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Karate: It's a Family Affair

Karate can be practiced by anyone from approximately 4 years old to approximately 100 years old. That being so, Karate is an activity that can be practiced by the entire family. Occasionally, a child or children in the family begin training, followed by one or both of the child's parents becoming interested in Karate. The reverse can also be true. A parent may be training in Karate and the child or children will become interested in training. Or in some cases, the entire family will begin training together. Whether they train in the same class or not will depend on the age of the child or children.

Children belong in the children's classes for safety reasons and other reasons such as to be training with their peers, as well as for cognitive reasons. The pace of the adult class may also be above the cognitive and physical abilities of the children. Another reason that children and parents who begin training should train in separate classes is so that the children are not possibly distracted by the training of their parents and also so that the parents are not distracted by how their children are training in the class. However, as the child or children grow older they will be training in the adult class with their parents. This is especially bonding, in that the parents and their children are experiencing the exact same training at the moment. In large training events such as training camps, adults and children will train together in most cases.

This all being said, Karate is a wonderful activity for the entire family. It is not uncommon for all members of the family to continue training as both the children and the parents grow older and advance in experience and rank. Another wonderful thing about the entire family, or at least more than one member of the family, training is that they can help and encourage each other. Indeed, there are occasionally examples of an entire family of Black Belts. LKA and JKA/AF have a few of these.

And family members have in a few instances have carried on the legacy of the founder of a style of Karate and/or a Karate organization and even in other martial arts. One example of this is Wado Ryu founder Hironori Ohtsuka's son and grandson, (Hironori Ohtsuka II) and Hironori III being the successor to their fathers respectively. Another example is Shito-Ryu Karate founder Kenwa Mabuni, who's sons Kenei and Kenzo became his successors. Later, Tsukasa, the daughter of Kenzo, would be his successor. The son of Shotokan founder (although he never called it, "Shotokan"), Yoshitaka (also known as Gigo) developed Shotokan even further than that of his father with his father's approval. Had Yoshitaka lived past his father, there is little doubt that he would have been his father's successor. More recent example are that of Shotokan Karate International Federation founder Hirokazu Kanazawa, who's son Nobuaki becoming his father's successor and that of International Shotokan Karate Federation founder Teruyuki Okazaki, who's nephew Hiroyoshi becoming his uncle's successor.

In another martial art, the founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba was succeeded by his son Kisshimaru, who was succeeded by his son Moriteru, who's son Mitsuteru is expected to succeed his father as Doshu, meaning "Master of the Way" and also meaning "Keeper of the Way."

No matter where or how many in the family, Karate is for many a family affair!

LKA's family discount: 10% off each additional family member.


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