SNWKarate Blog

Is Karate Good for Self Defence?

April 17, 2024

There's no doubt that martial arts offer a powerful and ancient route to effective self-defence. But how effectively does the art of karate rank in the self-defence stakes? Let's take a closer look.

What is Karate?

Karate is an ancient martial art that is carried out unarmed. It primarily involves delivering kicks and blows and countering, or blocking the same attacks. Also called Karate-do, the art is believed to have developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom over the course of centuries, before becoming systemised in the 17th century in Okinawa. It would appear that the art was developed out of necessity, by people forbidden from carrying arms or weapons.

Today, modern karate is primarily practiced as a means of self-defence and also for sport and fitness. It concentrates heavily on punches, kicks and defences, as well as traditional moves such as joint locking techniques and throwing. Many schools of karate also practice Kata, or ancient ritualised sequences which systemise the practice, display and art of combined movements.

Is Karate Good for Self Defence?

There are many ways to categorise self-defence. Practical self-defence can counteract an attack, but the benefits of karate go far beyond the mechanisms and techniques that can be applied to launch counter-attacks to overcome an opponent. Although karate is different from other martial arts in subtle ways of movement and focus, it shares key benefits with all martial arts.

These include:

  • A strong sense of self-confidence, which grows over time as practical and physical skills develop, along with an increasing sense of self-awareness and the awareness of others.
  • A greater sense of presence and a tendency to hold and compose oneself differently, which gives a sense of composure and strength, and which go a long way in discouraging attacks.
  • Self-control and mastery of self, including mastery of anger and fear, which again, allows the karate student to stay calm and responsive in an escalating situation and helps them to choose the most appropriate response, rather than the first response.
  • Better physical and mental fitness, which can be honed through the practice of karate as a sport.
  • Confidence in knowing that the individual can overcome challenges, discomfort and fear. These help to develop character, which becomes unshakeable.

Legal Self Defence

In the context of legal self-defence, karate is viewed in the same way as any other approach to defending oneself, with the test of 'reasonable force' applied to determine any legal outcome.

What About Children?

Is karate good for self-defence when it comes to children? The answer is yes, definitely! This is because children can learn karate quickly from a young age and then practice it for years to come as they perfect their art and abilities and move along the grading system. They will only grow in confidence as their technical ability, strength, cardiovascular fitness and mental strength evolves and karate will carry them through many challenges.

In short, karate is definitely good for self-defence, and as an art form, it can be practised for years and by everyone, to achieve the maximum benefits.

If you're ready to take your self defence to the next level, contact SNWKarate on 07855 487026 or book a free trial

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