If you are learning karate at home, or practice karate at home, alongside your regular dojo practice, having a good training routine is a must.
Now I am older, I tend to train mainly at the dojo, but here are a few tips that helped me tremendously when training at home.
1. A good warm up and stretch! I used to do a three mile run, then immediately onto an exercycle for 5 miles, the first seven tenths of each mile, I would push fast, then the last three tenths of each mile, I would sprint. I would repeat this for four miles, then sprint the last mile. A great warm up and on it’s own an excellent work out.
I would then stretch for twenty minutes, sometimes longer. I would hold each stretch for at least thirty seconds, which is not very long, but after a warm up like that, it was more than enough to give a really good stretch. If you are not very flexible, try holding for longer, but do not try to hard, or you will end up fighting your own body!
You may do a completely different warm up, today, I simply do a slow two or three mile jog as my warm up. You may like to swim, walk or other form of exercise, just make sure you enjoy the warm up and always start slowly.
eg. 20 slow kizamizuki (jabbing punch)
20 fast kizamizuki
20 slow gyakuzuki (reverse punch)
20 fast gyakuzuki
I would do this for many karate techniques and I would practice them on and off a punch bag. Sometimes I would do fewer karate moves, but practice many more reps and other times I would do many different moves, but lower reps. Once I finished a set, I would cross them off my training list.
3. I used to train in my parents attic, it was very lonely, very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. My training at home, would start at 7pm and finish at about 11pm (ish), sometimes I would still be there after midnight (I must have been nuts!). Every night I wasn’t at the dojo, I was in ‘the loft’.
I look back and although I used to train for 4+ hours, If you really condensed the training down, it was more like 2 hours solid training.
Now, you may laugh at this, but I would often find myself talking and mumbling incoherently to myself. I believe the one thing that stopped me going completely crazy, was music! If you are learning karate at home, put some of your favourite music on, especially when you are really going for it.
But the most important tip I can give you, is please, enjoy your karate training, life is short!
Great care should be taken when practicing karate moves, if practiced incorrectly they may cause injury, so please find a qualified karate instructor and sign up for their karate classes. If there is no karate dojo you can attend, go check out our karate home study course