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Martial Arts vs. Soccer

What is the difference between Karate (Martial Arts) and Soccer or other sports?

As a Martial Arts Instructor, I feel that I have my system compared to team sports, especially soccer, all of the time.  On the surface it appears as if they have many similarities, but I am here to tell you that nothing could be farther from the truth.  This actually gets under my skin a little when my system is compared to a team sport such as soccer, football, baseball, basketball or any other related sport.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I ask you to think about what the long-term benefits of soccer and team sports are?  Of course you can come up with several short term benefits: teamwork, some coordination, camaraderie, confidence, exercise…  You may be able to think of others as well.  But what about self-defense and self-protection?  What about leadership?  Your kid might be lucky enough to become the team captain, but what about the other students?  Does soccer offer a leadership program?  What about awareness, discipline, respect, wholesome values, success skills, and greater academic achievement?  Will soccer open your child to the exalting power of values?

Are you starting to see why I get a little bit irritated when a parent tells me that his or her child does not need the Martial Arts because the child already does team sports?  I am 100% okay with parents choosing not to enroll their children in Karate.  It’s the comparison that proves to me that the parent does not understand the long-term benefits that the Martial Arts will provide for their child.

A quick side-note: We do not teach Karate at Champion Martial Arts, but as I stated in my Karate vs. Jujitsu and Karate vs. Ninjitsu post (a must read), all types of Martial Arts have common characteristics.  Plus, when you are talking to people about the Martial Arts, what does the average person call it?  Karate.  This is because of the popularization of the system in the 80’s with the “Karate Kid” movies.

Moving on, I would like to discuss the benefits of team sports such as soccer.

Soccer, as I mentioned before has many short term benefits.  It can bring together diverse groups of people in order for them to work together as a team.  It takes skill and coordination of the feet.  Players must follow rules and work towards one common goal in order to win.  Parents can get involved and help their children strive to do better and be better.  Winning and losing is part of the game.  This build growth and character.  Soccer is great exercise.

There are many negatives to soccer as well as positives.

Soccer is not a complete sport.  The use of the hands is a bad thing, which could be detrimental to the growth and total body coordination of your children.  Many times parents can get too involved and push their kids beyond a safe limit.  The long term benefits are, for the most part, few and far between.

What about Karate?  What are the long-term benefits of Karate?

The Martial Arts focus on building a total person: mind, body and spirit. Not spirit as in religion, but spirit as in your inner strength.  The person that you can be.  The person that you have yet to become, but with persistence will become.  Leadership, cooperation, and a desire to help others are extremely important parts.  Self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth are engrained in your child from day oneRespect and discipline are obtained from even the most difficult students.  This list doesn’t even include the physical benefits of Karate and the Martial Arts.  It doesn’t include all of the incredible self-defense and self-protection aspects either.

Again, can you see why I do not appreciate having my system compared to team sports such as soccer?

Please post your comments and let me know whether you agree or disagree with me.  I encourage open debate and I will clarify any points you are interested in.

Sensei Ryan
Champion Martial Arts II
Reno, Nevada

4 Responses to “Martial Arts vs. Soccer”

  1. Eddie Robertson says:

    Hey Ryan,

    I have one thing to say in defense of soccer having played it for many years when I was a kid. It may not be a “complete” sport as you posit, but I believe it’s value is the focus on feet-eye coordination which is pretty much absent in just about any other sport one could think of; however, one could spend all one’s free time playing as well-rounded and “complete” a combination of sports as is possible and still not come close to the “completeness” of Caryjutsu Ryu martial science. If kids really love playing their sports, there’s nothing wrong with that. Studying the right kind of martial arts will be of great benefit to any activity. That’s the beauty of this ideal form of physical activity. It’s beneficial to EVERY department of life. The life-changing effects of long-term study of the right art is superior are far superior to the benefits garnered by the professional athlete. We all have to consider what matters most in life. As busy as our lives are these days, it’s important to weigh the returns on the investment of time and energy in any endeavour, and one can hardly do better than Caryjutsu Ryu. The people of the Reno/Sparks/Tahoe area don’t know how good they have it having Caryjutsu Ryu in their area!

  2. Eddie Robertson says:

    Sorry about the typos. I meant to say that Caryjutsu Ryu is superior even to the life of a ridiculously well-paid professional athlete which could be considered the pinnacle of sports achievement; in other words, sports pale in comparison to what Caryjutsu has to offer. One needn’t take that for granted. Parents should train and see for themselves how great it is!

  3. admin says:

    Thanks Eddie! I do believe that what we teach will amaze skeptical parents.

    I also agree with you about the feet-eye coordination aspect of soccer. Like I said, there are other benefits and this might be one that will help a child with his development in the future.

    btw…Professor spells it Cary-Jitsu-Ryu in case he ever asks you. 🙂

  4. Eddie Robertson says:

    Good to know Ryan. I wondered about that. Thanks.

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