4 Training Tips From the Godhand – Mas Oyama

1) Kata: A series of movements designed to teach a student how to perform specific actions with precision and speed.

2) Kyukyoku: A style of martial arts developed by Morihei Ueshiba in the early 20th century.

It was based on the principles of jujutsu, but emphasized self-defense over offense and was often considered “gentle” or “peaceful.” It emphasizes proper technique without relying too much on strength, speed or power.

Karate Workout For Beginners

In the past there were many different types of karate workouts available. Some were very simple and easy to follow while others required a great deal of time and energy. Nowadays most gyms offer at least one type of karate workout which they call “basic”.

These are usually just basic moves like punches, kicks, etc., but sometimes include some other elements such as throws or joint locks. There are of course karate schools and dojos that offer more advanced training but, unless you are a professional fighting competitively, there really is no need to do anything other than these “basic” routines.

Karate Workout Exercises

4 Training Tips From the Godhand - Mas Oyama - gym fit workout

There are many different types of exercises that fall under karate workouts. Basic punches, basic kicks, elbow and knee strikes, blocks and some throws or joint locks are all considered basic workout routines. These are the things that most people think of when asked if they’ve ever done any karate workout routines.

Of course there are many different styles and approaches to karate so some schools focus on more advanced routines and exercises while others teach a more simplified version for self-defense purposes. Unless you’re a professional fighter or have been involved in a lot of martial arts you probably won’t need anything too complex or time-consuming.

Karate Workout Levels

Beyond being just a workout for fitness there are actually several levels of karate. Most people only think of the colorful, flashly uniforms and choreographed moves when they hear the word “karate” but in reality it is just one of many martial arts styles and it has several different levels of instruction or “belts” that a person can work toward. Each rank or belt requires a certain level of skill, knowledge and discipline.

As a beginner you can expect to spend at least two to three years just learning the basics.

Karate Workout Tips

Many people try karate classes or lessons because they’ve seen martial arts on TV and thought that it looked exciting or interesting. Some people try it to improve their fitness level or learn self-defense skills. Whichever is your reason the most important thing to remember is that this is a physical activity and as with any physical activity there are certain risks.

Karate Workout: Shoulder, Wrist And Hand Injuries

When you think of martial arts one of the things that comes to mind is punching and kicking. This leads many people to believe that the hands and wrists are most at risk for injury. While it is true that these are often used in karate, they are not nearly as susceptible to injury as you might think.

The shoulders and wrists are very sturdy and strong, the only real risk that they face is RSI, or repetitive strain injury. This means that you should take plenty of rest breaks when doing your karate workout routines and be sure to stretch and warmup properly.

4 Training Tips From the Godhand - Mas Oyama - Picture

Karate Workout: Groin Injuries

One of the parts of the body that people seem most concerned about when starting out in karate is the groin. We all know that this area is very susceptible to attack so it makes sense that many people wonder if this will be an area of concern for them while doing karate. The good news is that the groin is well protected by muscles and tendons and unless you are excessively stretching or doing a lot of high kicks you shouldn’t have any problems.

Just be aware of your posture.

Karate Workout: Nose Bleeds

For some reason many people find that they start to get nosebleeds when they are starting out in karate or if they have been doing it for a long time. This is probably due to the changing pressures in the head brought on by the exercise because as you exercise more and breathe harder your body tries to equalize the pressure in your head so sometimes blood vessels can tear slightly. If this happens to you all you need to do is blow your nose and the bleeding should stop.

Karate Workout: Safe Training Practices

If you are just starting out in karate or have been doing it for a long time there are some things that you can do to keep yourself safe while training. First of all always make sure that you have proper footwear. Concrete floors and martial arts do not mix well.

You will need a pair of shoes or boots with good rubber soles that will provide adequate grip on the floor.

The next thing to keep in mind is your training clothing. Always wear a good pair of pants, tight but flexible is best and a t-shirt or similar loose fitting shirt. Never wear anything that is loose fitting such as a sweatshirt or jacket; this could get caught on an opponent’s feet or limbs during grappling and cause injury.

Always remember to keep your knees and elbows protected when training. If you do not have proper padding then you can tape up your elbows and knees before you start training. Another very good piece of protective gear that should be worn is a mouth guard.

You can buy these online or at most sporting goods stores.

4 Training Tips From the Godhand - Mas Oyama - gym fit workout

The last thing to remember when training is to keep your mind focused. Never train without a partner and do not consider yourself ready to fight an opponent. Focus on defense and learning until such time as your instructor deems you ready to spar.

These are only a few of the things that you should keep in mind when training in karate or any other martial art. Be sure to ask your instructor about other safety concerns before beginning any workout routine.

Karate Workout: Stretching

One of the most important things that you can do when preparing to start a karate workout routine is stretching. As with all other exercises, stretching keeps your muscles limber and helps to prevent them from becoming strained or pulled. It also keeps your joints and tendons well lubricated and more able to move without pain or restriction.

There are three main types of stretching: static, dynamic and passive. Each type has its benefits and your instructor will help to show you which are best suited for your form of training. Typically most karate forms of stretching involve the pulling of muscles by using the hands or arms.

Usually when preparing to stretch you should start slowly and gradually work your way into more strenuous activity. This helps you to know your own limits and prevents you from causing injury to yourself by overdoing any activity.

Stretching is best performed after a short warm up session such as jogging on the spot or doing a few of the basic punching and kicking techniques that you know.

Some of the main muscles that are stretched in the karate body include the back, chest, neck, arms and shoulders. You will also need to keep your hips, legs and feet flexible to ensure that your whole body is well prepared for all of the strenuous activities that you will perform during your karate training sessions.

Karate Workout: The Workout Routine

Now that you know some of the basics about karate training, it is time to start your own personal karate workout routine. The best thing to remember when starting your routine is to start slowly and pace yourself. You want to push yourself to the limit but never beyond it.

This will prevent injury and allow you to work at your maximum level.

To begin with, most personal karate training routines should be performed at least three times every week. Your instructor may tell you that you can and should train more often but this really isn’t recommended for beginners. Three sessions every week should be more than enough to help you to start seeing some marked improvement in your performance.

4 Training Tips From the Godhand - Mas Oyama - GymFitWorkout

As far as the routine itself is concerned, most karate students will perform a warm up session, a stretching routine and then the actual karate training. The warm up and cool down sessions will usually involve jogging on the spot, some basic punching and kicking techniques and some simple dance type moves. These are all designed to get your muscles warm, loose and prepared for more strenuous activity.

Following this, most students perform some form of static stretching exercises for their whole body. These exercises can include leg stretches, twists, arm stretches and torso twists. These are held for a period of between thirty seconds and one minute before moving on to the next.

You should feel the tension leaving your body with every movement.

Once you have finished with the static stretching, you are ready to begin your karate training session proper. This can involve anything from practicing your kata or sparring with a partner to working out technique flaws with your instructor or even performing endurance training.

Your karate workout routine should finish with another set of static stretches before a cool down jog and a general relaxation period.

Karate Training: Sample Routine

Now that you know the basics of how to train in karate, you can begin putting together your own personal routine. You must remember to start slowly and give yourself time to get used to the more strenuous aspects of the training such as endurance training, sparring and fighting with partners.

Start your training with a good warm up session. Jog on the spot, do some simple techniques and some dance type moves to get those muscles warmed up.

Perform your static stretches next. Remember to hold each stretch for at least thirty seconds before moving on to the next one.

4 Training Tips From the Godhand - Mas Oyama - GymFitWorkout

It’s now time to begin your karate training proper. You can either spend the next fifty minutes perfecting a kata or you can pair up with a partner and start sparring. Remember to keep it light to begin with and take breaks every ten to fifteen minutes.

Next comes the cool down and static stretch period. Follow this with a five minute rest and some water before getting on with your day.

You should be able to perform this routine three times every week. As you become fitter, you can increase the intensity and the amount of training sessions every week.

Remember to eat a healthy diet that’s rich in protein and carbohydrates and also make sure you get plenty of rest. If you workout when tired, you will not perform to your full potential.

As with any training routine, it is only going to be as good as the effort you put into it. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Start today and join the elite ranks of the karate masters.


Sources & references used in this article:

Imposing the terms of the battle: Donn F. Draeger, Count Dante, and the struggle for American martial arts identity by SP Szeligowski – 2010 – Sensei Piotr Szeligowski

Martial arts training in Japan: A guide for westerners by JM Schwartz, A Gottlieb, P Buckley – 2003 – Harper Collins

Tréninkový program úpolových zpevňovacích cvičení by J Miracle – Martial Arts Studies, 2015 – orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk

The leaders of bushido: a study of the leadership practices of black belt martial artists by D Jones – 2015 – books.google.com

Martial Arts Studies: issue 1 by PDM Vít, BB Galkaniewicz – is.muni.cz

Western Bushido: The American Invention of Asian Martial Arts by M Joko – 2009 – digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu

Conquering the World: The ‘Martial’Power of Japan Goes Global by P Bowman, B Judkins – 2015 – orca.cf.ac.uk