Lose Weight – Join Karate!

weight-loss-scaleKarate your way to fitness!

We all find ourselves wanting to lose a little weight from time to time, but what about those of us who really want to get back into shape and lose more than 10 pounds – is Karate a good option?  Well there is good news for those who want to make a significant change in their weight.  Karate is a great way to get back into shape.

Aerobic Exercise

Karate can be an excellent source of Aerobic stimulation.  Many Karate drills and exercises include a healthy dose of aerobic exercise.  A skilled instructor will combine several challenging techniques or exercises to create a workout fit for even the most advanced trainer. Flow sparring can also be a great way to get the blood flowing.  Done properly, you’ll find yourself working up a huge sweat in no time.  If that’s not enough, even traditional Kata can be hugely advantageous to those wanting to drop a few belt sizes.  As an added benefit, your trainer can tailor your training to suit your needs.  As your body begins to respond to the exercises, your instructor can increase the difficulty and keep things interesting.  Plus it’s fun – way more fun than running endlessly on a treadmill.

Resistance Training

So you’re the weight you’ve always wanted to be – but now you want to either tone up a bit, or perhaps build some muscle?  Can Karate help with this?  Yes it can!  Many exercises practiced in Karate involve the legs, arms and most importantly the core muscles including your abs.  Core strength exercises can be found throughout Karate.  Those who practice regularly and hard can see the benefits quite quickly including more toned muscles, greater core strength and more muscle mass.  This is all assuming or course that you are eating a proper diet.

Mind Over Matter

Maintaining a healthy weight requires a permanent lifestyle change.  Temporary diets are just that – temporary.  An important aspect of weight loss that is commonly overlooked is the phycological challenge that must be overcome.  Many people underestimate this and find themselves caught in an endless loop of diet, weight gain and diet once more.  Karate teaches us proper mental conditioning, which allows us to facilitate the long term changes necessary for successful lifestyle management.  These mental requirements can be sharpened through proper relaxation techniques, etc.

So what are you waiting for?  Come check out Pennell’s Dojo and start getting back into shape for life!

Karate Lessons for Seniors? Umm – ya!

If you’re looking to increase your flexibility, improve your cardio-vasular strength, feel good about yourself and have fun – then Pennell’s Karate Dojo is for you!  Canadian Senior Years, a website designed specifically to provide people over 50 with all sorts of great information wrote a great article called, Martial Arts for Seniors? A Fitness Alternative that sites a study released by Dalhousie University in Halifax in which they state that Karate lessons for those over 50 years old can greatly benefit your health.  Specifically, the aging process can be slowed significantly by practicing Karate because it is such great exercise.  Another thing to consider is that Karate training is specifically tailored to your own comfort zone.  You practice at your level and at your own pace.  Another great benefit.  And if that’s not enough to entice you, then just remember that it’s never too late to learn a new skill, make new friends or have fun!

See you at the Dojo,

Sensei Pennell.

Stress Happens – Manage It.

sakura-martial-arts-blackbelt-01We’ve all got things to worry about.  Whether it’s work, kids or bills, there is always something on our mind.  The key to avoiding a mental breakdown is to manage your stress properly.  My Karate instructor always said, “Acknowledge your stress – but don’t let it control you.”  Words to live by in my opinion.  So what exactly did he mean?  Well basically, if you don’t acknowledge your stress – you will be consumed by it.  One way we leveraged our Karate training to help us manage the stress in our lives is to practice specific types of meditation.  The only difference is that instead of trying to “clear your thoughts” during meditation (another way of saying don’t think about anything), a better approach is to acknowledge your stress.  Yes – this particular thing is stressing me out.  Don’t be afraid of admitting that something is stressing you.  A bit part of managing your stress is to admit that you are actually stressed.  Karate teaches us that only when we are completely honest with ourselves, can we then begin to plan a strategy to reduce our stress.  So – when we’re practicing meditation in the Dojo – don’t be afraid to explore this option.  Let your mind acknowledge the stress that you’re experiencing, and then move on from it.  Now that you’ve opened your mind to acknowledging your reality –  you can build a plan to tackle your stress.  This is just one of the many ways Karate training can improve your mental health.

Sensei Pennell.

Sensei Ota – May 31st & June 1st.


Eihachi Ota

Sensei Ota will be coming to train in Whitby on May 31st and June 1st.  This is a huge opportunity for me to learn the latest developments in our style, so that I may pass the insights on to all of you.  We will be working on everything from advanced Bo, sparring and advanced Kata.  I’m really excited to have this time with Sensei Ota, as he is the highest ranking Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu practitioner outside of Okinawa Japan!  This is truly an honor.

Stay tuned for more!

Sensei Pennell.


Where the tradition of Karate continues to grow.