Progressing faster in karate—is hard. Usually, you learn how to advance and learn faster when you’re already in an advanced stage in your training. Nonetheless, I can help you skip that phase by telling you everything I learned by doing karate and reaching the later stages of training.
That said, although boosting your progression rate in any martial art—is possible, most people don’t want to work hard for that purpose. As a result, these individuals are more often than not the ones that don’t stay consistent.
As you’ll see, staying consistent is one of the major parts in anything in life, including karate. Therefore, whether you like it, you must be willing to invest time and effort to learn the art of karate.
When you start training, you’ll notice how you’re changing. You’ll become a different person by investing and dedicating yourself to the art. Eventually, that’s all it takes to become a better individual than you were yesterday.
Now, while karate is all about self-improvement; it’s not its initial goal. Its main, original purpose—is to teach people self-defense.
When the people of Okinawa, now an Island in Japan, constructed a new martial art, they wanted it to be a platform people can use to learn how to fight. With time, it evolved to being a worldwide sport with a focus on self-improvement.
However, if you want to learn how to fight appropriately, learning one of the traditional karate styles—is more suitable.
Before we dive into the tips to progress faster in karate, I want to encourage you to read another article of mine on the best karate gloves for your money. It’ll help you protect your wrists while ensuring you increase your progression rate.
Let’s begin with #30.
#30 – Start training as soon as possible
The first tip will, of course, relate to starting your journey. At last, beginning to train as soon as possible—will ensure you start progressing.
Today, many people don’t want to take the hard route in anything in life. Nonetheless, such a mindset – will be detrimental to your ability to achieve anything in life.
So, by starting to train right now, you’ll know you’re making the most important step into advancing and learning. Don’t expect to learn without investing effort and time, which is a tip we can write many books about. And yet, many people don’t start to train, ever, because they don’t want to invest time, money, and effort.
Don’t be them; start right now.
#29 – Set small goals
My #29 pick was to set small milestones. We’ll talk about why you need to have an ultimate goal later. But, when you start training, don’t expect to master the art of karate after a few sessions.
Instead, concentrate your efforts on learning the next small thing. For example, when you first begin training, don’t think you’re a karate master that deserves to make a movie with Jackie Chan.
That mindset will harm you, notwithstanding your current rank. Set small milestones, such as participating in a spar and overcoming the fear of fights. Another example of a minor goal you can focus on—is learning a new technique or making one friend in your dojo.
Don’t focus on the big goal just yet; rather, enjoy the present moment and aim for the near future.
#28 – Enjoy training
However, putting that aside, you must appreciate the present moment. Know you’re going somewhere and not just doing that for the heck of it.
If you enjoy training, you’ll eventually progress faster, since you’ll be eager and excited about the next training session.
After all, after every session comes the positive benefits associated with this session.
#27 – Focus on your strengths
When you first begin to train, you’ll immediately be attracted to what you already know. The world of karate is so big that a single lifetime isn’t enough to learn and master every bit of it.
As such, when you focus on what you’re not as good at, you’ll get discouraged, since the process of learning is tedious and exhausting.
Therefore, if you focus on your strengths, you’ll immediately start to appreciate yourself.
Spoiler alert, one of the tips ahead in this list is to focus on your weaknesses. So, how is that possible, and how do we do both? Stay tuned for the rest of this list to figure out why.
#26 – Concentrate on what’s fun
Karate training will eventually become a burden on the instant gratification part of your brain. Meaning, the same way you don’t want to go for a run, you won’t be eager to attend karate training as well.
Let me give you an example:
Your brain wants comfort all the time. That is the reason many people become addicted to food, as it comforts them from the hardships of life.
Because of that, when you attend karate classes, you’re going out of your comfort zone. You’re stepping outside your bubble of joy—and start sweating, willingly!
Thus, if you concentrate on what’s fun in training, such as the social aspect of it, you’ll be more excited to attend the next session. However, if you focus on the empty part of the glass-half-full, you’ll eventually quit.
#25 – Learn the basics
Martial arts are difficult. In addition, to master every aspect of them—will require more than a lifetime. Therefore, many trainees tend to skip the basics, since they’re constantly looking forward to studying the more advanced techniques.
Nonetheless, not learning the basics and mastering them before you move on—can harm your future progression rate.
How can you study an advanced combination of punching and kicking if you don’t know how to kick?
That’s why learning the basics, and mastering them before you move on to the advanced part, is so crucial.
#24 – Appreciate yourself for doing something hard
More than 1.9 billion people—were overweight in 2016. Do you know what that means? That means that this number of people aren’t doing what their bodies need. They’re not striving to improve themselves through voluntarily going through hardships.
The fact is—you’re reading an article about how to progress faster in karate. That alone says plenty about you, including that you want to go through difficult times to better yourself.
Regardless of where you are in life, that’s a solid start.
So, before we move on, take a breather. Take a deep breath and appreciate yourself for where you are in this particular moment. You want to better yourself, which is already better than where most people are. So, appreciate yourself for being eager to work hard.
#23 – Stay consistent with karate training
Now that you appreciate yourself, you must stay consistent with your training. Whether you’re self-learning karate or attending classes, keeping up with your training schedule—is crucial.
By the way, if you want to know how to self-learn karate at home without spending a dime on martial arts classes, follow the link to an article of mine. Let’s return to our subject.
Staying consistent with anything difficult in life—differentiates between the ones who make it and the ones who give up. Now, who do you want to be?
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced karate trainee, you already appreciate yourself for the fact that you want to improve. Now, remain eager to learn and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, which is another tip coming up soon.
#22 – Experience the results
Sooner or later, you’ll experience some batch of results, whether small or big. When that happens, don’t just keep going with your life. Again, take a deep breath and know you’re going through hard times for something.
You’ve just noticed something change in you. That’s great! However, many trainees don’t take themselves too seriously. So, when they notice they’re changing and progressing, they’ll try to sabotage themselves.
In brief, that’s the human mechanism for protecting itself from failing too hard. However, how can you expect to achieve anything remarkable in life without taking any risks and putting yourself out there? Will the chance of failing stop you from changing yourself?
Let me tell you something, this risk of failing should keep you hungry to succeed. Instead, most people let it take over their lives. And still, you can be different.
#21 – Notice the minor changes
This tip closely correlates with the previous point. And yet, I have decided to dedicate an entire section to it. So, if you haven’t read the title, if you notice the minor changes in yourself, you’ll progress faster in karate.
Many trainees start their training and learn the basics. Great, that’s a solid start. However, then they begin sabotaging themselves by convincing their inner selves that karate doesn’t do anything.
I mean, I’ve been training for a month and I can’t break a brick with a karate chop. Well then, I guess it’s time to quit.
So, no. Don’t expect to master karate after a few months. Instead, appreciate the minor changes in yourself and in your fighting style. Then, you’ll truly remain humble and eager to learn more and more about this fantastic art.
While expecting can help you stay motivated in the short-term, it can also decrease your motivation in the long-term.
#20 – Honor your sensei and remain humble
Your sensei is the person who decided to teach karate. He made a choice to get a place and design it to be suitable for martial arts. As a result, you should respect him for that. Follow the link to know where the word sensei comes from.
If you honor your sensei, you’ll remain humble throughout your journey—regardless of your belt color. You can be a black belt and still be as eager to learn as you were when you were a white belt.
After all, nobody, not even your sensei’s sensei—knows everything about the art of karate. Whenever you spot a 7th Dan black belt, you’ll notice how one is still as eager to learn and practice the basics. Truly, that’s one of the most important characteristics in life.
If you want to know how the belt order of Karate works, including all the Dan ranks, ensure you follow the link to an article of mine.
#19 – Work on your weaknesses
For #19, I decided to dedicate an entire section to working on your weaknesses.
If you remember, I previously mentioned that it’ll be best to work on your strengths. Well, how is it possible to do both simultaneously?
A healthy balance in everything you do in life—is a must. Therefore, if you don’t dedicate any effort to your weaknesses, you won’t progress as much as if you worked on them. However, if you focus entirely on your weak spots, you won’t progress as much, since you would neglect a major part of your tool kit.
Becoming a solid fighter is all about being an all-round fighter. You want to know how to perform at your best by having a broad tool kit. Although working on your weaknesses can be frustrating, it’s something you must do to become the best fighter possible.
As such, if you desire to boost your karate progress, ensure you work on your weaknesses as much as you work on your strengths.
Sometimes, of course, you’ll be left focusing on one aspect of training for more than a single session. That’s fine – but ensure you come back to the basics to work both on your weak and prominent spots.
#18 – Don’t care too much about the specific karate style
Whenever you choose which karate style you’ll learn—many hesitations and inner-thoughts start flowing to your mind. That’s when you’re most vulnerable.
You don’t want to give your brain any room for excuses. Instead, it’ll be best if you be decisive with the martial art you’ll learn. If you remain on the edge for too long, you may never begin your journey, as fear of missing out (FOMO) will start flowing into your mind.
As such, at first, it’ll be best if you start training anything. Meaning, if you’re having trouble deciding which karate style you’ll choose, pick one and don’t look back.
Do your research beforehand, of course. As a result, choosing the most suitable karate style—becomes easier. Eventually, you’ll be decisive with your choice and keep up with your training schedule.
Before moving on, if you want to know which is the best karate style for self-defense, follow the link to an article of mine on the topic.
#17 – Combine everything you learned
Now for the fun part. You’ve been doing karate for the past I don’t know how long, and you want to amp your skills. Well, it’s time to combine everything you learned and work on your fighter abilities.
You may still be in the beginning, and that’s fine. And still, once you combine all the basics, you’ll instantly become a competent fighter—regardless of your belt color.
I’ve been a witness for some trainees not being as eager for this stage. As a result, they stayed in their current place and didn’t explode their progression rate. Of course, having a steady progression rate is fine.
Nonetheless, you can progress faster than all the trainees if you combine everything you learned once you’re comfortable fighting.
If you watched the movie Karate Kid, you remember how the student cleaned the sensei’s house. At one point, the student got so frustrated with his “training” that he was on the verge of quitting. That’s when the sensei showed him how better he had gotten by working on the basics. Then, he helped him combine the basics and showed him how competent he currently is.
#16 – Adopt good habits outside your karate training
Today, it’s incredibly easy to entertain yourself cheaply. Most people don’t bother going the hard route in life anymore. However, you want to change yourself. I know it because you’re reading an article from a stranger dude on the internet about how to progress faster in karate.
If you adopt good habits outside your karate training, you’ll instantly be more eager to learn—regardless of your current place. However, if you get shoved in to today’s technology and the comfort it offers, you won’t be as eager to stay consistent with your training.
Here are some habits I encourage you to adopt:
These are the five pillars of the good habits you should adopt. If you do, everything, starting from your motivation to eagerness to learn—will improve.
However, if you indulge yourself in bad habits, such as:
- Eating junk food
- Playing video games for too long
- Watching Netflix and movies too often
- Using social media
These are just examples I’ve eliminated from my life to ensure I don’t distract myself. If you want to boost your karate progression rate, I have no doubts, eliminating these bad habits and adopting the good ones – will help you in your learning process.
#15 – Stay a life-long student
I decided to dedicate #15 for staying a life-long student. Eventually, all martial arts are here for a reason. For example, the people of Okinawa constructed karate for a reason. That reason was to teach others self-defense, since times were times of war.
Karate’s, and all martial arts’ purpose, is built on the fact that you would want to learn. In fact, as long as you want to learn, you’ll be progressing.
Nevertheless, if you think you’re the best, and you wouldn’t want to keep learning, you’ll be left with a mindset that holds you back. That mindset will hold you back—regardless of your belt color or any other factor.
Thus, ensure you remain a life-long student, even if you just reached the black belt. For your information, in the Japanese culture, the black belt is a sign of a new beginning, not the finish line. So, whenever you attain one of these black belt for yourself, don’t think you know it all – because you likely don’t.
#14 – Eat properly
Eating properly has to be one of the things people seem to neglect the most. I know how hard it is to stop binge-eating. I know how hard it is to stop eating junk food. Trust me, I know how hard it is to start eating healthy and feed your body the way it needs to be fed.
And still, making the change to eat healthy—isn’t as difficult when you notice results. Therefore, if you start training as soon as possible, you’ll also notice results and benefits sooner.
Thus, you’ll be noticing your physical shape bettering whenever you begin doing karate. That’s when making the change from junk to healthy foods – becomes easier and almost natural.
Of course, eating healthy will boost your karate progression. Simply put, if you feed a machine with the most suitable fuel, it’ll work better.
So, what should you eat?
Do know that your brain will keep seeking the easy route, regardless of where you are in your eating journey. Myself, my brain is still looking for junk foods, although I’ve been training for the past six years. So, yea, it never really ends. But, it does get easier.
#13 – Rest & Recover
This tips closely correlates with the last one. You must let your body recover. If you don’t, you may cause damage, and sometimes permanent, to your body. That’s called overtraining, when you work harder than your body’s ability to recover.
For that reason, it’ll help if you set a limit to your weekly training times. That limit is best set at three times a week on non-consecutive days. That’ll ensure you let your body and muscles enough time to build itself back.
Whenever you’re training, you’re causing micro-tears in your muscle. Then, once you rest, your body will begin forming itself back. But, it’ll build the muscle to be stronger than the last time you trained. That is hypertrophy in simple words.
Imagine your muscles are already torn, and you train one more time. What do you think will happen? Of course, you may cause damage to some of your muscles. Well, we want to avoid that as much as possible.
Hence, training up to three times a week, on non-consecutive days—will ensure you let your body enough time to recover and build itself again.
I wrote an article on how often you should do karate and how much it costs. Follow the link to read more!
#12 – Define yourself as a martial artist
A part of improving yourself start with yourself. Regardless of who you are right now, and how you see yourself, you must make an inner change before anything will happen in your outer self. Let me explain by giving an example.
Today, many people start a new diet, and they get excited. However, after two days—both the diet and the excitement seem to fall short. Well, why does that happen?
We don’t stay consistent with good habits because giving up is easier. Moreover, the people who start the diet don’t consider themselves healthy people. If they were, they would be on a healthy diet and wouldn’t have to try too hard.
#11 – Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
You, along with many others, may be afraid to make mistakes. Nonetheless, this fear that seems to want to protect you so much—also has a primary harmful effect; if you don’t have a chance of falling, you also won’t have a chance of succeeding.
So, if you stay in your comfort zone, what do you think will happen? Or rather, what do you think will not happen?
Let me give you a spoiler for the future of those staying in their comfort zones, steady, yet declining progress.
If you don’t try new actions, such as not showing up to sparring sessions, you’ll miss out on plenty of progress. After all, training exists to teach you. Thus, if you avoid major parts of training because you don’t want to fail or be embarrassed, how can you expect to boost your karate progression rate?
#10 – Work through the beginning
In everything worthy in life, the beginning is always the most challenging. For example, when you start dieting, you don’t know whether it’ll work or not. Because of that, your mind will from excuses to protect itself from failing. While that’s natural, we must work through it.
If you continually show up to training by trusting your sensei, you’ll notice how you start to notice results. Of course, the results will be minor at first. But, they’ll activate a mechanism that’ll keep yourself motivated over and over again.
Like anything in life, you keep doing what brings results. For example, if you work out and have a 10/10 body, of course you won’t quit.
However, many people start their fitness journey only to end it shortly after. Simply put, people rather give up than stay consistent, since it easier and has fewer chances of making you fail.
#9 – Adopt the values karate offers in your everyday life
Karate’s purpose is to teach others how to fight. For that reason, if you want to study self-defense, choosing karate is a suitable choice.
However, karate, and most other martial arts, provide more than just the ability to fight. Instead, it teaches its trainees helpful and beneficial values that will boost their progression in their everyday lives.
The contrary is true; if you adopt the values—karate teaches in your everyday life, you’ll also improve your karate’s progression rate. Truly, a valuable cycle.
Here are some examples of the values karate preaches its trainees:
- Work ethic
The list is long and goes even further. For those still skeptic, picture yourself implementing the above values to your everyday life; wouldn’t your life look more enjoyable? And if so, what would you do to improve these aspects in your life?
#8 – Karate is in everyday life
Karate is in everyday life. Whether it’s how you act in the grocery store to how the way you treat other people. Karate is what you make for breakfast and how you view your life.
Essentially, if you want to grasp the meaning of karate, you must start training. Then, you start looking at everyday actions that now may seem different. For example, a simple conversation with a stranger may now brighten your day, despite the fact that you stood in traffic an hour earlier.
Once you understand that, your progression rate will instantly increase. You start to become weirdly excited to attend the next karate session. You’ll also remain eager to learn more, which is a major part of martial arts, as we saw earlier.
Before moving on, if you want to buy a high-quality Gi, follow the link to an article of mine on the best karate Gi for your money.
#7 – Have an ultimate goal
One of the first tips I mentioned was to set small milestones. However, doing the opposite will also boost your progression rate. In fact, a healthy balance between the two is the key to boosting your karate progression rate.
Having an ultimate goal, such as attaining the black belt or mastering the art, will keep you hungry in difficult times. However, if you get fixated on the ultimate goal too often, your motivation will steadily decrease.
Combining small milestones and not focusing too often on your ultimate goal—is likely to be best for your long-term progression. For instance, if you focus too often on the black belt, but you’re a white belt, you’ll start to feel a lack in your achievements.
As such, naturally, you’ll become less motivated to work on your goals.
On the other hand, you can let that ultimate goal fuel your system. For instance, on difficult times, such as wanting to quit training, you start reminding yourself what you want to achieve. That thing will be a symbol of why you started to train in the first place.
#6 – Know karate’s benefits
Karate can change your life if you trust it. The benefits it provides – are many. Therefore, if you know what they are, you’ll also know when you’re making progress. Of course, that knowledge will fuel your mind and soul to continue training as hard as possible.
So, without further ado, here are the benefits of karate:
- betters physical shape
- increases self-confidence
- improves pain tolerance
- teaches you to use self-defense
- decreases overall stress
- assists you in controlling aggressiveness
- shortens reaction time
- improves your performance under stress
- enhances self-esteem
- betters social life
- Karate is a form of self-help
As you can see, the list of benefits and results you can expect are long. After all, hardships will inevitably lead to positive outcomes.
Now you know what to expect. Most likely, you’ll start to notice some of these results after a few weeks, which is not that long compared to other doings.
Picture your life will all the above benefits, would it be any different? After I’ve realized the potential martial arts, and specifically karate, have, I never looked back. I am more motivated than ever to continue my training, regardless of my current procrastination feelings.
#5 – Don’t engage in bad habits (Instant gratification)
Earlier, I mentioned that adopting good habits outside karate training will inevitably boost your progression rate inside training. As a result, if you indulge in meditation, learning, reading, while avoiding bad habits, your progression rate will improve.
Well, the opposite is true as well.
If you involve yourself in bad habits, hence instant gratification, you’ll be left in the same position as if you had not adopted any of the positive habits. For example, if you scroll on social media for three hours every single day, you’ll harm your karate learning process.
Here are some examples of the most common instant gratification (bad habits) people do:
- Scrolling on social media
- Phone overuse
- Eating too much
- Eating junk foods
- Playing video game too often
- Watching too much TV shows and movies.
As you may notice, these are all habits people do that are considered fairly easy. For example, it’s not difficult to start scrolling on social media platforms. However, it is difficult to exercise and attend karate training.
Thus, if you indulge in these instant gratification habits, you won’t be as eager to attend karate training. Your brain will simply want to avoid hardships as much as possible. Now, karate is one heck of a hardship, looking at it from an outsider.
Who is more likely to master karate, someone who reads and learns in one’s free time, or someone who’s playing video games and using social media too often? I believe the answer is straightforward, and I can confidently say that the first person will progress and learn karate faster.
#4 – Adopt a growth mindset
Today, many people don’t believe in themselves as much. As a result, they immediately adopt a non-growth mindset. This mindset can be the one thing that stops you from success.
If you’re unsure whether you’ll succeed or not, you may as well not try. You must be certain that karate is the real deal. Or else, you won’t be as excited when you see progression.
Knowing you’ll where you eventually get to where you want to be—is the first step in achieving anything in life. If you have the opposite, fixed mindset, you won’t progress as much if any at all.
But, those who know that karate is the real deal, will also adopt a growth mindset. That mindset is what will wake them up in early mornings to train. Eventually, it’s all you need to boost your progression rate, and perhaps multiply it!
#3 – Know where you’re going and what’s next
We finally reached our top three tips for boosting your karate’s progression. When looking back, writing this article has been a journey for me as much as it could be for you. Reflecting on my learning process—is always beneficial, regardless of where you are in your process.
Once you start training, you need to know where you want to get to. If you begin training, and you don’t know when the journey will end, you’ll be left unmotivated. Having an end goal—is a must in anything worth achieving in life.
Whether it’s a business or your fitness journey, you want something concrete to achieve. In fitness, it can be having a beach body. However, in karate, the end results are entirely individualistic, and thus, I don’t want to shove end goals into your mind.
Instead, I want you to sit quietly somewhere you like and think where you want to be after you’re done with martial arts. Do you want to know self-defense? Do you want to be confident? Or perhaps less stressed?
By doing that, you’ll keep yourself motivated for more extended periods, which will boost your progression rate in the long-term.
#2 – Overcome your fears by trusting yourself
Well, we’re getting close to ending this list. In the #2 spot, we have overcome your fears by trusting yourself. You are everything you need. You don’t need anybody else to make your decision for you.
For that reason, once you start training, or even before that, trust yourself for having made the right choice. Karate is one of the best self-improvement platforms. Consequently, if you allow yourself to experience the results and benefits it provides—your progression rate will improve.
Karate can be a suitable platform for overcoming your fears, whether they’re related to martial arts or not. As a result, allow yourself to experience these difficulties and overcome them.
I ask you, trust yourself for having made the right choice. Do so, and you’ll progress and learn quicker than most trainees.
#1 – Have a purpose
In our #1, highly respectable spot, we got: having a purpose. A purpose is what wakes you up early in the morning for. It is this mystic figure that allows you to constantly improve yourself. It is what drives you and motivates you to do.
Without a purpose, we would have no desire to change nor improve ourselves. If you don’t know where you want to be in five years, you’ll most likely be the same five years from now. Truly, this is how it works.
I’ve created this website, and this article, for a purpose; I want more people to start their martial arts journey. After things have been said, this is my true intention behind the curtain of words, and there are plenty of words.
You need a purpose too. Do you think you’ll attend every karate session without having a mystic thought fueling you? I say no. We, humans, live for progression, innovation, and improvement. We don’t see anything other than how we can improve ourselves.
However, today’s society is built to numb our ambitions and big goals. Many people give up on their dreams. Now, while that sounds out-of-touch, someone’s dream may be to master karate. In that case, instant gratification actions will numb this person and eventually force one to give up on his dream, which is to master karate.
Here are some purposes you can adapt to your karate training:
- Learning self-defense
- Improving your physical self
- Growing your mental self
- Seeing results in something in life
- Meeting new people
- Learning a new culture
Of course, there are plenty more.
How to progress faster in karate
To progress faster in karate, you must have a purpose. That purpose is your why for training; the reason you started to do karate, or any other martial art, in the first place. A few examples of healthy purposes are: learning self-defense and bettering your physical and mental selves.
Progressing faster in karate—is difficult. For those wanting to do so, implementing the 30 tips I mentioned in this article will assist you in doing just that.
Nonetheless, there’s no shortcut. There’s nothing you can do to get you to the end goal without trying. All it takes is accepting the hardships and knowing the difficult times are about to come.
When they do, don’t be scared or hesitant to keep going. You know they’re here, and thus, you should have no issues overcoming them. It’s all a matter of purpose. Do you have that thing that drives you to wake up at 6am and do karate? If you don’t, it may be time to find that source of motivation and capture it.
If you enjoyed reading this article, I highly recommend read more tips for progressing as a white belt in karate.