5 Actionable Tips to Becoming a Better Karateka
Start the new year with simple actionable resolutions for your Karate training:
EASY – Think about the most difficult aspect of your training and then break it down into smaller techniques or drills. REMEMBER,one must never climb a mountain without experiencing what it’s like to climb a smaller object…For example, if you are struggling with a particular Kata or Kumite drill then focus just on the EASY aspects of the Kata or drill. Often, we struggle with difficult tasks that are only partly difficult, subsequently, our vision is clouded and we do not see the EASY or SIMPLE aspects of the task.
JOY – REMEMBER; this is the one thing that will always motivate us in life. If you are not enjoying something then talk to someone. You must find your most favourite thing in Karate, it could be anything. This is your starting point. Dig deeper into your favourite activity and then find ways to come out of your comfort zone so that you are pushing yourself. Do not be afraid to be playful with your favourite activity and ask for feedback from fellow Karateka and Instructors.
JOY in your Karate will stop it from becoming stagnated and dull!
CHALLENGE – Sometimes we all have to do things in life that we dislike… it’s the one thing we are good at avoiding! Karate has similar parallels, for example, some students do not like to do too much Kumite or Kata and others dislike stamina training or reading about theory of Karate. The list goes on until the “do not like” list out-grows the “like” list… I think we know how this story ends!
Karate may be the hardest thing you may ever do but it will be the most rewarding in the end. Perhaps you don’t like it because you think you are not very skilled or you find it stressful and boring. This is when you must CHALLENGE yourself. Think back to the time when you first learnt something that was a struggle to begin with, like riding a bike. How did you overcome your obstacles of fear and doubt; by CHALLENGING yourself to do it!
REMEMBER, always search for the FUN in something that has simply felt like hard work. Perhaps, share the burden with a friend or pair the activity with something that really excites you and is unrelated. Attend extra classes or just speak to one of the Instructors and ask if they have had similar experiences. Never stop CHALLENGING yourself even if it means following a different path!
DREAM – Why did you first start training in Karate? If it was to try it out or because your parents wanted you to learn then what makes you come back to the lesson every week. What is your highest goal or DREAM in Karate? (it can be anything!). You must ask yourself this question if you are doing anything in your life that is a difficult journey. This could be a course or subject, it could be anything. Now write it down so that it is no longer a burden on your mind. This is the first step to making your dream a reality.
REMEMBER; in Karate we strive to achieve the unattainable and the most difficult. This is the way of Budo!
CHANGE – This is the one thing that we always avoid doing. Why change something if it works or why change something if its easy… the list of excuses to not change go on!
In Karate, we must constantly strive to transform our attitudes towards our training so that knowledge can breathe. For example, if you have bad habits in your training that your would like to improve. Set yourself the challenge to CHANGE these habits and they can be very small things.
Below are a list of basics steps to help you kick-start the change in your training:
- Write down the one thing you would like to change in your Karate training.
- Now write how you think this can be easily achieved in 3 simple steps.
- Discuss with a friend or Instructor.
- When would you like to start this change in your training? (write the date and time so it becomes real).
Good luck and REMEMBER to practice your KaraTe for the sake of your KaraTe… nothing else matters!
“Karate-do is definitely a Martial Way, and its identity lies in Dō or principles. Any Martial Art without proper training of the mind turns into beastly behaviour.”
– Shoshin Nagamine