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Getting Better Requires Regular Training

As a Karate instructor (ever since I was about 17), this is an observation I have made: those students who train regularly get better and those who do not, generally do not.

Students who train regularly, even if they are not that athletic, become familiar with the basics, techniques and kata. Once they are familiar with these, they can move without thinking about all the details -- and they will improve.

However, students who do not train regularly will always be trying to remember what comes next, where to turn, when to kiai, etc. Instead of just moving they will be thinking. Sometimes a student will never get beyond this point, even if he trains for many years. I have actually seen black belts who always have this look on their face of "what comes next?" They are just barely able to perform a kata.

If you are a parent of a child in Karate, please make sure that he attends class as regularly as possible. This is the only way your child will improve. Otherwise, he or she will always be playing catch up and will feel frustrated. Of course, school and family obligations must come first, and students who are ill should stay home. But as much as possible, students should attend class regularly, year round.

I feel that I can teach just about anyone Karate -- if he will attend class regularly, pay attention, try hard, and practice at home. I could not even teach an Olympic athlete Karate if he would not do these things (of course, an Olympic athlete would be disciplined enough to train successfully). It is not just about being in shape and coordinated. Improvement in Karate requires familiarity with the curriculum and ingraining this into the body so that the movements become instinctive and reflexive.

Next year will be here very soon. This is a good time to dedicate yourself to serious Karate training in 2011 (and for the rest of your life)!


Charles C. Goodin