10 Karate Shotokan Training Tips
Improve your martial arts skills with these 10 karate Shotokan training tips. Shotokan can trace its roots back to the austere discipline, spiritually-charged principles, and rigorous physical training of the early Zen Buddhists of China. At the turn of the 20th century it was Gichin Funakoshi who learned and then taught a synthesized version of the many styles of Okinawan karate to mainland Japan. He is the founder and original teacher of Shotokan karate. Excelling in this style of martial arts, which integrates efficiency of movement, discipline, and a philosophy of non-violence, takes practice, patience, and determination. Learn how to make the most out of your training with these Shotokan tips.
- Make a commitment. Karate training, particularly a traditional style such as Shotokan, is not only a form of physical exercise but a way of life. Try to make as many available classes as you have time for to get the most out of your experience, to quickly learn the movements, and to accustom your body to the unique physical demands of martial arts training.
- Arrive early to classes. This is one of the most important karate training tips, but one that many people may overlook. Arriving early not only provides you the time to stretch, warm-up, and prepare yourself before each class, it also is a statement to your teacher and yourself of your commitment and respect to the art.
- Take care of your body. Responsibility and respect are two core values of Shotokan karate training. These principles are not only important in the dojo, but also outside of the dojo. Be responsible for your mental and physical well-being and respect your body. These tips will make your martial arts experience much more meaningful.
- Practice at home. Reinforce what you learn in the dojo by practicing katas and movements at home by yourself. Set a time each day, or even twice a week, to spend thirty minutes training on your own.
- Cross-train. Yes, one of the training tips for Shotokan karate is to do other physical activities. Running, biking, and swimming are valuable for increasing endurance, but even playing sports regularly and weight-training will increase strength, flexibility, and endurance.
- Learn from the others. Respect not only your master, but other members of your dojo. Listen to those who have more experience and training then you, and even appreciate the lessons of those who are new to Shotokan.
- Have a fresh mind. To make the most out of each class, come with a fresh mind. Do not train with expectations and preconceptions, but rather be open to each new learning experience with a fresh mind.
- Attend the extras. Go to all of the seminars, demonstrations, training camps, and tournaments that you may have the opportunity to attend. Each experience will enrich your karate Shotokan training.
- Educate yourself. Learn about the history and background of karate. From the monks of India to the masters of Japan there is a rich history to explore and to be inspired by.
- Respect the art. Of all the Shotokan training tips, this one is perhaps the most important of all. There is no need to show-off, to be aggressive, or to abuse. Have respect for what you are learning, and in turn for yourself.