Many people take karate classes for the practical self-defence knowledge a skilled instructor can impart. Many are also interested in the mental and physical discipline they hope to gain from immersing themselves in this most well-known of the martial arts. While still others are fascinated by the ancient and honourable traditions and rituals surrounding historic modes of combat and wish to know more. Whatever the reason you have decided to sign up for karate lessons you’ll want to get the most you possibly can out of the experience.
Walking the Whole Path – Getting the Most From Your Karate Lessons
The following are our top five tips for making the most of your experience at the dojo.
- Be Patient – Research has revealed that the #1 reason adults drop out of karate, kickboxing or any other martial arts classes is because they feel they’re not learning enough, fast enough. They want to be a black belt by dinner time. But learning karate is not an event, it’s a process and like any martial art, karate requires patience. Without it there would be no karate masters. So take a deep breath, relax and enjoy.
- Check Your Ego – True masters of the martial arts are those who have cultivated their spiritual as well as physical side. There is no room for gaudy displays of bravado or bruised egos in karate training. If you succeed it’s because you have a good teacher. If you make a mistake it’s because you’re like everyone else; human. Learn from it and move on.
- Turn Off Your Phone – Better yet, leave it in the locker. Distractions are a major reason people find themselves unable to grasp the concepts being transmitted by the instructor. If you’re talking on the phone or texting your mind will not be available to digest the principles being taught. Karate lessons are not the same as a basic gym workout. With karate, kickboxing or any other martial art you need to be both physically and mentally available.
- Cultivate Discipline – Mastering any art form or craft requires discipline, which amounts to a commitment to learning the rules and techniques of a system. Discipline is also about acceptance: accepting your role as the student, accepting that progress takes time.
- Leave Your Worries Behind – Be only where you are: in front of the instructor, with your fellow beginners, in the dojo on whatever day it is. By leaving the personal and professional concerns of the outside world at the door, you’ll be open to the people around you and the lessons being conveyed.
If it seems like most of these tips entail some form of letting go, it’s because they do. As Lao Tzu once said: “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Letting go of expectations, embracing the process, being present in the dojo for the lesson at hand and avoiding distractions will allow you to make the most of your karate lessons and enjoy the experience in all its wonder.
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