If you know anything about Karate, you’re probably already aware of its extensive benefits for physical and mental health. If you train, you’re probably experiencing them for yourself, too!
In addition to the amazing Karate skills you’ll pick up, Karate training can have a positive impact on your cardiovascular conditioning, muscle tone, strength, hand eye coordination, mental discipline, reflexes, self-confidence, mood, and so much more.
Which got us wondering… how much more?
Curious to see just how big Karate’s influence can be and how many different ways it can change your life for the better, we started looking into its lesser known benefits.
Here’s what we found:
Karate can help you sleep better.
It turns out that all of that sweet stress relief that comes from a good martial arts session doesn’t end when training does. In addition to being a great outlet for excess energy, Karate training can also give you an endorphin boost that can have a calming influence on the rest of your day.
But that’s not all! If the post-workout endorphins aren’t enough to help you actually drift off when your head hits the pillow, there’s another factor that might: Karate will literally tire you out. Training, sparring, and competition are all physically demanding, which will make your body more than ready for rest at the end of the day. They also recruit a lot of mental energy, which means that there’s a good chance your brain will slow down, too, which should give your mind and body a good chance to reset.
If you’re still struggling to tune out anxiety and invasive thoughts at night, there’s another way that Karate might be able to help you out. Karate training’s focus on mental discipline and concentration will provide you with skills you need to help you stay calm and focused. It might not be enough to entirely put your mind at ease, but it might be enough to allow you to power down for a while.
Karate can improve your functional mobility.
Most of us are probably aware that martial arts can improve your flexibility. The training itself leads to flexibility gains. But the demands of training often inspire martial artists to take up cross-training programs with a focus on stretching, which leads to even more improvements in your overall motion.
But here’s something that makes the flexibility exercises you can get from Karate even more impressive: they’re not done in a vacuum. The training you’re getting that focuses on increasing the ranges of motion in your joints is always balanced with work that develops your muscles and helps you to stabilize these joints.
Think of it this way: if you had amazing flexibility in all of the muscles connected to your hip socket, but had never done anything to strengthen them, you could probably throw an amazing head kick. But you might dislocate your hip in the process. Karate’s balance and control will help you throw high kicks that are effective and safer for you.
Karate can improve your social life.
Our current lives don’t provide us with a ton of opportunities to meet people outside of school and work. And even when we do run into people, it can be hard to actually make the leap from acquaintance to friend. Karate can help bridge that gap.
Karate provides an environment where you can meet people with similar interests and work together toward common goals. You get to know each other, learn how to work together, and learn how to help each other. And if and when you forge bonds as a result of that mutual support and encouragement, the lessons you learn in Karate can also help you maintain them.
Karate teaches us respect, consideration, and problem solving skills. All of which are vital for healthy relationships.
Karate makes you great at laundry.
You know how to check for stains before washing your gi. And you know how to treat them. You know your way around a washing machine and its cycles. You know how to hang garments to dry, how to “snap” them into shape, how to iron them, and how to fold them and store them. Heck, there’s a good possibility you’ve even learned how to look for fraying, rips, and tears, and how to repair them. Or, at the very least, where to take them for repairs.
All of these skills will translate to the rest of your wardrobe and enable you to take excellent care of your clothing. So you can look as sharp in your daily life as you do on the mats.