Kanzenki Karate Club

Advice on training

Train consistently. A little, often, is more important than training for longer periods with big gaps. Try and do a kata a day, and attend lessons at least once a week - twice is better.
You don't need to wait for group training - practise at home and you will improve. And it's free.
You don't need any equipment to train karate - you can practise anywhere, at any time, in any space.
Keep yourself as healthy as possible. Eat wisely, don't smoke or do drugs - you only have one body, look after it.
Respect all others, no matter what their grade, experience or background.
Be patient; there is much to learn and the journey does not end. Enjoy it.
Do not get frustrated with mistakes. If you struggle with something it means you are aware it's not right and you're on the right path to improving. Failure is an important aspect of learning - it's a vital part of the path to success.
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.
Be attentive in class - watch and listen to the instructor. Look at the more senior students to see how they do it.
Do not compare yourself negatively with others - recognise everyone is different. Some can do the splits, some will never do them - the stretch is for you. (That doesn't mean you shouldn't try!)
Do not push yourself into harm - if something hurts or you have an injury, slow down and take it easy - that's okay. Health first.
Every move must be against an opponent - see them in your mind. Each move must be done with serious intent. Every kata is a fight for your life.
Always do your best - put in the effort and keep trying. This is how you advance.
If you lose your focus, return to the breath. Concentrate on the breathing and focus will return.
No matter what your level, always return to kihon (basics) - it informs everything else.
Everything is a circle - even 'straight' techniques are made up of circles.
Remember - contraction and expansion, focus, flow and flexibility.
To understand karate you have to do karate - it is forged through movement. It is your body that needs to learn the forms.
Practise full technique. In a real situation you will lose most of your technique - how much remains in the moment depends on how you practised.
Don't punch with your fist and arm or kick with your foot and leg - karate uses the whole body.
A black belt can still learn from a white belt.
A single move can contain multiple techniques for different situations.
Videos and online forums can be useful but should be used carefully. The dojo is where the real learning happens and your dojo should be the primary source of your knowledge. Online comments and opinions should be taken with a grain of salt.
Remain humble. Don't show off or brag.
Don't put down other martial arts - all have value and we are all on the same journey. The more experienced you become in martial arts, the more you realise the differences are merely cosmetic (and even that disappears eventually).
Expand your knowledge - read books, learn from other arts, study history. It will all feed into your karate and make it more whole.
If you're feeling stressed or glum, shake out a kata or two (or three) - it can help focus your mind and lift your mood. Concentrate on the breath.