What to expect when beginning Karate?
Karate, one of the more popular martial art, is practiced by hundreds of thousands of people through out the world, making it one of the easiest martial art to find a school for. Karate schools are located in just about every major city worldwide.
Karate is practiced in what is called a "Dojo," the Japanese term for training area. But can be practiced basically anywhere. Many excellent Karate practitioners trained in garages, basements, and backyards converted into Dojos.
As a new student begins to study Karate many frustrations will develop if the proper attitude is not applied. Not every student is going to walk into a Karate school and grasp everything that is taught to them. But before the student starts training they must find a good school. And then build up enough courage to actually walk through the door to inquire about the style of Karate and school.
Next the student must develop the "Can Do" attitude. The student must instill in their mind that they can accomplish and achieve whatever they set their mind to. Also, have a positive attitude about the experience of learning Karate.
Karate is defined as empty hand meaning it's a form of self defense making the body a martial weapon. But there are other benefits of Karate. Some of the most common are:
- Physical Fitness
- Gain Confidence
- Strengthen the Mind
- Gain Balance
- Learning Perseverance
- Is it for the sport?
- Is it going to be a hobby?
- Is it for self defense?
- Is it for Physical Fitness?
As the student steps onto the floor of the Karate school, there are several things they must know. Some schools prefer the traditional methods where bowing is required. This is the eastern method for showing respect towards a person. It is not worshipping the person you are bowing to. Ask the senior ranks the rules for bowing and how to bow. They will be very helpful in this area.
No matter what you do give the utmost respect to the instructor and senior ranks. You could be spending a lot of time with these individuals. Plus they will be more willing to help you, when you display respect and gratitude.
When talked to or asked a question by the instructor answer with "yes" and "no." Most schools require you address the instructor as "Sensei" while senior ranks addressed as Mr. and Mrs. Sensei is a Japanese term for teacher or one who came before.
What you actually do in Karate class depends on the school and instructor. For the most part classes will about one hour in length with warm-up exercises at the beginning of the class. In your very first class you should learn a few basic techniques to get you acclimated to Karate. The basic techniques you should learn is the basic punch and one or two basic blocking techniques. Some schools may even teach the basic front kick. Generally, kicking is reserved for later classes. Pay attention in class, you can learn a lot by watching other practitioners.
Guaranteed, a couple of days after this first class you will have sore muscles. You are using muscles in a way never used before. One thing about this is to persevere. Continue on and the soreness will disappear. Develop the discipline to go to class. Many times you will not want to go to class because of fatigue. This is where discipline comes into play. Use the "Can Do" attitude and force yourself to go.
The first six months continue going to class three days a week. After the first six months you can increase or decrease to whatever workout regiment you like. By this time you should have enough knowledge about Karate to practice on your own.