Monday, February 27, 2012

Arm Pounding and Youth Karateka

Arm Pounding.  That's attention grabbing, but it's just another way to say arm conditioning\rubbing, or Kotigitae.  Karate conditioning helps the practitioner "toughen up" muscles and bones.  I posted about partner conditioning, geared more for adults here.  Arm conditioning introduces you to getting hit and building up resistance to bruising.  It also helps develop concentration, core strength, spacing, and balance.  The following is an excellent article on karate conditioning that goes into more detail: Is Body Conditioning Karate's Lost Art? by George Chaplin.  Arm pounding is just the beginning of learning to condition your body, both internally and externally.

Depending on the Uechi dojo, youth\children will probably start learning this at around the 6-4 Kyu rank.  If your child is learning it, seek out their teacher to learn how it is properly and safely practiced.  It is important that they practice correctly and go somewhat easy initially because it is very easy to condition the wrong parts of the arm or hit too hard.  The goal is to build up resistance, not injure and bruise each other.  I wouldn't recommend practicing this exercise with your child, but learn to look for signs that it is being done incorrectly - as a parent safety should be your first concern.

As your child progresses, he will be learning leg and core conditioning, and "Sanchin Testing".  Done properly all of these exercises will buildup a tougher body, which is a great defensive aid if they should ever be attacked.  Conditioning is an integral part of karate with benefits that go beyond avoiding injury.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Karate Kid Part 2 Greenlighted

According to Variety, Karate Kid 2 (sequel to 2010s remake of the 1984 original movie) is a go with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan reprising their roles. Though Smith's character is taught Kung Fu, all traditional martial arts schools should see a boost in interest and enrollments when the marketing machine begins to hype the movie.

This is obviously good for martial arts schools as they will likely see an increase in enrollment. If you own a school and haven't thought about it, now would be a good time to start preparing for the uptick in interest and questions. Especially if the parents want their kid to learn Kung Fu but they come to a Karate school because that's the name of the movie. :-)

Some schools used Karate Kids promotions in 2010/2011 and be prepared to see more of the same when Part 2 comes out. As parents, when you start seeing these or any promotion, carefully check them out. Remember to go in with an open mind and be on the lookout for the less than honorable schools. See my previous post on TMA schools and McDojos for a refresher.

That said I look forward to the movie and all the new students going to the dojo!
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