If you really are interested in pursuing Karate, closure of institutes is no excuse. You need to diligently continue what you have learnt or take new lessons from an instructor and start training at home everyday.
Karate training at home is excellent because it’s not always possible to go to the training arena every day, besides home training allows you to train differently – you can work for as long as you want on a specific punch or kick. At home,you can improve your body conditioning by working on anything that you feel you need to improve.
Beginners always get influenced by what they see in movies and look forward to acrobatic moves, but Karate is more than that – it is a disciplined sport that begins with self discipline and a mastery of the basics.
Technically, Karate training requires very little equipment. Once you have a uniform and a belt, you’re fine to begin. But by gradually improving your body conditioning, you directly improve your techniques. Tools like punching bags, kicking shields, etc, only help in improving your performance.
When you are a beginner, you do self-defense techniques and sparring at long range. Why? Because you are not yet comfortable with receiving attack and your reaction time is relatively slow. With experience, you will naturally move to close range.
When you punch, kick, or block, don’t use your arm or leg only, use your hips as well, this way you will drastically improve your striking power. Every movement comes from your hips, its the center of your Karate. Power should come from the ground up, through the legs, next through the hips and then explode into a punch or a kick.
For attaining belts, however, you have to go through an institute or instructor. But, as most people think, the black belt is not the end of the journey, rather it is the beginning of serious Karate.
Hilal al Abdali
Instructor, Shotokan Martial Arts
Karate is one of the most important arts that require a number of physical and psychological components that are compatible with each other in a continuous manner in relation to its practice. And these components are acquired by the trainee directly from the trainer in a training hall in the form of classes divided into several days a week.
Given the current circumstances of the spread of the Corona pandemic globally, and the subsequent suspension of many daily activities, especially team sports that require direct contact between players such as martial arts, most karate instructors have resorted to training via virtual forms such as Zoom and other visual communication programmes. With these, they can communicate with players in their homes to ensure the players’ continuity in training, flexibility and review of the basics, katas and fight training.
There are some advantages of these programmes, such as creating more impact and interaction by the player because of the techniques he uses, and the ease and speed of communication between the instructor and the player, regardless of the distance.
There are also some drawbacks to using such programmes, such as the player’s lack of immediate feedback from the instructor, the need for internet and devices to communicate and the difficulty in evaluating the player and developing his movements.
Karate is one sport that helps to refine the personality of the person, as he becomes more confident and self-reliant and gains the ability to think well. The player’s performance gets better, whether in study or work, and other activities that he participates in also gets positively impact. Karate teaches self-discipline, taking responsibility, controlling anger and fear, and improving character. It also helps to avoid insecure situations and teach the person how to use his mind instead of his fist to solve problems.
Basil al Balushi
I started Karate nine years ago, in April 2012, at Shotoka Karate Centre. I have been practising everyday at home, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when most people had to stay indoors. I benefited from online video training programmes with trainers in Oman as well as outside Oman. It has helped in improving my level of fitness, too.
I trained the basic movements as well as did katas and fighting movements that are used in tournaments (kumite). These exercises increased by energy and self confidence, calmed my mind, and improved my personal skills. I am thankful to all my trainers who have helped me train and grow as a Karate student as well as a disciplined individual.
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