Karate, meaning “empty hands” in Japanese, is a dynamic martial art which combines offensive and defensive techniques as a weaponless means of self-defense using all parts of the body. Not only is it great exercise but it is also beneficial for mental health as it focuses on the coordination of mind and body so you don’t have to be the biggest or strongest person if you wanted to get involved. There are so many great benefits of the practice including total body toning, faster reflexes, improved coordination and even more self-confidence.
What to expect
A karate class is divided into three different stages, starting with Kihon which involves drilling of the various positions,moving on to Kata – pre-arranged combat situations and finally Kumite: sparring. As a beginner with a white belt , you will be given instruction at every level. As you progress, practise becomes more spontaneous as technique and coordination improves.
So, if you are intrigued by the ancient martial art, want to learn some self-defence or just fancy getting fit and want to try something new, here are two great gyms/ martial arts studios where you can give karate a go.
Gimnasio Dan Karate Club: Calle Isla de Java, 74
This is a popular traditional karate club with highly dedicated instructors and a great atmosphere in which to learn the martial art. The club holds a number of classes throughout the day so you are sure you find a time that’ll suit you. This friendly club has classes for students of all ages and abilities, so you needn’t feel scared about starting as a complete beginner either.
Shotokan Honbu Dojo: Calle de Sor Angela de la Cruz, 24
At Shotokan Honbu Dojo, you can take weekly classes or enrol in intensive whole day or week sessions to fully immerse yourself in the martial art. If you want to take karate more seriously, you can take exams at the centre and move up through the belts. They do engaging and dynamic karate classes for kids too.