The Karate Lifestyle

By: Sensei Dave Hanson


    What is your karate age? I ask this a little in jest.  We’ve heard for a long time now that there is a difference between the number on your birthday cake and your “real” biological age.  That can be good for some and probably not so good for most.  I ask what your karate age is, because karate is a great way to turn back the clock biologically.  The health and fitness secrets of the martial arts have been passed down for generations and many martial artist still benefit from martial arts training all over the world.  For example the founder of our karate style was born in 1889.  His son just passed away last year in 2015.  He was born in 1918.  He lived a long full life to the age of 97.  On Okinawa, the birthplace of karate, the native people to this island chain have the oldest average life span than any where else in the world.  It is partly due to their diet and also has a lot to do with their lifestyle which for many Okinawans includes some form of martial arts.  I had the privilege many years ago to go out for lunch with my Sensei.  At the time he was about 60 years old.  He was meeting one of his good friends, another karate master, who was in his mid 70’s. His friend didn’t look a day over fifty.

   Karate is an excellent way to stay young.  To be young doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your age as much as it has to do with your attitude and lifestyle.  And for me a lifestyle in the martial arts is key to staying healthy and young and I have seen first hand the benefits of training in karate as a lifestyle.  I encourage my students to make karate part of their lifestyle too. And one day maybe some one may ask you what is your age.  Tell them, and then quickly follow up with, “But my karate age is…” and then share with them the benefits of living “the karate lifestyle”. I encourage you to make karate part of your lifestyle.  The benefits last a lifetime.


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