How To Start Learning Karate: The Ultimate Guide (2023)

Karate has long been known as a discipline that promotes self-defense. Karate training can be done at any age, and anyone can do it.

There are only three things you need to know before starting: the right wear, the right attitude, and the benefits of karate.


This article will show you how to start karate and get fit with these few points!

If you want to find out everything there is to know about this martial art, we have written an entire article of more than 3500 words on karate.

What to wear

A t-shirt and shorts will be enough for the first few lessons, any karate instructor will demand karategi from the trial lesson (it is called trial for this reason).

You’ll need to get a karategi and a white belt afterwards, and after you bought them the next step will be to learn how to wear and fold your karategi and how to tie your belt correctly!

When purchasing a karategi, the size and material are the most important factors to consider. Cotton or silk are used in certain karategis, whereas synthetic materials like as polyester or spandex are used in others. 

You may buy your own karategi online or at any martial arts store near you, but you should still ask for advice from your teacher; they are almost never wrong!


The right attitude

The first thing you’ll need to learn as a karate student is the right mindset. Karate is a serious martial art. You’ll not only learn to protect yourself, but also to respect your teachers and other karatekas (karate practitioners).

You’ll discover that there’s always something new to learn and that there’s always room for improvement. 

When you practice karate, you will not only get physically fit, but you will also grow psychologically stronger. 

“A thousand miles begins with a single step”.

So don’t be afraid to get started!


The Benefits of Karate

Karate training is an excellent way to improve your physical activity and physical fitness as well as your self-defense abilities. 

This martial art training improves mental focus, concentration, and discipline as well. Karate can also help you improve your flexibility and balance.

Learning how to fall appropriately during training can help you prevent injuries in everyday life if you fall wrong.

Finally, kata training will teach you how to control your body‘s movement, which will assist you in controlling yourself when emotional circumstances happen in your daily life.


Karate classes are also a great way to build confidence, self-esteem and discipline in children and teenagers! Karate is a great activity for kids since it teaches them how to be disciplined while still having fun!

Karate for kids

This martial art is not only punches and kicks, karate teaches children to be respectful, to listen to their instructors and to assist others. In addition, karate training is a great way for kids to get exercise!

Children can learn how to defend themselves against bullies with the self-defense techniques they learn in class.s


Karate for adults

Karate training can be beneficial to adults as well. Adults can stay in fitness while learning self-defense! They may easily develop discipline and concentration while improving mental focus, which is ideal for students and office employees.

Karate classes are also a great way to spend an evening with friends or a couple! You will meet new people and make new friendships.


Find a teacher and location

It is crucial to find a karate teacher and a Dojo (training hall) that suit your needs. A good sensei will not only teach you how to defend yourself, but also how to behave as a karateka. Study the dojo’s history and ask for references from past students (or your friends) if necessary.


Keep in mind that martial arts are a never-ending learning process.


Karate was developed over hundreds of years with many different styles being developed throughout Asia which were often influenced by each other over time. There are more than 200 styles today! So there is a style for everyone, and you might find one that suits you perfectly!


If you are looking for a dojo that is based on competitions, then it may be useful for you to search the general ranking of dojos in your country and choose the one that is ranked higher and closest to you.


Commit to the Training Schedule and Location

Once you know the style of karate you are interested in, commit to attending the training schedule. You are not going to make any progress by driving to a dojo for one or two classes then stopping.

Remember that learning any martial art is about consistency and dedication!

Consistent training helps you to progress more quickly in your martial art.

By training regularly, you can build upon the skills and techniques you have learned and continue to improve over time.

By committing to a training schedule, you are demonstrating your dedication to your training and developing the discipline that is an important part of karate practice.

It’s important to find a training schedule that works for you and to be consistent in your practice to get the most out of your karate training.


Our advice

At the beginning find a dojo that is conveniently located for you, that you can afford, that is close to public transportation or your home, and that you enjoy training in.

As you gain knowledge and experience, you might become more discerning, but at the beginning, it needs to be convenient, affordable and fun.


We suggest making a local shortlist of clubs and visiting them all over the course of a few weeks (they will usually not charge for the first lessons while you try it out).


Then compare all the aspects of each one, including how you were treated, the other students, the teaching style, the karate style and most importantly the price.

You don’t want to sign up in a McDojo that is simply a money-making scheme as the quality will usually be low.

Choose the dojo that feels best to you and where you believe you will fit in.

martial arts

Be Patient

Being patient is important in learning karate for several reasons.

First, karate is a martial art that requires a lot of physical and mental discipline.

It takes time and practice to master the techniques and movements, and progress may be slow at first.

Being patient allows you to focus on the process of learning and improving rather than rushing to achieve certain goals or milestones.

Second, karate training involves learning and practicing new techniques and movements, which can be challenging and sometimes frustrating.

Being patient allows you to focus on the task at hand and not get discouraged or frustrated when you encounter challenges.

Finally, patience is an important virtue in karate and in life in general.

It allows you to be more focused and mindful in your training and helps you to stay calm and centered under pressure.

By cultivating patience in your karate training, you can develop mental and emotional resilience that will serve you well both on and off the mat.

Frequent questions


Can I practice karate at home?

Yes, you can practice karate at home.

Karate practice at home is an excellent way to start learning the martial art, to make up for a missed training sessions or why not, to make a family workout.

You should read our specific article on How To Do Karate At Home to understand how to practice it in the correct way!

Do I need to get fit before I begin Karate?

No, you don’t. When choosing a karate class, keep in mind your fitness level; you can be in good shape and begin in the advanced classes.

In beginner’s lessons, it’s also possible to be overweight and out of shape! Remember that learning karate comes first, and then you can work harder once you’ve mastered the fundamentals.


The most effective strategy to raise your fitness level is to gradually increase the intensity of your regular workout.


If you have any medical difficulties or limitations, you should consult your doctor before beginning karate instruction. If you have diabetes, for example, make sure you can tolerate high-intensity activities and inform your sensei of your condition.

P.S. There are many martial arts instructors with a watermelon belly, despite this if they catch you they crush you!

Am I too old to start learning karate?

People often believe they are too old to begin martial arts training, but this is rarely the case. Getting an earlier start might have been advantageous, but there is no right time to start karate! People in their 50s and 60s who began training in karate have gained many benefits and have even gone on to become instructors after a few years of study.


If you want to become an athlete, your age starts to matter, but remember that Sandra Sanchez (kata athlete) became Olympic champion at 39, so don’t limit yourself!


Will I have to compete in tournaments?

Only you can answer this question. If you wish to compete, talk to your sensei and plan a strategy together. Some modern dojos of karate focus on competition as the main goal, while others simply see it as an optional extra for those that wish to participate. 


Can I still practice other sports while studying karate?

Yes, you can! In fact, it is an excellent idea if you want to improve your fitness level and learn how to protect yourself from injury. Also, practicing another sport will create a boomerang effect, in which one sport facilitates the other and vice versa.

Will I get hurt?

NO! Karate is a safe activity that the entire family can participate in. Your sensei will show you how to punch correctly and kick properly, as well as how to defend yourself against an opponent’s attack by holding your hands.


Can I Learn Karate in One Day?

It is not possible to learn karate in one day.

Karate is a complex martial art that requires consistent practice and training over a period of time to master.

One day is simply not enough time to learn the basic movements, techniques, and the principles of karate.

However, you can speed up the learning process by following some tips that we have listed in this article: How To Learn Karate Fast.


In this article we have seen the key points to start learning karate.

if you have reached this point it means that you have gained the necessary knowledge to be able to start learning karate.

What are you waiting for?

Find a class and sensei near you and you will be more than ready for your first class!

Karate Martial Art Team

Karate Martial Art Team

The Karate Martial Art Team is made up of 3 contributors who have full-time job and in their free time are dedicated to martial arts and writing. Do you want to become one of the Team? Get in touch on the contact page.

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