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Taking karate can physically, mentally and spiritually improve anyone's life. Whether you are looking for a way to get in shape, a good workout, or to learn self defense and martial arts, karate can be the answer.

The first step is to find a good martial arts school, also called a dojo. Classes can be as small as 5 or 6 people to as large as 25-30 people. There are usually all different levels in once class, from beginner to black belt.

Make sure you find a school that offers the kind of class you want. Some key points to look into are for are convenience, instructors and style. If a school has many classes per week, you will have more opportunity to participate. If will also motivate you to go if you can find classes that fit in with your life and your schedule.

The instructors can make the class great or horrible. Of course they should be trained in the style of karate they are teaching and they should be patient and helpful.

Each school has it's own way of doing things, their own routines, self defense moves and katas (a choreographed set of moves) When you first take a karate class, you feel a little lost. You don't know the moves, the routine of the class, or the people. But over time, you start to learn. It's unconscious in way. One day, you just realize that you are getting better, that you feel more comfortable.

In karate, you always have a partner to practice self defense moves with. Most times, it is someone at your own level. Occasionally, you might wind up with someone more or less advanced. Both of these situations are a good experience because you are either learning from someone or helping someone to learn what you know.

The environment is usually a very supportive one. Whenever someone moves up to a new leveland gets a new belt, the whole class is thrilled for them and eager to congratulate. It's not about competition but encouraging each other to be the best you can be.

As time went on, you will feel more self assured and knowing how to defend yourself gives you a sense of confidence in your everyday life.

You can also get into great shape. You will begin to look and feel healthier. When you take karate, you never need to go to a gym to work out. Every part of your body, every muscle is worked during your class. It feels pretty amazing to look in the mirror and see muscles and toning where there wasn't ever before.

Taking karate is also great for your mind. To take a karate class is something you can't do half heartedly. You simply can't help but to get absorbed in what you are doing. People find that they have a increased sense of peace and calm after a class. This is because while you are working out physically, your mind is very concentrated on what you're doing and you can let go of the daily stresses.

Being a karate student requires dedication. However, that dedication is rewarded with better health, increased confindence and the ability to defend yourself even though you will hopefully never have to. Try it...I know you'll love it!