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Shotokan Karate

Out of the many sports in the world, my favorite by far is karate. I’ve been taking Shotokan karate since I was 9 years old, and I love it. In my eyes, it combines all the necessary fitness components, and additionally, it teaches you self-defense.

There are three parts to Shotokan karate. The Japanese term, Kihon, or basics is one of the first. In Kihon, we learn all the blocks and strikes, including kicking. The higher belt level you are, the harder and more complex Kihon you will have at your belt test- where you have an opportunity to advance to the next belt level. In basics, the instructor can do any block strike combination possible. It takes a lot of memory, mentally and physically. Not only do you have to remember both the English and the Japanese term, you also have to remember where to put your hands and feet, and to use the correct timing, Even though karate is a sport, I find myself using my full brain capacity at times, especially during Kihon.

The second part to karate is kata. Kata is an imaginary fight you have with the air. It has to be memorized, and there is a different one in each level. It is kind of like Kihon, but you’re applying it to an imaginary fight, moving in an “I” shape, and doing it all on your own without commands. The kata involves a varied amount of different stances, blocks, kicks, and punches. This is the main part to the belt test, including Kihon.

The third part to Shotokan karate is Kumite. Kumite is the Japanese word for sparring, or fight. In Kumite, you’re actually fighting someone in a match. Every person must have the appropriate hear, which includes fist guards, shin guards, a mouthpiece, and headgear. When you’re fighting, attacks to the stomach and back can be direct hits, since we learn how to take punches and kicks early in karate. Yet, if it’s a punch or kick to the head, it can only LIGHTLY touch the head. If you hit the head with a force that the judge sees as too hard, you will get a penalty. Kumite is very fun, because I get the opportunity to plan my attacks, but at the same time, improvise. No two fighters are the same. Plus, more advanced karate students will persuade you into thinking one thing, but then out of nowhere, they completely trick you. I would say that sparring also has my using a bunch of my thinking skills, and my reaction time.

All in all, karate is my favorite sport because it has me getting exercise, learning parts of another language, using my brain, logic skills, and improving my reaction. By far, my favorite thing about karate is the fact that I enjoy it with a full heart’s capacity for the love of sports.





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