RI Shotokan Karate-do

Teens and karate

TEENS, Ages 13-17


Don't believe the magic in the movies.  Forget about bashing through brick walls with your bare hands or flying across a room.  Think instead of developing self-confidence, flexibility and an inner calm that can help to complete projects without stress, overcome fears and deal with life's everyday problems . . . while getting a superb workout and having FUN while you're doing it!

Many teens begin studying karate for weaponless self-defense and, to be sure, it has practical applications on the street.  But most find that their reasons for staying expand and evolve.  They attain power and focus they never knew they could possess.  Training in karate is NOT to learn violence but to prevent and avoid it.  Karate can be as fluid as water and fierce as a tornado but it depends more on skill and attitude than on muscles or size.  It's not about macho displays of strength but about achieving a sense of security and accomplishment.  Feel good about yourself. . . starting today!

The style of martial art taught at KARATE STL is not based on intimidation or hostility.  It teaches power through respect for, learning from and helping each other.  Safety is paramount!  It can be a life-long source of physical and mental excellence.

Since karate is stressed as a martial art rather than a competitive sport, much emphasis is placed on kata -- "the heart of the art" -- and blocking, kicking, punching and throwing skills, the learning of which is necessary for promotions to higher ranks. 

Kata, or forms, are combinations of movements that employ various techniques of defense and offense (in that order), and are usually performed solo.  They range from slow-motion gestures to explosive bursts of energy, resulting in increased concentration, speed, balance and control.  Then at the more advanced levels, the student applies the kata with three or more partners (bunkai).  Another training method is prearranged sparring (kumite) which enhances timing, reflexes and throwing skills.  Students engage in carefully monitored and regulated free sparring with emphasis on control.  The striking board (makiwara) and kicking/punching bag are also utilized to condition and strengthen the body, as well as to hone technique even further.

Board breaking is learned, as well, but rather than a specific goal itself, it is more a peripheral benefit -- a confirmation of the strength and focus that can be accomplished as a result of karate training.