Steps to Learning Karate

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Before you start down the path of Karate, you must prepare for the journey. Get ready to learn the legendary martial arts form with help from a professional martial arts instructor in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Karate Uniforms and Equipment
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Fred Mergen. I'm a fourth degree black belt in American Kenpo karate, and I'm going to explain to you the basic steps of learning karate. Learning the basics of karate is a very important part of the martial arts, or karate. When you see those people on TV doing the blocks, kicks, punches, or self-defense, it was a lot of practice and thought put behind that. When coming to learn karate, there's a few things you always got to keep in mind. It's not just about the blocking, kicking, and punching, but also about the mental aspect of the martial arts, or karate, such as courtesy, respect, control, focus, your basics. And, always remember, when doing karate, practice is key. You have to do a lot of practicing. Those guys on TV make it look really good, because they do a lot of practicing and rehearsal before they actually do the techniques. I'm going to borrow one of my assistants to demonstrate just a basic thing, so I can show you guys all the things involved with that particular karate move. So, when learning the basic karate move, and the person comes up and grabs us, we're just going to step back, knock the arm away. Kick him, chop him, and then take off. Behind that move, it wasn't just hitting the arm. As he grabs, I have to make sure I step away from him so he doesn't punch me. I don't just hit the arm, I want to hit in a particular spot with a particular part of the hand. I want to use the hammer fist part of the hand, and hit him right in the radial nerve, where it hurts really, really bad, and he lets go. When I kick, I just don't pick up my foot. I want to pick my knee up first, hit him with the ball of the foot, bring it back, and land. As I land forward, I'm going to use all my body weight to hit right in the neck. As you see, the hand rotates out and back, I hit either with the chop part of the hand, or the bony process of the hand. I want to hit, leave, and then I want to make sure he can't hit me anymore, so I bring my hands back up, I don't just drop them so I can get hit. So, as you see, as I'm doing my karate techniques, there's a lot more to it than just what you see. You have to settle your body weight, know where to hit, how to hit, and make sure you stay safe at all times. Want to go in a karate class? Remember, don't get frustrated. It's going to take a little bit longer to learn, because it's not something we do every day. When you first started to learn to ride a bicycle, you fell a few times. Think of that same thing in karate. You're going to mess up a few times, and then you'll get it down. But, always remember, practice is key. And, that was the basic steps of learning karate.

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