Ever consider taking karate? You should! Here are my top 10 reasons why karate kicks ass, in no particular order.

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#1: It’ll give you street cred.

Karate is cool. You get to do kata and play with weapons. You get to yell really loudly. You get to be barefoot, and count in Japanese. Karate is kinda useless in a street fight, but still. It’s pretty cool.

#2: It’ll make you look hot.

No, really. Have you seen my abs?

But seriously, if you want to improve your fitness level, karate will do it. Karate is difficult, and practising karate will improve your stamina and your explosive power, and build all sorts of nice, strong muscles.

#3: You get to punch and kick people.

Punching and kicking people is fun. You should try it sometime. All jokes aside, I love that karate gives me an outlet for my aggression. That’s probably one of the main reasons why I love it so much.

#4: You get to wear pajamas.

Baggy pjs. Need I say more? You get to bounce around and do cool stuff in a cool looking gi. How much fun is that? Seriously, karate is really fun. You should try it sometime.

#5: Karate people are weirdos.

Hey, I know this doesn’t sound like a very compelling reason to try karate, but hear me out. Karate peeps are amazing. A bunch of freaks and nerds and super intense, amazingly kind, wonderful, salt-of-the-earth people. These are my people. I love them to pieces. Creating an amazing social network, with people who get you… what could be better than that? If you want to surround yourself with people who will respect you and push you and have your back, karate is the way to go.

#6: It cultivates self-discipline.

As I said, karate is difficult. You need to develop body awareness; you need to control your body; you need to control your emotions. You need to be willing to work your ass off, stay super focused, and be committed to your goals. Self-control, clear focus, good work habits, and self-awareness are all key to improving at karate.

#7: Karate pushes you out of your comfort zone.

And that’s where growth happens. If you always take the easy path, you will never get better at anything. You need to be willing to move out of your comfort zone to grow. And karate provides that challenge, through tournaments, belt tests, and performing in front of other students. It keeps you on that edge, constantly. And when you’re there, amazing things can happen.

#8: Karate cultivates humility and patience.

When you start karate, you’re a white belt. You’re at the bottom. Get used to it. And no matter how far up in rank you move, there will always be someone better than you, faster than you, stronger than you. That built-in hierarchy helps you learn your place, and cultivate a beginner’s mindset. Which, as with #7 above, will help you grow. Be okay with making mistakes, because you will make a lot of them. Karate encourages you to get over yourself, and not be an arrogant pr*ck. Try it.

#9: Karate is a meditative activity.

When I practise karate, all of that stuff floating around in my head, demanding my attention—well, none of it disappears, exactly. But in practising karate, I become super focused. Karate is difficult—and fun—and I get caught up in focusing on details and in enjoying that process. So all the other stuff falls away a bit. It helps me develop a calm focus, and puts everything else in perspective.

#10: Karate develops grit.

You get punched in the face. Kicked in the stomach. Bruised and battered in the ring. You move up in rank after years of hard work, sweat, pain, and sometimes tears. You build up a tolerance to physical pain, as well as emotional pain. Karate makes you tough. It makes you resilient. And I think this is possibly my top reason for doing it.

So there you have it. 10 reasons why you should try karate today. So do it. What are you waiting for?

Do you practise martial arts? What are your top reasons for doing so? I’d love to hear your comments below!