Jion Ice Fishing

6th Dan Andre Bertel is in the dojo seven days a week for one or two hours each day – That’s a lot of training. Small wonder he can probably tap you in the temple with a roundhouse kick before you could flinch. Most of us can’t train that often (as much as some of us would like to), but I wonder have we gone too much in the other direction. How much is the average Karateka training now?

My answer is that a good many are training once or twice a week, some with gaps even in this frequency.  Some train enough to get them through the next belt test. Although karate is somewhat a psychological endeavor where we look for clarity and calmness in mind as we train, the only real way to get better is to physically train – and train often.

Research on principles and technique are a sizable part of the karate process, but I don’t think there is any substitute for doing it. Just look at Karateka in your own Dojo doing kata. You can rest assured that those who are fluid, fast and strong with solid stances and excellent posture are training diehards.

Outside my regular training time in the Dojo or in my Rec room, I toss in bits of training wherever I can: a few smacks at the Makiwara while I’m waiting for my laundry to dry, or a few front kicks in the kitchen as my eggs are boiling. Last weekend I was out ice fishing by myself in frigid temperatures, and as I’d start to feel that I was getting cold I’d do a couple of easy run-throughs of Jion and Kanku Dai. There was no one around and there was something refreshing about doing Kata in this solitude.

If Karate is part of your mindset, there’s always time to train.