Tradition in Martial Arts: What it is, Why it is important and how you can benefit from it

 Tradition in Martial Arts: What it is, Why it is important and how you can benefit from it

You may have noticed that karate is different from many other sport practices. With the students bowing and the belt system, you may wonder what its all about. This is because while karate is a sport, it is also an art based in old tradition. Some people may wonder if there is any “point” with students shorting loud “Kia!!”s with every punch. Is just for show. The answer is that here are so many wonderful points.


Now, what is tradition? According to the dictionary, it is the act of passing down beliefs, ideas and practices through generations. If you look at traditional karate, you will see that it is based on principles of respect. Take a moment to watch, and you may understand that traditional karate is about self mastery over violence. Karate is about building self control and willpower. You can see these whenever students hold the difficult “house stance”, a stance resembling a low squat. Watch a Muay Thai class, and you will see even more examples of tradition such as the sparring music.


Why is following tradition important? For one, karate’s principles of hard work and determination have been enough to carry the art through generations so that we can still practice it today. By taking a moment to step away from smart phone screens and focus, following traditions can feel very relieving. Practicing traditional karate can also be like a history and culture lesson as well as a physical one. 


How can following karate’s tradition make or lives better? For one, it is always a good exercise to respect traditions even if you do not fully understand them yet. You can also always ask what one particular bow means, etc. For example, yelling “Kia” might seem like something you see people do in movies, however the kia, or a spiritual yell, has a way of tightening your abs and bringing out the strength to make those last few punches powerful, even though you are tiered. There is so much to learn!


Happy Training! 

-The Xtreme Ninja Family 



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