“Ichi, ni, san, shi, go…” the scream startled me as I drew close to Kofukan Shito Ryu Karate School . The master, G.S.Suresh came to my rescue just when I was wondering what those words meant.

“It is simple counting in Japanese,” he smiled. The force with each of those numbers were pronounced fascinated me and I too joined the trainees instantly.

“Karate is a Japanese martial art of self defence. It is necessarily not about protecting yourself when left in the lurch. Rather we concentrate to improve presence of mind. It is about how quick you respond to a situation. Karate helps in optimising this power in the body. In due course, blood circulation improves and mind gets relaxed increasing the fitness levels. As a result, even under trying circumstances you don’t panic and are able to take correct decisions,” Mr. Suresh elaborates.

Impressed by his briefing, I take on. Broadly categorised as exercises for beginners, there are simple techniques for those in the next level and advanced techniques for those with two years experience. The class began with the callisthenics, partially warm-up and cool-down, that prepares the body for the strenuous fight-outs or sparring.

It started with eye ball rotation to strengthen the optic nerve and improve blood circulation in the eye followed by neck, shoulder, hip and hand rotations. Push ups were a bit difficult for me as I had to do the drill with knuckles and fingers. Next was a series of sit ups to strengthen abdomen, thigh and calf muscles. Though I was at ease in raising the leg and skipping, I found the set of drills with toes a tough proposition. Pressing the toes down I had to lift my body followed by frog jump and duck walk. With that ended the first level exercises.

“Once you are through with these drills, your confidence improves and now you are ready to face sterner tests and strenuous routines,” the master continued.

Next on the list were punches, blocks and kicks. There were middle, upper, lower and double punches and middle, upper, lower and outer blocks. The kicks involved front, slap, side, scissor kick, jump kick and leg block. Definitely it was not easy for me, as for most of the session I was watching karatekas doing some sparring to perfect the technique.

“All these kicks, punches and blocks serve as good stretch exercises to tone your muscles well. Moreover these drills help gain full control over the body and improve reflexes. In general, karate is a whole body exercise which prunes physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual abilities. In short it develops a positive mentality,” Mr. Suresh explained.

For more details dial 9788692808 for Mr. Suresh

Keywords: Karatemartial arts