Normally, someone new to Karate will attend one session per week in the beginning, as the student progresses this will obviously increase. I personally recommend training at least two sessions per week, as soon as possible, but once per week is ok for the first three to six months, after this, a minimum of two lessons per week is essential. There is so much to learn and practice, if after six months you are only training one session per week, not only will your progress be slow, you will also struggle to keep up with others in your class and because you will struggle there is a good chance you will become disillusioned and quit. In fact, I have never known anyone reach black belt from practicing one class per week.
These numbers obviously vary from person to person, we have members who go straight into unlimited training and members who only train one session per week but train regularly at home, everybody is different and everybody has different circumstances.
The important point to remember is that if you continue training one lesson per week, your progress in karate will be extremely slow, you will struggle to keep up with your fellow karate practitioners and ultimately, you WILL quit.
Over the years I have had people who try and train one karate lesson every other week, or even one lesson per month, in the end they either leave or come to me and say, ‘I’m sorry, I’m going to have to stop training’, there is always a string of excuses, but in 95% of cases the only true answer is, they’re not willing to dedicate and commit themselves to Karate, which is fine, it’s a free world and we ca not all be obsessed with Karate, nothing would get done!
But I absolutely cringe when they do turn up for training, I try not to let them hold the class up, but I must try and encourage and help them, so I do. I always come away from the class happy, happy because, by the end of the class, they seem to be getting it, whatever ‘it’ is at the time, ‘it’ may be a combination, a Kata sequence or just simply working on a particular technique, like reverse punch. Then you don’t see them for another month and BANG, we are back to square one!
Some of you reading this will be laughing, but the Sensei out there will be crying! Yep, they know what I am talking about and some of you potential Sensei will find out soon enough.
The guys that train very sporadically are always perplexed by the answer I give, when they tell me they are going to have to stop training, my answer is always, ‘good!’, I then explain why I am happy they are moving on.
Obviously, I want them to train but if they are only attending one of our karate classes every other week, or even less, then something really needs to change, because, they are wasting their time and my time.
Everyone at our Dojo is keen, they have great attitudes, it is very satisfying when you arrive at the karate Dojo and people are excited and looking forward to training. I believe it is down to the Sensei (teacher) and Sempai (seniors) to encourage everyone at the Dojo to do their best and train as often as they can.
Some people are genuinely disappointed when they realise how much work is needed to achieve a high level of expertise in Karate, there is one thing for sure in Karate, you absolutely get out, what you put in.
It does not really take a tremendous amount of dedication and commitment to progress in Karate, training two karate classes per week is enough for the majority of people. Once you get into a routine it is a lot easier. There are people who are hooked from the first day and who wish to take it to the next level and that is great to see, but the danger of this approach to training is Burn Out! But that is another article 🙂