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!
We’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.
Pennell’s Dojo is rooted in hundreds of years of Okinawan martial arts history. The specific ‘style’ of Okinawan Karate that we study is known as Matsubayashi Ryu. Matsubayashi is one of three styles of Shorin Ryu Karate, which originally found its way to Japan from China. The word “Matsu bayashi” is the Okinawan pronunciation for the Characters “Pine” and “Forest”. The term is meant to suggest the natural movement of the style in terms of our techniques. The two Japanese characters (in red) are the Japanese ideograms for the term “Pine Forest”. The upper character being “Pine” and the lower character being “Forest”. The image of the tree further supports the fundamental believe in the body (and minds) powerful abilities that can be found in our most natural state. The yellow border is similar to the border found on the emblem representing the Shorin-Ryu organization, there-by paying respect to Shorin-Ryu as the fundamental style of Pennell’s Dojo.