Who practices karate at home? If you donít, is there a reason why? Many students don't practice at home because they feel embarrassed if other family members see them. If this is you, how about getting your family to join in? Alternatively, practice when you are by yourself until you get the confidence to practice with other people around.
When you practice karate techniques, whether it be basics, kata or combinations, it is easy to practice the things you like and are good at. Often these are the same - you like what you are good at and avoid or dislike the things that need improvement. This is the key to good karate - if something needs improving then that is what you need to practice. The discipline of making yourself practice the things which are not your favourites is what will help you develop into a good karateka, instead of being just average. In a similar manner, when you are sparring you should work on developing the side of your body with which you are less comfortable. If you prefer to have your right foot forward, work on keeping your left foot forward until you become more comfortable with it. In the process you will find that your sparring will improve. You will become more versatile and this will give you an advantage over others who have chosen not to develop this skill.
If you are able, watch how other people spar. Some you will find only use one arm or leg for blocks, or strikes or kicks. Someone who always kicks using the same leg will be severely restricted in their sparring, since if their partner learns this it means that they only have to defend against a kick from one side. This can be a huge advantage to a person who has the same level of karate skill but can attack and defend using both sides of the body.
- Mick Todd