Karate Interviews (part 3)

This has been such a good year and our readers keep sharing their karate stories with us! Continuing from Part 2 and Part 1 of our interview series, we proudly give you Part 3. Enjoy!

Your rank: kyu green
Do you like your dojo?: Nice gym with the shower for the kata. Good trainers.

Your belt color: Red
Is it hard to do karate?:

Training was hard. I was 10 years old when I did it and it was tiring. I was proud when I won my belt though. We used to practice kicks in synchronization and train on punching bags. I still have the belt today.

Your rank: Orange (beginner)
How did you start?:

My first experience with karate was when I attended a free self defense class led by a local Sensei. He taught us a few techniques to build confidence and protect ourselves against an attacker. I thought this would be a quick and easy way to learn a few self defense techniques but I soon discovered that I enjoyed the precision and discipline that participating in martial arts demands. I found that karate was a great way to do general conditioning, and I found memorizing and recalling kata to be very relaxing and almost meditative. I think that the Sensei had a lot to do with how much I enjoyed learning this sport, since he was a wealth of knowledge about the traditional and culture of karate. Earning a new belt is a tangible way to measure progress and a very proud moment for me.

Your rank: green
What was your first kata?:

My first kata contains lower arm-block, upper arm-block, frontal kick, side kick, back kick. Its like letter I form of kata.

Your rank: Blue
Was it easy or hard to make it that far?:

The training was hard. But i enjoyed every little moment of it. I also learned that with a lot of practice, things that seem to be impossible become possible. Also, i learned that only by repeating certain sets of moves i would get to master them so well so i can use them in a real life threat situation [ fortunately for me, i was never really faced with such a problem]

There was one aspect i didn’t like though: Sensei didn’t focus at all on the spiritual / philosophical side of the martial arts and i believe that these things are strongly connected.

Your rank: white belt.
Why did you start?:

I have been going to learn karate for one months.As we know that karate means martial art.At first going there,i learned the meaning of colours of belt from the teacher.Joining there they gave me a white belt and told me that white belt represents rowness,innocence.So far i have learned are basic blocks,self defense etc.At first my body got too much pain in doing practice but now it is okay for me to do.Teacher told me i will get red belt after the white.

Your rank: Green
How was your green belt test?:

There were six people planning to take exams for green belt in our club. We were mostly training our technique and physical abilities, we didn’t pay much attention to main kata for that belt (Heian Sandan). What we did in the sphere of katas was learning Bassai dai, Jion and Empi. Eventhough our performance of those mastar katas was disputable, it helped us in mental way. We could appreciate the simplicity of Heian Sandan after training those katas for several months.

Your current rank: I am a junior Brown Belt.
Tell us more about your history?:

I took Kenpo Karate when I was younger for three or four years. I was in the junior program which meant that I only needed to do a portion of the exercises that an adult would have to perform to earn each belt. Each belt you would have to do a kata during your test. My brown belt test I did a bow staff kata which started off with me bowing and then rolling the bow up with my feet. I started with a white belt and then moved onto a yellow belt, then orange, purple, blue, green, and then finally brown before my studio closed down and I moved to another town. Even though I passed my test I never received my brown belt. I participated in one tournament when I was a blue belt doing full contact fighting. I kept getting my head gear knocked off by this guys round house kicks. The training wasn’t too tough. I would have one hour group lessons on Saturdays and forty five minute private lessons on Wednesdays. When I got a belt it was a little awkward for me. Every time a belt was given it was done in front of the group lessons which was usually between ten to fifteen students. The person would have to kneel before the instructor and then be presented with his new achievement. All in all it was a good experience and I suggest it to anyone who has the time, patience, and the perceverance.

Your rank: green
Has it been fun?:

Attempting to obtain a color was very hard. I am a person of minimal physical activity, so trying karate was quite a new experience for me.

Your rank: I am at yellow belt.
Has it been fun for you?:

It’s fun but it can be a little tricky at times. Kata’s are fun to learn, once you’ve learned it, it sticks in your head. It feels absolutley amazing to get your belt.

Your rank: 5. kyu (yellow belt)
Why did you start karate?:

I started doing (Kyokushin) karate after a friend asked me if we should go together, for the exercise. She stopped after a year or so, but I had grown so fond of it that I’ve continued. I’m training two times a week, 90 minutes sessions. Our chief trainer is the national kata-champion, and this year also European master. I enjoy kata the most, but am probably soon gonne do some more fighting as well.
What I like in kata, is that it takes combined strength, presision, timing, balance and agility to perform properly.
Getting a new belt is awesome. It’s not given out unless truly earned, so you can honestly say that you’ve accomplissed this and that. It’s interesting, that when motivated, one will push himself further than during other kind of training I’ve done before (like running which I find boring and will simple quit if too hard).

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