I can say it straight away: our body is not more important than our personality in Karate! Muscles or neurons, strength or motivation, endurance or perseverance… the body and personality of the karateka always go hand in hand.
And yes, personality is a bit like engine oil. Besides, I pretty much know my own personality, but then ... what is yours? are you tenacious? combative? creative? or rather cautious? (or grumpy? 😉) Well, let's find it together… I will rely on a scientific article on this subject and directly related to Karate, which I found very interesting .
Engine ! And what makes it work…
Your engine is your body. By that I mean that we received certain characteristics at birth that we cannot modify, like our size. On the other hand, we can modify certain other characteristics of our body! Like muscle mass or agility. We can improve them  for perfect our Karate.
You'll tell me, it's all physical, and you talk about personality in the title. Right, we are coming to that point. Personality is sort of the " engine features". That would answer the question: What makes this body move more or less well?
Karate is a sport with high energy expenditure, and with high nervous concentration. That means he asks power and focus at a time. To keep it all together, there are three main factors:
- intelligence : how you perceive your own body (and that of your opponent if you are in combat), if you reproduce well the gestures you have learned etc.
- motivation : this is the energy that we put into our practice. If we go all out, or if we wait for it to happen! 😉
- affectivity : these are our emotions during practice. If we are afraid of contact, if we feel comfortable in the dojo, or simply if we are happy to practice (which has real effects on our level…)
I wonder, more precisely, what are the personality traits really useful in Karate ... Those that the great masters or the high level athletes (even if they can practice very differently). Let’s see!
The mental qualities of karateka
I am not surprised by the mental qualities put forward in this scientific article. In this case, it highlights the essential mental qualities of the best fighters (Kumite):
- Fighting spirit
- Practical intelligence
- Self control
- Spirit of sacrifice
- Fighting spirit
Kumite or not kumite, athlete or not athlete…
As I told you, the above mental qualities apply to Kumite, certainly. Those applied to Kata would probably take more account attention and focus. But to sum up, everything is in the behavior.
What do you mean by "behavior"? What I mean by that is that you should have the weapons to act with discipline by being context sensitive. A "successful" behavior in a karateka will include its “Capacity for expression, the desire to assert oneself, one's effort and commitment, as well as the demands and pressure of the social environment.«
This consists of adapting one's behavior in relation to his own personality. Everyone has to find their way. This is why I do not give practical advice. They would be different for each karateka.
Know all the same that according to this study, the key attitudes to be really in Kumite are the desire to domination that supremacy and aggressiveness. For the rest in Karate, we are more in the desire for sacrifice and desire to improve.
I must also add simply that by working to adapt our behavior, we can better settle in the 4 performance factors :
- Abilities (the technique)
- Attitudes (preferences, motivation, predispositions etc.)
- Training (attitude to training is half the training itself)
- Atmosphere (whether the context destabilizes you in your practice or not)
Let's wrap it all up…
For all those who are not top athletes, that is to say practically everyone and myself included, I would say that it is interesting to understand our personality. We all practice Karate differently, and it's a way of understanding why your own Karate and what it is.
If you prefer Kumite to Kata, or if on the contrary you prefer to practice almost only Kata etc. it always says a lot about your temperament, your personality. Knowing it therefore allows to adapt it !
Okay, I have to say that Karate is an individual sport, and each one has their own personality, but there are mental qualities specific to all the greatest fighters for example, such as combativeness.
If we want to improve, we can therefore adapt our way ofexpress our personality. For example, I can work on the famous spirit of sacrifice if I want to improve in Kumite, or work on focused attention for Kata. We can perfect our mental qualities specific to each practice.
Okay now, I think you know what you have to do. You have to work on the attitude, as much as the body!
Well, I hope you liked this article on the personality of karateka.
Leave us a comment to give us your opinion on your own personality.
I wish you all very good training, and see you soon on the blog! 🙂
See you soon,
Alexandre (and Bruno :-D)
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