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Many people associate karate with the starched white gi uniform and black belts. But there’s more to it than that.
Karate means “empty hand” in Japanese. It is a martial art that focuses on empty handed strikes, blocks and defense techniques. An ancient Japanese practice, karate was refined over thousands of years. East Asian immmigrants imported it to the west in the 20th century. It found a home first on the west coast and then spread through the rest of the United States. Movie stars like Bruce Lee helped popularize the martial art and now, it’s become a staple of American culture.
With a thorough understanding of karate, students explore self-defense. They take control over their lives in every aspect. Karate teaches self-discipline and self-confidence just as much as it teaches strength, speed, agility and flexibility.
Anyone with a desire to learn self-defense, exercise, self-confidence finds karate to be an enjoyable practice. Not only do you engage with a tradition that stretches back thousands of years into East Asian antiquity, but you improve every aspect of your life in the process.
Karate trains and hones a student’s body awareness and their ability to keep a clear head when in the heat of a sparring match. Students learn how to use their own strength and how to take advantage of the body’s natural movements to use them for their own gain. Learn about pressure points and the joints of the body because these are vital to striking and blocking effectively. Students learn the kata, or forms, which are very valuable for a person seeking to train. To paraphrase Bruce Lee, there’s no need to fear an opponent who has trained 10,000 kicks one time, but a lot to fear in someone who’s trained one kick 10,000 times.
Mentally, people who study karate do a lot to bolster a person’s self-confidence and self-discipline. By constantly training and seeing progress, a person can start to apply their mindset to other areas of life and they are more resistant to impulsive decisions and rash thinking. With a proper karate education, one can learn to control these impulses and act quickly and effectively to neutralize threats, both on the streets and within themselves.
Applying a karate education affects every day tasks in a positive way. Apart from the mental discipline and self-confidence, practitioners find that they are more physically equipped for modern life. We live in a sedentary world where today more people sit in an office chair than work outdoors. With a consistent karate practice, students feel the positive effects of exercise throughout their lives. These effects are well-documented and include lower risk of heart disease, increased strength, flexibility and a healthier body.
For young people who are bullied in school, karate can make a huge difference. But this is not necessarily how you might think. Apart from the knowledge and training to defend yourself in a confrontation, confidence is key. The simple confidence of your training helps to prevent a fight from starting. Students who practice martial arts do better in school and learn how to take on challenges and succeed.
Parents rest easy that their children learn with safety in mind first. Soke Joe instructs students both in groups and privately. But the most important lesson is respect. Respect for yourself and respect for others instills values in children that they take with them from soccer practice, to the playground, and to the classroom.
With a tenth-degree black belt and over 40 years experience in karate, Soke Joe Droual is Huntington’s leader in martial arts instruction. With a hands-on approach that helps children and adults alike succeed through mentoring, classes and private instruction, Soke Joe’s karate knowledge and experience bring a high quality training program to the student. He and his students excel, winning tournaments both local and abroad. He employs traditional and new teaching methods to reach students’ goals.
“Soke Joe taught me that being respectful is a a way of life. I got in trouble at school sometimes and at home with my mom and dad, but now my grades are better and now I love karate!” – Justin Farber, brown belt
Inside Soke Joe’s hombu, respect, self-discipline and quality instruction are key. Master your art by first mastering yourself and developing skills at the same time.
Soke Joe gave me a renewed sense of vigor. I’ve seen my energy increase and I feel more confident in my everyday tasks and even my wife says she’s noticed a change in me. Thanks to Soke Joe’s self defense class, I feel better and more confident going through my day.
Michael Brown / Huntington
For my son, Danny, Soke Joe’s martial arts program was perfect. Danny can’t wait to achieve his next belt and Soke Joe has helped him accomplish things he didn’t think he could. Danny is doing better in school now and I think martial arts has done a lot for him.
Jon Chin / Northport
I was mugged in broad daylight a year ago and I found Soke Joe’s self defense class through a coworker. Since then, I feel like I have the tools to better defend myself and I feel confident! Gaining strength and endurance is a great benefit too!
Greg McNally / Woodbury