Bolton School Girls’ Division Newspaper


DofE Choices: Why Do Karate?

With the Duke of Edinburgh Awards coming up, many Year 9s are considering their choices for the Physical, Skills and Volunteering sections. Although some students will have some difficult decisions to make, they should remember this is a great opportunity to enjoy new experiences, improve social skills and to have fun!

It is also, of course, a great chance for those who are interested to learn karate, here at school.

Following the taster sessions in Year 8, I saw karate was a great form of self-defense, and an excellent new skill to have, which led to me signing up to it readily in Year 9. We were told that karate would be suitable for DofE as it fulfills the requirement of 1 hour a week, taking the whole of lunchtime in the Sutcliffe Studio. You can either use it for the Physical section or the Skills section, depending on if this is the first time you do karate or not. Mrs. Porter took pictures of us as we were practising, using them to document our progress for the award. It has been a great experience for me and my friends.


At Karate Club we learn how to kick, punch and defend under the guidance of the very friendly sensei, practising different moves with our friends. We also learned the kata: a sequence of fight movements put together, so you can protect and retaliate if need be when the time comes.

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Why do karate?

· Improve physical strength and flexibility

· Learn how to protect yourself

· Experience hard work and consistency

· Understand self-discipline

· Understand respect and values of honour

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· Learn about Japanese culture

· Have a positive mood

· Improve memory and boost confidence

· Socialise with friends

“I think karate has lots and lots of benefits. It’s a martial art, so it teaches you good self-defense skills,” says Mrs Porter, who  who also has a great deal of experience in karate. “It also teaches you discipline and respect for other people because you are not just learning how to kick and to punch, you’ve got to learn your dedication, your self-control, your etiquette; so I think it’s very, very good for that. And it’s good for fitness and it’s good fun!”

When we asked why karate would be a good physical skill to learn for DofE, she said, “It’s a very, very physical activity: you obviously do a warm up at the beginning; you do lots of kicking; you do lots of punching, so you have to be physically strong. You’ve got to have endurance to do those things.” She also spoke of katas, of which we are just learning the first at the moment. “By the time you get to black belt, you have probably learnt something like 12 katas, or up to 14 of them, and when, you do all of those in one stretch, it’s very physical demanding. And sparring is also very physically demanding as well.”

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Overall, I recommend karate as a great form of self-defence.  Doing it in school is also a useful break from lessons. It can boost your confidence as well as keeping you fit. If you learn the basics of karate, you would be able to defend yourself fully from outside dangers, and make the most of your DofE.

By Lily Ma

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