Karate - Andreas Aleman
My name is Andreas Aleman, I teach karate training for the SPR. In daily life I work as a professor at RuG and UMCG. I started karate when I was thirteen. Since 2007 I practice the original shorin-ryu karate style, from Okinawa (Japan), the birth place of karate. I regularly train with the Grandmasters from Okinawa and also with European teachers from our international association. What appeals to me about karate is that it is a great work-out that is also effective as self-defense. There is also an aesthetic component: the mastering of body and mind in a well-executed kata (fixed pattern of techniques) has a certain beauty.
What do you do in karate?
In a karate classes, techniques are taught and trained after a warm-up. The techniques can be divided into defense and attack techniques and can be performed with the hands (blocks, punches and blows) or with the feet (various kicks). Practical applications are practiced in pairs - karate is ideal for effective self-defense. An important aspect of traditional karate is performing katas: fixed patterns of technique combinations. These are performed with the utmost concentration. Because of this karate is also a training in mindfulness (being very aware of sensations in the here and now). An hour of karate training is a great workout for the whole body: you not only use arms and legs, but other aspects are also trained, such as balance, an upright posture and turning the hips (necessary for good technique). Karate training is not physically demanding, rather moderately intensive, but you will sweat and you will work on your condition.