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Karate - For Self Defence
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