You have to experience the karate training yourself to really feel and understand it – nevertheless we try to give you a small written insight. Furthermore, you will find answers to common questions, a typical training schedule and exercise tips for home.

Karate - Einführung und Grundtechnik
  • Albrecht Pflüger (Actor)
  • Audience Rating: Lehrprogramm

Videos of Karate Training

If you want to take a look at a typical training session before your first workout, check out the following videos.

Karate training with Sven Grote


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Karate Kumite Training


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Professional Karate Training Camp


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Karate training has a lot of advantages, whether karate for women or for children – it is a sport that is suitable for the whole family. We present you a few answers to common questions about karate training.

Learn karate – how hard is it?

Learning karate can be a lot of fun, but it can also require a tremendous amount of effort. Characteristic of karate are the many different punches and kicks and their fast and precise execution. Whether punches, kicks or thrusts, great emphasis is placed on quickness in each technique. Tremendous physical fitness is required to execute the techniques correctly. However, the beginner can adapt the difficulty of the training to his level of performance by lowering the speed and increase in the course of his training.

The attempt to accelerate hands and feet from a standstill as effectively as possible is thus part of the daily training for every karateka, whether beginner or master, and at the same time represents the greatest physical challenge.

Is a karate course for beginners useful?

Some clubs offer free karate courses from time to time, for example on a Saturday or even Friday and Saturday. These are an ideal opportunity for those of you who are interested in karate. You can meet members of the local club, experience a karate training and learn some basic exercises.

However, it would be a big mistake if you think you can go home with a black belt after the course. Rather, these courses should serve the club to attract new members and you yourself to learn something new and maybe discover the fun of it. If a few of you join the club afterwards, then everyone is helped, right?

Which karate techniques are suitable for self-defense?

  • Firstly, not all karate techniques can be performed with any clothing. For example, it will be very difficult to use a high kick if you are wearing tight jeans.
  • The second danger is the effectiveness of the techniques. Attacks on sensitive areas, such as the neck or abdomen, can very quickly cause serious injury.

Keep in mind that if you use karate for self-defense, excessive resistance can be punished, even though you were obviously just defending yourself. The German judicial system calls this case “principle of proportionality”.

Karate Training
© bokan –

What is the procedure of karate training?

There can be significant differences in the training process. The subtleties depend on what your club specializes in. A competition club in the category Kumite sets other priorities than a Kata competition club, not to mention the club, which only prepares for belt exams for sporting fitness. However, there are karate exercises that occur in every training session in different forms and you should get to know them here.

1. The greetingWhen entering the hall, it is customary to pause briefly on the doorstep and bow towards the center of the dojo, the training hall. This is considered a sign of respect for the common training place and for those karateka who are already present. The greeting with the sensei, the coach, is done in the traditional Japanese manner found in many other martial arts. The procedure may vary minimally if the sensei omits some parts. In this case you simply follow the movements of the other students.

When the sensei gives the signal to begin, all students line up on an imaginary line, which is given by the most experienced student. At the Sensei’s signal, they bow to each other (if guest instructors or other dignitaries are present, the same is done again in front of them), then at the command “Seiza!” all together assume a kneeling position with the buttocks resting on the heels placed on the floor.

The most experienced student gives the signal “Mokuso!” which means meditation. Thereupon there is silence, so that all students and teachers clear their heads of thoughts in order to be able to concentrate fully on the training. The words “Mokuso yame, sensei ni rei!” are followed by a deep bow with the forehead almost touching the floor. The fingertips are placed next to the head. Then the sensei gives the signal to rise again and all together conclude the greeting with another bow.

2. The warm-upAfter the greeting, the warm-up follows with various running exercises or running-intensive sports. This can be done, for example, with classic ball sports such as soccer or fireball, or the trainer sends you through a small obstacle course. The most important thing is that you move a lot and use as many muscle groups as possible. The warm-up phase usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes and is concluded with a few stretching exercises.
3. Basic School (Kihon)In Kihon, also called basic school, individual techniques or their combination are trained. Usually the students stand in a line and the sensei gives the commands. Kihon is the same as in martial arts movies, except that almost all techniques are performed in one movement.
4. KataThe Kata, the form run, describes a sequence of movements and techniques according to a prescribed pattern. These karate techniques will seem quite useless to you at first when it comes to self-defense, which is because they were “coded” by their creators so that not everyone would recognize their meaning. While the kata in karate for beginners contain only a few techniques, the level of sophistication increases as the student progresses in training. Later kata contain significantly more techniques with a higher degree of difficulty and must be executed with greater speed.
5. BunkaiIndispensable for learning Karate is the Bunkai, which includes the analysis of the techniques of a Kata. After all, at the time when these kata were invented, karate was strictly forbidden and was only passed on orally from master to student. Sometimes attempts are made to transfer the movements of the kata one-to-one to a fight with an opponent, but this very rarely works in a meaningful context. There is no “right” or “wrong” in bunkai as long as the application works, so the interpretation of the kata may vary from instructor to instructor.
6. KumiteThe Kumite, the fight with a partner, has many forms, whose difficulty increases with your training progress. In training, the Kumite refers to the exercise with a partner, where the attack is initially announced in order to learn a correct application of the appropriate blocking technique. With experienced students or masters, a Kumite then resembles more a free fight, since no more techniques are announced and a certain flow in the exercise arises.

For a “free” Kumite without announcements or specifications, some trainers also use the term Randori, which is nothing more than a loose practice fight, in which it is not about winning.

7. Free FightA free fight, in which you train on a competition level, does not have to be part of every karate training. It depends on the specialization of your club and on your individual skills if you will be confronted with it. However, you don’t have to be afraid if it comes to it, because competition is also subject to some rules.

What elements does a training consist of?

The training session in karate consists of various elements, the entire training usually lasts two hours. After the greeting comes the warm-up, which can be in the form of running exercises, obstacle courses or even with the help of ball sports and in any case must not be too short to avoid strains. A few stretching exercises round off the warm-up phase.

After that, your actual karate training begins, which can essentially be divided into 4 sections.

KihonKihon, or basic school, is the practice of individual techniques without an opponent. In movies, kihon is often shown statically, standing without moving the feet, but this is not true in reality. You will see that many techniques are connected with a movement of the whole body.
KataIn Kata, which means “form”, you train a sequence of techniques against several imaginary opponents, whose order and execution is precisely prescribed. High-ranking karateka must study the kata and its meaning in more detail, but for the beginner it is enough to know the sequence of the kata.
Kumite In Kumite your techniques learned in Kihon are used on the opponent. However, you must urgently distinguish between Kumite in training and Kumite in competition. In competition Kumite means the simulated fight against an opponent, which we call free fight in training. There are variants of Kumite in training in which your techniques are fixed and others in which you are free to choose. However, it is important that you pay attention to a clean execution of each technique.
Free Fight The free fight awaits you only after you have passed several exams and has the goal of simulating a real fight, whereby hard hits are to be avoided at all costs. You should rather learn to use your attack and blocking techniques out of the situation, without any procedures being given to you and your partner.

The training session ends with a farewell, which is identical to the welcome.

Update: 2023-05-28 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API