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How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-06-2006, 12:04 PM   #1
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How About Karate as a workout???

My son is getting pretty good at it, a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do............

I had a green belt back in the early 80's, but have not been to any classes since then..........

However, my sons recently challenged me to "do karate like me".

I can still kick as high as my head 20 years after my last class........

Is it a good workout? My son seems to be tired when he gets done.........
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-06-2006, 12:32 PM   #2
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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Is it a good workout?
I think yes if I was much younger. Karate form use one's own strength and force so you need muscle power and agility, but no thanks it hurts much now.

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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-06-2006, 12:38 PM   #3
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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Is it a good workout? My son seems to be tired when he gets done.........
Heck yeah. I wish I'd known about martial arts 30 or even 40 years ago. And if you want to try competition in poomsae & sparring, you guys can still make the Maui tournament next month...

You're probably already aware of all the kid payoffs from tae kwon do. Our kid has much more respect for her instructors than she ever would for her parents.

Right now I'm in the best shape of my life, and martial arts have probably helped more than surfing. We've been with our dojang for 2 years and it just keeps getting better. In my first 18 months of tae kwon do I lost nearly 30 pounds. I've gained tremendous speed & reflexes and I'm much more coordinated than I've ever been. Core strength has probably doubled and I can't remember the last time I had a sore back. As a side effect of keeping up with the rest of the class, I've also had to learn a lot more about stretching, flexibility, & joint health. Not learning those now would surely have cost me later.

However 3x/week I come home from a workout drenched in sweat and barely able to climb the steps to the shower. By next morning I'm usually OK, but sometimes the sparring (or a tournament) will get out of hand and I'll bring home a few bruises too. I haven't seriously hurt myself but I've seen adults at tournaments dehydrate themselves (several times) and break their nose (once). I've never actually blacked out or puked on the mats but someday I could get lucky.

Although the sparring satisfies some testosterone-poisoned atavistic instinct that I haven't gotten rid of, I think the lifelong payoff is in executing the poomsae. I'm only learning the eight taeguk forms so far but just a couple runs through them is a great aerobic/flexibility workout. If I was still going to a job I'm sure that the sport would leave me a lot calmer and more relaxed in the workplace, too.

Another benefit of family martial arts is that you join in with your kids instead of being one of "those parents" on the sidelines. I can talk with my daughter about TKD without any of that "you just don't understand" attitude, and with my help she's learned the importance of putting her shoulders into her punches. Many "But, Dad!!" arguments have immediately halted when I ask her how her latest behavioral incident personifies one of the TKD tenets. She even lets me coach her once in a while.

The most important part of martial arts is the family discount quality of the instruction. If you're not happy with the instructor(s) then it doesn't matter what martial art you're studying. You're probably already happy with your kid's instructor(s), and hopefully you'll have the same crew helping you.
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-06-2006, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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Is it a good workout? My son seems to be tired when he gets done.........
Its a great workout as part of an overall weekly exercise routine. The martial arts are great for increasing flexiblity, which is a very important component of physical fitness, but I think you'd want to suppliment that with a strength training component and an aerobic exercise component as well.

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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-06-2006, 01:22 PM   #5
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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I can still kick as high as my head 20 years after my last class........
I guess if you ever need to kick yourself in the head you've got it made.

One nit to pick... your son's blue belt in tkd but still thinks he's practicing karate? At least know what art you follow. Someone comes into my dojo with emblazoned with a sign advertising Kim's tkd or whatever, I make them take it off. (at least we don't jump them and kick their a$$). They will know what dojo they are in.
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-06-2006, 01:43 PM   #6
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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Originally Posted by ronin
I guess if you ever need to kick yourself in the head you've got it made.

One nit to pick... your son's blue belt in tkd but still thinks he's practicing karate? At least know what art you follow. Someone comes into my dojo with emblazoned with a sign advertising Kim's tkd or whatever, I make them take it off. (at least we don't jump them and kick their a$$). They will know what dojo they are in.
I think there's a difference between just collectively referring to all of the martial arts that emphasis the legs as "karate", and walking into a karate dojo with a TKD outfit. To the outsiders, its all just karate. Its just loose English talk.

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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-06-2006, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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Originally Posted by ronin
I guess if you ever need to kick yourself in the head you've got it made.

One nit to pick... your son's blue belt in tkd but still thinks he's practicing karate? At least know what art you follow. Someone comes into my dojo with emblazoned with a sign advertising Kim's tkd or whatever, I make them take it off. (at least we don't jump them and kick their a$$). They will know what dojo they are in.
Sorry, sensei......... He's in Tae Kwon Do............. They are learning weapons as part of the curriculum..........so far they've learned basics on numchucks, commas, bow, and he is learning extra forms as he is on the Performance Team, which travels to schools and events and does demonstrations.

I am proud of him.....he's only 7, and working hard............
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-07-2006, 10:25 AM   #8
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

Sounds like a great activity for your son. I really like Tae Kwon Do, and especially the way they organize activities for children. It is what I recommend to most parents when I'm asked.

I know karate is generic for martial arts. People who know me and what I do ask me all the time if I still am doing karate. I really don't care what folks call it.

But for a martial artist, I do feel differently. I am very traditional and my dojo is quite old fashioned and under these circumstances is necessary to be quite clear, as appearances can be very important. A good martial artist has a very discerning eye and can tell a lot about a person's training or lack of same by observation of their behavior, even by the way someone walks in the door, or justs sits. It is also reflective of one's teacher.

As far a being a good work out, it certainly depends on the school, the teacher and how things are run, but in general, yeah, should be great. The problem, as with many things in life, is sticking with it so that it doesn't end up being something one tried for a while before moving off to the next thing. Because it is hard work, filled with periods of pain and the occasional injury, it has a certain appeal in theory in people's minds, they like the idea of martial arts, but don't generally care as much for the reality of it.
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-07-2006, 12:06 PM   #9
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

There's a video on www.nytimes.com about Ki Chuan Do. Looks pretty cool. Good workout and effective self-defense without any ritualistic BS.
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-07-2006, 09:55 PM   #10
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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There's a video on www.nytimes.com about Ki Chuan Do. Looks pretty cool. Good workout and effective self-defense without any ritualistic BS.
Well... there's tae kwon do at the Olympics, and then there's tae kwon do when you're on the street and can't run like a scared bunny.

Same techniques. Different targets, and usually a lot easier to hit. But just by getting into one of those situations, you've already lost.
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-08-2006, 10:55 AM   #11
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

and for those who want a trendy workout without actually learning anything about that pesky 1000 years of martial achievement bs there's tae bo or cardio kickboxing.
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-09-2006, 01:17 PM   #12
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

I went to a "bring your dad to karate class" session, and I was pooped when I got home..........

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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-09-2006, 01:22 PM   #13
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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I went to a "bring your dad to karate class" session, and I was pooped when I got home..........
FWIW if you can do it 2x a week it won't get any worse, and if you can do it 3x week it'll get easier...
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-09-2006, 01:35 PM   #14
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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FWIW if you can do it 2x a week it won't get any worse, and if you can do it 3x week it'll get easier...
I'll keep that in mind...........

I think he was going hard on the parents to teach the kids..........

Or maybe it was payback for all the inane "armchair quarterbacking" he gets from the peanut gallery...........
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-09-2006, 04:57 PM   #15
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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Or maybe it was payback for all the inane "armchair quarterbacking" he gets from the peanut gallery...........
I've invited a few of those parents to join us on the mats, too... no takers yet.
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-10-2006, 09:17 AM   #16
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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I've invited a few of those parents to join us on the mats, too... no takers yet.
I talked to the head instructor whose teaching my son. He's trying to talk me into joining.

Still contemplating..............got a lot of other things on my plate..............
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???
Old 10-10-2006, 12:25 PM   #17
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Re: How About Karate as a workout???

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I talked to the head instructor whose teaching my son. He's trying to talk me into joining.
Still contemplating..............got a lot of other things on my plate..............
A college classmate of mine, with her two kids and their senior belts, talked our kid into trying tae kwon do. I wasn't very interested because I was afraid (1) it'd cut into my surfing and (2) it'd be another one of those activities our kid would try for a few months and move on. I didn't want to make her feel that she had to keep doing it just because I was doing it.

My classmate had tried kickboxing but her shiftwork and her lack of interest killed that in a few months. She had her hands full with her two kids at the classes/tournaments anyway. But after watching our kid's first class, and later watching the senior belts sparring, I just could not sit there and watch anymore. I had to be in it. True, I was already ER'd and I had the time, but even if I was working I'd be rearranging my work priorities around TKD.

That was over 2 years, a week-long camp, several tournaments, and a number of books/DVDs ago. Our kid has stayed comfortably ahead of my injuries progress so there's not too much parent/kid competition. But I think we get along much better today, especially when she spars me and catches me off guard.

If a martial art doesn't grab you by the throat then it might not be for you and you might need to keep looking around (or revive something else that you used to do). But a month or two of training might raise your kid's respect for you, and it'll give you an appreciation of why they're doing things the way they do. (It'll also help understand why the gear is so $%^# expensive.) If you tell the instructor (and your kids) that you're just trying it for a month or two then you'll be treated much better than the people who show up for three weeks in January and start with the excuses.

The real parental danger is when the head instructor asks you to help out with the parent's club or at the next tournament!
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