Advice on training

Regular training - You should train twice a week in order to make good progress. Train more often to progress faster but be patient. You will get out of it what you put in.

Don't forget karate even when it is difficult to train. You can practice on your own but will benefit from training with others.

Keep away from smoking, drinking and other drugs as best you can.

Respect all others, no matter what their grade or experience.

Be patient; there is so much to learn.

You can never perfect anything, but you can work towards perfection - this is the beauty of martial arts. Every time you practice, you improve. Every time you make a mistake, you learn.

Gradings give you something to aim for and to test yourself. You do not need to chase them, they will come when they are ready.

Observe - watch the instructor and other members. Study the position and movement of the best students. Start by noticing the position and movements of feet, hands, head, hips and shoulders.

Study as much as you can and eventually you will grasp the concepts.

Knowing a little history will help you understand what you are doing.

Practice - If you are keen to advance, then try practicing your basic blocks every day. It only takes five minutes. Your body and mind become trained in these movements. Then you can forget them.

You don't have to pay fees to practice at home.

Some students find that practicing their kata is good for relieving stress.

Homework - there are plenty of very good books and videos on the subject of Shotokan karate, so if you are very keen and want to learn outside the lessons then these will be of great benefit. But they cannot replace regular training.