Martial Arts Student’s Checklist
Martial artists have classes in many different formats. They may train at the beach, the park, a church, a garage, a recreation center, a shared space, or a dedicated dojo. These days, many martial artists even train online in their own homes. No matter where you train, it is important, if you are going to get the most out of your training, that you go to each class prepared. Here are some things for every student to have in every training session:
Martial Arts Class Checklist
- Uniform: If your instructor recommends any kind of uniform, it is important to wear one as they prescribe. For our students that means the traditional uniform, including gi pants; karate uniform top (gi top – untucked) or dojo t-shirt (with sleeves, tucked in to pants), and their rank belt (obi).
- Watch and jewelry off: (anything that hangs off of you or sticks out jaggedly [such as a stone or rough design] from your finger, wrist, etc.), this is for your safety, the safety of those around you, and to not cause damage to the gear.
- Nails trimmed and filed.
- An empty mouth: no gum, candy, etc.
- Mouthpiece: (Have this handy and wear this when sparring, to prevent injury). This and the next few items should be with you if there is even a slight chance that you may spar. It’s better to be prepared. Or as Newland Kyoshi used to say, “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
- Groin cup & supporter: (for males, wear this when sparring or doing kicks with a partner. Must be worn to spar, recommended for class.)
- Sparring gear: (We sell sparring gear & the proceeds help keep tuitions down – check with your instructor if you need gear. Even if they don’t sell it, they can recommend the appropriate gear for the style and technique.)
- Positive attitude: This includes a willingness to do your best and work hard, maybe even with a smile on your face. Also, leave words and phrases such as “I can’t,” “I’m tired,” “That’s too hard,” somewhere else. Anywhere else, just don’t bring them to training with you.
A Few More Pro Tips
And please try to be on time! We are all late at some point, but try to make this an unusual occurrence for yourself and your family. If you are late, most instructors have some sort of procedure for entering class after training has started. At our dojo, we expect our students to do the number of pushups for their belt, then wait at the side of the training area. When the instructor approaches them, they politely ask permission to join the class. Or maybe, in other schools, you get “volunteered” to clean the mat when class is over.
If you get in the habit of bringing the items above with you to every martial arts training session, your training will excel by leaps and bounds. Amazingly, little habits, repeated day after day, make a big difference. And that includes in your karate training. Having trouble being on time for class? Or is your young martial artist reluctant to put on their training attitude when they arrive? I recommend this short article on creating a Pre-Class Routine.