Polls show that people have the misconception that karate lengthens one's life, when in fact the data shows the opposite (via analysis of over one hundred 8th dans in the East & West). If we notice a truth in the data in art that seeks enlightenment, be it good or bad, it should be discussed & hopefully the results will lead to better outcomes for elite karate-ka in the decades to come. We examine the central topic of longevity & karate by using instructor lifespan data, a review of medical diagnostics & research, longevity research encompassing sports physiology, karate psychology and behaviour patterns which has shown to be tied to longevity. We also discuss some interesting statements on the topic by passed masters such as Itosu of the 1800s, Shito-ryu's Mabuni, Asai of Shotokan who openly stated health may not go hand-in-hand with budo. Despite the fact that karate provides many upsides for its practitioners, why does it appear to reduce lifespan & what can be done about it?
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