Karate - For Self Defence

Shoalin exponants of Martial Arts demonstrating bth the discipline and control that is gauned after years of training
Shoalin exponants of Martial Arts demonstrating bth the discipline and control that is gauned after years of training | Source

We have All Seen Karate Kid The Movie

Well this a real life story, set in South Africa, in a suburb of Edenvale, my eldest son was 15, my daughter 12, the youngest, also a boy was 10.

My eldest came home from his primary school, in South Africa this was ages from 6 to 12 year olds. He was all excited as he had discovered a new sport that had just been introduced to the school, for the boys aged 10 and upwards. This to him was the way coolest sport you could imagine, they could run around the stage then let out a scream as they jumped off the stage. All this in the school hall? I was a bit sceptical!

So upon a bit of investigation this was no more dangerous than gymnastics and was the very basics of one of the myriad disciplines of Karate.

However, I cannot remember what style of karate this was, however, this attempt to introduce Karate at a junior level was a bit of a failure for several reasons.

The Exclusion Of Girls

Girls, even though us chauvinistic males will not admit are more mature than males of the same age, especially at that age group. I know as I had my son a few years older than his sister and I could see the difference in their maturity levels.

Their dedication and focus is far more intense.

They have better control over their emotions and are less likely to use their "skills" in a minor scrap, as opposed to the guys who are more inclined to be hot headed.

The Targeted Age Group

The disciple of any of the martial arts, sport and even plain exercise, is best started as young as possible. This is when the body is most supple and the mind is like a sponge.

They absorb quicker and are able to be flexible and execute a wider range of movements than an older child. They have more stamina and will benefit from the mental stimulation.

Give a simple Block and counter puch movement, they will repeat this with more accuracy than someone a few years older, and will do it for a longer period as well.

He should have opened it up to the six year olds as well.

The Biggest Reason for the Failure

The school was a dual medium school, which meant we had both English speaking children being educated in English, and Afrikaans children in Afrikaans (a form of Dutch).

Now why should this make some sort of difference to a sport, especially a defence type of sport., They could Box, Fence, Archery, Shoot and Wrestle. What was wrong with Karate?

Firstly, Dit was Volksvreems" which roughly translated in was something of a different culture.

However and more importantly it was not Christian, it was ungodly and the devils work and to practice it and bow and show respect to a Master was not of their faith was a sin.

So only a smattering of people wanted to join up and learn Karate

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Comments 11 comments

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I have written something like this. Here is an excerpt from my newspaper article.

It's quite ridiculous to opt for karate as an option. However, it is true that we can protect the fairer sex when we reinforce them with martial arts. Let's imagine a situation: Some roadside Romeos are kinky towards a vulnerable girl. She pretends not hearing them and strides away. Why does she do this? Because the general tendency is that the boys are stronger. If she knew karate? Yes, of course, if she had a skill to move her hands and legs, she could teach the rogue that amorous behaviour is wrong. Here importance is given to self-defense, not the medium to exercise power of dominance (I actually have witnessed couple of such incidents, when girls stride or teach the boys a lesson)


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 4 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

Thanks for the excerpt from your newspaper article, it does give us a scenario where a girl can escape, by simply walking away.

When doing Martial Arts, one is disciplined and is taught that retaliation is the last resort, that is fundamental in all forms, enforced by any reputable Sensei or Master.

So if one can walk away, then walk away.

If one cannot walk away, at least be capable of defending yourself effectivly.

The basics of Karate,

- when confronted,

BLOCK incoming attack,

STRIKE attacker - hopefully hard and effectively enough to stop him from attacking again.

Thanks for comment Vinaya, I do appreciate it.

PS.

The majority if not all forms of Karate originates from when peasants were not allowed to carry any arms for defence, only the Lords Army (inlaws), however then as is now, of course, like any sophisticated Society, the outlaws!


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 4 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

Thanks for the excerpt from your newspaper article, it does give us a scenario where a girl can escape, by simply walking away.

When doing Martial Arts, one is disciplined and is taught that retaliation is the last resort, that is fundamental in all forms, enforced by any reputable Sensei or Master.

So if one can walk away, then walk away.

If one cannot walk away, at least be capable of defending yourself effectivly.

The basics of Karate,

- when confronted,

BLOCK incoming attack,

STRIKE attacker - hopefully hard and effectively enough to stop him from attacking again.

Thanks for comment Vinaya, I do appreciate it.

PS.

The majority if not all forms of Karate originates from when peasants were not allowed to carry any arms for defence, only the Lords Army (inlaws), however then as is now, of course, like any sophisticated Society, the outlaws!


Jo Robertson profile image

Jo Robertson 2 years ago from South Africa

People can be so stupid. We Muslims don't bow to anyone, so we just don't bow to the Sensei. Usually they understand. You don't have to declare something to be ungodly just because it's not Christian or whatever. Adapt it if you can, and if you cannot then leave it without complaining.


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 2 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

As you say it is a question of faith, or culture! At one time, a particular langauge group did not bow there heads to the Sensie, they basically banned the practise of Karate.

The bowing of heads, serviced only as a formal greeting to the Sensie, or an opponent in combat. This is as much as touching gloves in in boxing.

As you say this is not in your nature and culture. Everyone should respect their traditions.

So it does not preclude learning the art and discilpine that Karate does for one!


Jo Robertson profile image

Jo Robertson 2 years ago from South Africa

I don't mean you're stupid, I mean the people who ruin it for everyone by making a fuss. Honestly, if I wanted to take Karate I would see if I could do it without bowing, and if I could not then I would simply leave it.

I really think some of these groups just love drama, or are so paranoid they honestly believe everything that goes against what they believe is correct is an attack against their cultural group.


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 2 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

As I have expressed myself, that anyone and everone has the right to learn, without changing your belief and culture!

One should be allowed to participate in any sport or activity without having to adapt to your beliefs.

People should accept and respect everyones practise beliefs. Then maybe, perhaps, one hopes that i

We will be a more understanding and more tolerant, country and World!


Jo Robertson profile image

Jo Robertson 2 years ago from South Africa

We would be a more understanding and tolerant country and world if we would just accept that sometimes things need to be adapted, and minor adaptations with safety and respect in mind hurt no one.

By forcing everyone to take part in society without adapting, you are calling for the secularisation of society. And secularisation is not a neutral state of being - it is a political movement of its own, whether good or bad or otherwise.

Religious people should have the right to behave religiously in ways that are not detrimental to public safety, and secular people should have the right to behave secularly in ways that are not detrimental to public safety. And religious people must learn to tolerate the secular, and secular people must tolerate the religious.

Otherwise, we'll be in the situation of countries that are forced into a secular model (like Turkey) where religiosity and religious extremism are on the rise, or in the situation of countries where religious rule is forced on the people (like Iran or Saudi Arabia) where secularism and secular extremism are also on the rise.

There is a balance that we need to find, a balance without kowtowing to the extremists on either end of the spectrum (outwardly religious or outwardly secular).


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 2 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

The ideal statement comes from a poster that appeared in so many places here in South Africa. It was called The Deserata, I think that is how it is spelled.

Another advocate of how we need to behave towards one another, the Late John Lennon, although a pop record the words were clear. "Imagine"


Jo Robertson profile image

Jo Robertson 2 years ago from South Africa

Right, so if we accept that Karate teachers prefer to bow to each other out of respect, why can we not accept that most Muslims prefer to not bow to others out of respect for their beliefs?

I'm not offended when people bow to each other, so why are they so offended when I decline to bow? Tolerance goes both ways.


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 2 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

Jo, If you explained your and other Muslims actions to the Sensie, he would and should understand and respect them! If he/she does not accept and respect your actions, then I would find another Dojo.

Within todays Sociopolitical climate within South Africa I am sure there would be a Dojo with a Sensie, sympathetic as well as sensitive to the various cultural and religous followings.

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