join us, your first 2 classes are free.