Practicing at home is a great way of improving your Karate and progressing through the rankings and achieving a higher belt.
Before a grading exam, many Sensei will advise that you should practice at home and many wonder how they can properly practice at home.
The answer is yes! It is possible to properly practice Karate at home. Here we have put together a guide that will help you to practice your Karate at home in a beneficial way.
Guide To Practicing Karate At Home
Here is our six-step guide to practicing Karate at home. It can be useful to have a mirror so that you can check your form and technique as you practice but this is not necessary.
Cardio And Strength Training
Cardio training is a way of benefiting not only your Karate but also your overall health. It can be as basic as you want, from simply running on the spot to performing burpees or skipping.
Strength training again can be adapted to suit your needs and can be done using weights or your body weight.
The aim is not to get a six-pack but more so to focus on strength and stamina, something which will benefit your Karate.
We recommend starting with cardio and strength training to warm up the body but if you are short on time you can do this separately and begin your practice sessions with a light jog on the spot.
This will still be effective in warming up the body before moving on to stretches.
How long you should take depends on what type of cardio and strength training you are doing.
At the very least aim for five to ten minutes for this section of your practice session.
Flexibility is very helpful in Karate as it can enable you to reach further with your strikes and also help you to kick with more ease.
Stretching will help loosen out any aches or pains you may have while also stretching the muscles to make them stronger and more flexible.
Being more flexible will also enable your body to move more fluidly which can help improve your speed also.
When stretching in certain positions your balance and stability will also be challenged which again are very useful in Karate.
We recommend taking at least five to fifteen minutes to stretch and ensure you stretch every part of the body and don’t just focus on the legs or the arms.
It can be worthwhile noting the stretches you usually do in class so you can also do them when practicing at home.
The basics should never be forgotten about and so practicing basic stances, strikes, kicks, and blocks is a great way of maintaining proper technique.
Practice each move slowly, focusing on technique and checking your form in a mirror.
Once your form and technique are correct, begin to repeat each basic move quicker to help build up speed.
Punching bags are great for practicing Kihon as you have a target to hit especially when practicing kicks and strikes.
Aim to spend at least five minutes on this section of a practice session.
Practicing your Kata is especially important when you have an upcoming grading. Some books can be purchased if you are worried about forgetting the movements in the Kata you are doing.
For a longer Kata, it can be useful to break it down into sections and to focus and learn the correct stance, form, and technique for each move in each section before piecing it all together.
This will help you to be in the best possible position to showcase your strengths and form while also building up your stamina by repeating a Kata several times.
We recommend that you spend at least ten minutes on this section. To get into the flow of things practice easier Katas before focusing on the most recent one you are learning.
Cooling down is a great opportunity to process what you have just done and to focus on how your body is feeling, how you are breathing, and more.
Listen to your body and stretch gently before taking some time to sit and be still to reground yourself after practicing.
This is a fantastic way of connecting with your mind, body, and soul.
Try to take at least five minutes for a cool down to fully allow your body to relax again after your practice session.
Keeping a practice journal can help you to keep track of your training while also giving you a space to write down any questions that may arise when practicing.
At your next session, you can speak to your Sensei about any questions you may have.
There are many other resources where questions can be answered, such as Karate literature and magazines, or if you practice with your peers they may be able to help you.
Reading Karate books or magazines can be a great way of learning new things about this incredible martial art.
For this section, it depends on whether you are journaling, reading, or speaking with friends how much time you should give or may want to give.
Now that you have a guide to help focus your practice sessions you will be able to notice huge improvements in not only your Karate but also your stamina and strength.
We recommend that you put your Gi on when practicing so that you can focus your mind and get into the zone for your Karate practice.
You can practice as many times as you want, we recommend spending at least 30 minutes to one hour in a quiet space with enough room to safely move about it.
Practicing in a cramped area will lead to using incorrect form and technique out of fear of hitting against something.
If you don’t have a space in your home you can always practice outdoors as Samurai and other martial artists did many years ago.
This can be a nice way of breaking up your karate studies also by being in a different environment.