There are a lot of things to learn and do beyond the realm of textbooks, and schools have started realising that.

Physical fitness is as important as the intellectual acumen of a student to perform well in schools. The concept of learning is undergoing crucial changes across different curricula in the State and this brings great scope for students to enhance their physical and athletic skills to complement their studies and smarten up their outlook.

Choices

In view of this, many schools in the district have started introducing their students to a whole lot of different physical and mental skills such as swimming, dancing and martial arts as electives in their curriculum.

In earlier times, to learn swimming, cycling or climbing a tree was part of normal growing. With lakes and water bodies such as pools and ponds fast disappearing, the skill of swimming has become rare.

The traditional “Kalarees,” of Kerala where the young ones trained in kalarypayattu and yogasanas have mostly disappeared or became a thing of lure only to the tourists and foreigners.

Fortunately, the recent reforms in the school curriculum attempt to bring back the attention of our young generation to the importance of having a healthy body to own a healthy mind. Resultantly sports, athletics and all other extra curricular activities have received an unprecedented import in their school life.

While several schools in the city of Kozhikode have taken the initiative to teach their students swimming, yoga and different dance forms, others have gone further by appointing martial arts teachers and physical trainers.

Achievement

“More than learning attack or defence techniques, Karate and any other martial art form for that matter, is about acquiring a strict discipline,” says E.K. Raveendran, who is a Karate trainer to more than two schools in the city.

According to Mr. Raveendran, who is a fourth Dan Black Belt holder, says that training in martial arts imparts physical fitness, stamina, concentration, memory power and a strict sense of discipline among other things. Students, both boys and girls, from the age of eight can start training in martial arts. There are nearly 25 girl students from different school, who ate getting trained under Mr. Raveendran. “Some girls like Archana and Jumina from Silver Hills High School in the city have even secured Brown Belt while they were still in school,” he said.

Recently, six students from different schools in the city secured a Black Belt in Karate as a culmination of their more-than-seven years of rigorous training.

M.V. Ahammed Sanin (Std VIII) of Silver Hills Public School, Arul Vivek (Std IX) of Savio HSS Devagiri, E.K. Roshin (Std XII) of Savio HSS Devagiri, Rashid Shahul (Std VIII) of Silver Hills Public School, E.K. Rojal (Std X) of Beeline Public School and K. Adarsh (Std VIII) of Medical College Campus HSS were the winners of Black Belt in the recently held school level Japanese Karate championship in Kozhikode.

With the curriculum demanding the students to look beyond textbooks, the number of students evincing interest in activities such as martial arts is steadily increasing in schools, says Raveendran. “I have nearly 200 students learning Karate in Hill Top Public School alone in the city,” he says.