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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Friday, June 14, 2024
The Echo

Character development and Christian values in Karate-Do

Chrishauna Curry | Echo

Professor of Kinesiology Dawn Anderson has been working at Taylor for three years. Her intent as an undergraduate student was to become a high school math teacher, but she is now a karate sensei.

Anderson has been teaching karate to both youth and adults since 2008. Anderson has been practicing karate for 15 years and is currently a third degree black belt.

Anderson received her PhD at Ball State University in Human Bioenergetics and is currently the Indiana Director and Head Instructor of Karate-Do Genbu-Kai of Indiana.

She was introduced to karate by her daughter. At face value, Anderson did not think karate practice was consistent with the values they wanted to teach her. She was completely against any sort of striking of a human being.

"Our opinion naively was that karate was violent," Anderson said.

After eventually allowing her daughter to join a Karate-Do class, Anderson said that the practice was not at all what she thought it would be. Karate-Do focuses on the physical components of training, but there is an equal emphasis on something called 'Do' (way of life) which is a teaching of character development. 'Do' is described as the teaching of finding your inner self and become a better person.

The 'Do' sentiments include being humble, kind and helpful towards one another. "Do" teachings were the reason that Anderson found her daughter becoming more considerate of her family and those around her. Anderson claims that many teachings of Karate-Do coincide with Christian values.

"It was much more about developing the whole person and giving people confidence," Anderson said.

Soon both of Anderson's daughters began to practice karate which lead to her observing adult karate classes. After becoming more involved in karate, Anderson said that she realized how much of positive learning experience karate can be.

Anderson has learned a lot through karate-do.

Anderson also thought that karate was necessary for self-protection. Karate gave her more security in times where she felt less safe. Along with feeling more secure in her self-protection, her self-confidence grew.

"It was helping me to be more comfortable in my skin," Anderson said.

Anderson mentions that she enjoys teaching the 'Introduction to Karate' class, and she encourages other students to experience it.

According to Anderson, karate helps students with coordination and balance, but the character development helps them to gain confidence, be vulnerable and reach out to others for help. In the introductory karate class, students realize that they are all gifted by God in different ways.

"It is fun and exciting, it's wonderful to share that," Anderson said.