What does a good karate training in Karate Signify?
Karate training varies across the different arts. However, there are some rituals that we recommend and practice at American Kenpo Karate.
1) Meditate: We begin and end every class with a meditation. A meditation helps the student transition from the everyday stresses and concerns of everyday life, to the very focused work on the mat and then back again. American kenpo karate begins with a left over right meditation of the horse stance, which an open hand over a fist. This is symbolic of the scholar over the warrior. Some schools meditate in silence, and others recite the Kenpo Creed by Grand Master Ed Parker:
“I come to you with only Karate, empty hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles or my honor, should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong; then here are my weapons, Karate, my empty hands.” -Ed Parker
2) Warmups: There are lots of ways to warm up for karate training. You can begin with traditional exercise warmups to get the heart rate up (e.g. running, burpees, jumping jacks, etc). You can also warm up with stretches to get the legs warmed up for kicks.
3) Basics: stances, kicks, punches, blocks
Typically, training in the martial arts requires a commitment to maintaining and refining the basics that help you maneuver and maintain balance while moving and leveraging your power. This type of training may require bag work to refine punches and kicks and it might require sets (such as blocking set) to reinforce the pathways and execution of blocks, kicks, or other basics.
4) Self Defense Techniques: Learning self-defense techniques requires patience and lots of practice. At first, learning the technique is slow, so that you can pay attention to form and so that you understand the purpose and impact of each technique. Once the form of a technique is consistent, students should practice improving both speed, timing, and power. Finally, adding “what if” scenarios to techniques can help students of martial arts to develop realism.
5) Kata: Focus on one kata at a time to improve your accuracy and your speed. In American Kenpo Karate, the katas are choreographed to end right where they began. This is important because Kata helps you determine how well your maneuvers are executed on a floor pattern.
6) Sparring: Finally, don’t forget sparring. Sparring gives you practice using your techniques in stressful situations with unpredictable partners. Karate Training is best done in a karate studio, where the equipment is available and where there are training partners that can support your development. Check out American Kenpo Karate in Pasadena for a great place to train in Kenpo Karate.