Have You Done Your Karate Homework?

It never fails…

A group of students will line up at the dojo door. I ask them, “Who did their homework?”

They answer with a proud smile, “I did.”

“I mean your KARATE homework!”

They shake their heads. “There’s no homework in Karate!”

AGHH! Wrong answer! Here’s the truth–


Karate Kid Will

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way!

Most students don’t think of the dojo as a school. Maybe that’s because they have so much fun!

But the fact is we have a classroom, a teacher, and lessons to be learned. And the only way to learn those lessons is through practice. Not once or twice a week… but every day!

Sensei Ando had a similar conversation with the students of Woodland Hills recently. One student, Will, was busy doing his schoolwork in the lobby when Sensei Ando challenged the students to practice their Karate outside of class.

Will didn’t hesitate. He took up the challenge and jumped into a horse stance, combining his homework from school with his homework from Karate.

Now, THAT’S what I’m talking about! Go, Will!

You see, real Karate isn’t something we just do for one or two hours a week… it’s who we are every day! Every black belt knows that to be our best, we must try our best everywhere we go.

So, if you’re a student of Karate, I challenge you to do your homework…

  • Stand in a horse stance when you brush your teeth.
  • Shuffle through the house instead of walking.
  • Play a video game while balancing on one foot.
  • Practice your Tiger Kata or a favorite move once a day– maybe right when you wake up or before you go to bed.
  • Use your good manners! Say, “Yes, ma’am” or “Yes, sir” to everyone you meet. (You won’t believe how they react!)
  • Be creative and find your own way to practice your Karate moves!

The bottom line: “A little work every day goes a loooooong way.”

That’s why I invite every Mom and Dad to join me in asking their Karate Kid–

“Have you done your Karate homework today?”


The first move we teach in Karate is called a Ready Stance. We teach it first because, in my opinion, it’s the most difficult move to master!

It sounds so simple: stand up straight, stay still, and pay attention. Maybe that’s easy for a moment… but how about a full minute… two minutes… a whole class?

Not so easy!

In today’s world of rush, rush, many seem to have lost the ability to sit or stand still and allow the world to come to them. Too bad! Because without this skill, learning and growing is next to impossible.

Always be in your ready stance!

Ready for anything!

When you’re able to stand in a good Ready Stance, you are showing the world that your mind is in control of your body. When you can fight the urge to wiggle, talk, scratch, or fix your hair, you demonstrate power over yourself.

This basic level of self-control is the foundation of Karate. Think about it–if you can’t control yourself when there are no consequences, how can you control yourself when your life is on the line?

So, keep your Ready Stance with you wherever you go. In school, sit up straight, keep your hands on top of your desk, and look at your teacher.

At the dinner table, sit still, eat with good manners, and listen to what your family is talking about instead of slouching, playing with your food, or playing video games.

Take your Ready Stance to the movies, the beach, to the frozen yogurt shop… everywhere!

Remember, if you’re ready for anything, you’ll get more out of everything! 🙂