After five movies into the franchise, The Karate Kid still proves itself highly entertaining to both kids and adults. But many may be mistaken that in order for you to be a highly successful karate master, you need your own Pat Morita, aka Mr. Miyagi or Jackie Chan to help them. This is truly false as you can teach yourself the basics of karate. It may be a little bit more difficult than let’s say learning karate in a class from a licensed teacher, but it is not impossible. Here’s how to teach yourself the basics of karate.
Before bringing a hand to a 3-inch thick wooden board, do your research. Study the art of karate unless you want broken bones on your very first try.
- Research. No time is wasted in pursuit of knowledge. Research as much as you can about karate- from the warm up to the stretching, meditation and proper fights stances. Much time should be spent researching how to prep your body for the strenuous exercise. This will prevent you from experiencing cramps, strains, bruising and other possible fatal accidents. There are numerous forums and sites online that are dedicated solely on the art form. One very useful site is YouTube. You can download and watch thousands of videos that teach you the basics of karate. From the history to the basic movements, you can easily find it here. Follow along with the video and take a few hours every day or every week to practice. Remember, practice makes perfect!
- Library. Another rich location for information is your local library or bookstore. Skim through the books and if you find one that is particularly informative, don’t hesitate to buy or borrow it. Some books even come with their own instructional video and manual. Get it at a good price!
- Instructional videos. You can also go to your local video shop and rent/ buy a karate instructional video. These are usually found in the section full of exercise videos.
- Basic chops. When learning about karate, here are a few moves that you should learn to master: the straight punch, upper-cut, knife-hand, backfist, spear hand and elbow strike. You can do some additional research online to know the weak points in the human body. This will help you know which points to strike when disarming a person with karate. Here are three of the most common moves in karate.
- Straight punch. A straight punch is a quick movement that effectively disarms your opponent. You can strike at the head-neck, chest and abdomen. To do a straight punch, get into a comfortable fighting stance with one foot ahead of the other. Keep the back leg straight and bend your front leg at a 90 degree angle. With your fists facing up and against your waist, punch out with one arm in a straight line. Pull back the other arm to place more power in the punching fist.
- Upper cut. Upper cuts are punches thrown at close proximity to your opponent, at most two feet apart. Slightly bend your knees as you push up with your arm. Place your punch right above the chin. This underhanded swing will rattle your opponent and shock his senses.
- Elbow strike. With your knees slightly bent and your punching arm placed forward in a straight line, immediately pull back your elbow and deliver the blow from behind. This move is great if you are surprised or grabbed from behind.
When practicing karate without supervision, be extremely careful. Learning karate will be a fruitful experience as you can use some of these moves and techniques when defending yourself.