If you have decided to sign up for karate class – congratulations! You’re about to enhance your life with the meaningful physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of a time-honoured practice. If you’re unsure about what to expect for your first class, don’t fret. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your first karate class:
- Be on Time
We recommend that students arrive at least twenty minutes early so they can acquaint themselves with the facilities. You should be all set to start at least five minute before the scheduled class time. Not only will you be flustered and distracted if you arrive late, but you will also interrupt the instructors and the students. Show respect to others and to yourself by showing up on time.
- Get Ready to Work
You need to come to class focused on the task at hand. This means clearing your mind of all distracting thoughts and emotions. Your only focus should be on listening to the instructor and executing your moves. Take a deep breath before class starts and clear your mind of worries about school, work, or home life. Jaylen Banton know this well: “hard work creates hardworking results. That formula can be applied anywhere, getting the highest mark in the classroom or having the hardest punch in karate class.”
- Ditch the Negative Talk
If you binge-watch YouTube videos of black belts executing stunning kicks and chopping bricks, you might go into your first karate class with the mindset that you can’t possibly do this. You tell yourself that you simply don’t have the skill or the body or the patience to accomplish such things. As you prepare for your first karate class, you need to lose the negative attitude. For one, it’s not true – all it takes is practice, focus, and determination. Secondly, the dojo is an environment of perseverance and humble self-confidence.
You must be prepared to listen to the instructor. If you keep a running commentary in your own head or have many questions after clear instructions, are you truly listening? There is plenty of time for chit-chat after class, but you should show respect for yourself, the instructor, and the fellow students by being an engaged listener. “Karate drives me to be a sponge, soaking knowledge,” says Jaylen.
- Don’t Apologize
Making mistakes is part of the journey. You are not expected to be an expert black belt during your first class! If you make a mistake, or an instructor offers a correction, tacitly acknowledge the mistake and simply fix it. Don’t dwell on errors, get frustrated, or become apologetic. Just learn from the experience and keep improving.
Keep these tips in mind as you progress and develop your karate skills. It won’t take long to see how karate makes everything better. If you have any further questions as you prepare for your first karate class, contact your nearest AMA location.