So, you’ve decided to take the leap and embark on a martial arts journey. You’ve signed up for your very first karate class, and you’re eager to start your training. Karate is not only an exciting and empowering experience but also a valuable life skill that can bring you physical fitness, mental resilience, and self-defense capabilities. However, before you step onto the dojo floor, there are a few essential things you should know to ensure a smooth and successful start to your karate journey.

1. Dress the Part

Wearing the right attire is crucial when stepping into a karate class. Most dojos have specific uniform requirements. In karate, this uniform is called a “gi.” Before your first class, make sure to inquire about the dress code and obtain the appropriate attire. Typically, a gi consists of a white jacket, white pants, and a colored belt that represents your rank and progress. Wearing the gi is a sign of respect for the martial art and its traditions.

2. Arrive Early

Punctuality is highly regarded in martial arts. Arriving early for your first class allows you to familiarize yourself with the dojo, meet your instructors, and complete any necessary paperwork. It also demonstrates your dedication to learning karate. Being on time is not only a sign of respect but also ensures that you won’t miss any essential warm-ups or instructions.

3. Bring an Open Mind

Karate isn’t just about physical techniques; it also involves mental and philosophical aspects. Come to your first class with an open mind, ready to learn not only the physical moves but also the philosophy behind the art. Karate can help you develop discipline, respect, and self-control, so be receptive to the teachings of your instructors.

4. Hydrate and Fuel Up

Karate classes can be physically demanding, and you’ll need energy to perform at your best. Before your first class, make sure to hydrate well and have a light, balanced meal a couple of hours beforehand. This will help you stay focused and maintain your energy levels during your training.

5. Stay Patient and Persistent

Karate is a journey, not a destination. Don’t expect to master it in your first class, or even your first few months. Progress takes time and consistent effort. Be patient with yourself, and stay persistent in your training. Remember that every black belt was once a beginner, and they reached their level through dedication and practice.

6. Be Respectful

Respect is a core principle in martial arts. Show respect to your instructors, fellow students, and the dojo environment. Bow when entering and leaving the dojo, listen attentively during instruction, and avoid talking when it’s not appropriate. Follow the established karate etiquette, as it is an integral part of the karate experience.

7. Embrace the Challenge

Karate can be physically demanding, and you should be prepared for a rigorous workout. Conditioning is a fundamental aspect of karate, so expect to engage in exercises that build your strength, flexibility, and endurance. Embrace the challenge and use it as an opportunity for personal growth.

8. Expect to Become a Part of a Community, Not Just a Gym

When you join a karate dojo, you’re not just signing up for a fitness class; you’re becoming a part of a tight-knit community. Your fellow students and instructors will become like a second family, providing support, motivation, and friendship. This sense of community is one of the most rewarding aspects of practicing karate.

9. Expect Some Bruises

Karate is a contact sport, and while safety measures are in place, it’s normal to expect some bruises and minor injuries along the way. Don’t be discouraged by these occasional setbacks; they are part of the learning process. They also serve as a reminder of your progress and the resilience you’re building.

As you prepare for your first karate class, consider checking out these related blog posts for additional insights:

Your first karate class is the beginning of an incredible journey filled with physical fitness, self-discovery, and personal growth. By following these tips and being prepared, you’re setting yourself up for a successful and fulfilling experience. Enjoy every step of your karate adventure, and remember that it’s not just about becoming a skilled martial artist; it’s about becoming the best version of yourself. Welcome to the world of karate!

If you’re ready to begin your karate journey or have any questions, feel free to send us an email at or call us at +971 4 430 1011 to start your exciting adventure in the world of martial arts!

Knowing the Karate terminology is essential to communicate effectively with your instructor as well as fellow practitioners. Karate terminology is used to describe different techniques, positions, and movements that are used in karate. By knowing the proper terminology, you will be able to understand instructions from your instructor and communicate with your peers more effectively. Additionally, learning the terminology will help you to better understand the history and culture of karate. Karate is a martial art with a rich history and learning the terminology associated with it can help you appreciate and understand the art form more deeply. Overall, knowing the karate terminology is an important aspect of learning and practicing karate.

General Karate Terms you should know:

Japanese Term





Empty Hand



Practitioner of Karate






Senior student



Master Instructor






Karate belt



Training hall



Bow / sign of respect



Bow to the front of the dojo



Bow to the teacher



Bow to the senior student



Bow to each other



Acknowledgment – Greeting



Kneeling position



Training Sequence or Form



Basic training of techniques






Application of kata technique



Spirit shout






Ready position






Turn around



Get into position/prepare






Focus of power



Lower level of body



Chest area / middle level of the body



Upprt level / Face area



Grades 8 to 1 (all color belts)



Black belt ranks



Squar facing – facing the front



Side facing


In karate, no matter which country you practice in, counting is always done using Japanese numbers. Most only use numbers from 1 to 10.

Japanese Term

































These are just the basic terminology that you must know. Depending on the dojo that you practice at, they might use more terms or just a few of them. Some dojos prefer the more traditional methods and use more of the Japanese culture and words and some dojos use the English translations of the terms.

In addition to the above basic terms, each technique also has it’s own terminology and all the Katas also have their own name with a meaning behind it.

But don’t get overwhelmed by all these new words, you will not be quizzed on them on your 1st day (or ever). You don’t have to learn Japanese in order to practice Karate. However, as you practice and progress in your Karate journey, you will get familiar with them through repetition and before you know it, you will be using them all the time too.

If you’re ready to start your journey in learning Karate, and learn some cool Japanese terms in the process contact us today.

Train Consistently

If you want to get better at any martial art, you need to practice consistently. Try to join two classes every week to learn new techniques and practice what you already know.

Inconsistency can greatly hamper your progress. Missing a few weeks of classes will make you forget some of the techniques you already know, and you’ll lose the chance to learn new things. Then once you get back to training, you’ll have to spend a couple of sessions just catching up. That’s why it’s important to regularly attend classes.

It’s often recommended you attend classes at the same time each week. Although we offer classes all throughout the week, we encourage our students to stick to a schedule. It will be hard to build the habit at first. But once you get the ball rolling, you’ll find it much easier to keep going than stopping.

Obviously, life can be unpredictable and something will eventually get in the way of your training. But there’s no reason to fret. You can still be consistent by having a basic, minimal training routine as a backup. Try out a few techniques at home, or do one of your favourite katas. Either way, make sure you continue practicing on your off days.

Learn Intentionally

Martial arts contain a lot of hidden complexity. What looks like a simple technique can be extremely difficult to perform properly. That’s why it’s vital to develop a learning mindset.

To start, you have to accept that you don’t know everything. Whether you’ve been practicing for 1 month or 15 years, there will always be more to learn. Don’t block things out by assuming you already know them.

In the same vein, pay close attention to your sensei. Listen to what they have to say, and try your best to follow their example. A good instructor will have a lot of hard-earned experience and knowledge, so make the best of your limited class time by listening to them.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions from your instructor or other students. A dojo is a safe environment where everyone is trying to improve, so ask any question you want, because people will be more than happy to answer.

Try to improve yourself every session. Find that one thing, no matter how small, that you can do better and work on it. Then do it again the next session. And again the next session. Before you know it, you’ll have made massive leaps of progress.

To motivate yourself, track your progress. Pay attention to when you get a new karate belt or the number of katas you know. Try setting SMART goals and tracking them.

If you want to take your training to the next level, consider taking notes after every session. Write down the feedback you received, the new techniques you’ve learned, and any area you want to improve in. By taking notes, you’re actively thinking about how to improve, and you build a good point of reference for your techniques.

Live Healthily

You can improve nearly every area of your life by taking good care of yourself, and martial arts are no different. Just make sure you get enough sleep, food, and water.

Make sure you sleep enough because it will keep you energized and focused during training. If you’re not getting enough sleep, try going to bed earlier or avoiding screens for the last few hours of the day. Or try talking to a doctor if nothing seems to help.

Improve your health by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet for all those micro-nutrients. And don’t forget to eat plenty of protein to fuel muscle growth which will improve your strength and speed when practicing martial arts. You should try to avoid eating too many processed foods, since they’re high in calories but low in nutrients.

A lot of people struggle to drink enough water, so always keep a bottle of water nearby. You’ll naturally find yourself drinking more water and staying hydrated. This is incredibly important, especially when training, since you expend a lot of water when you sweat.

If you’re looking to improve even faster, you should do strength training outside of your class. When combined with a good diet, strength training will quickly improve your muscle strength.

Don’t forget to stretch, since martial arts involve a wide range of motion. Improved flexibility will make it easier for you to perform these techniques, and it reduces the risk of injuries.

Finally, pay attention to your own body. If you’re feeling unwell or are in pain, talk to your instructor and sit aside. Don’t try to go over your limit, or you’ll injure yourself and will miss training while you heal.

And Other Advice

Have fun when training. People naturally work harder and learn more when they enjoy what they’re doing. So find things you’re passionate about, and focus on them.

Spend time with the people at your dojo. You all have something in common, and dojos tend to foster a friendly environment, so try to make friends with the people you practice with.

Don’t overthink things. It’s easy to get stuck analyzing things, but it won’t matter if you never start practicing. Just go ahead and join a session. Call us at +971 4 430 1011 or send us an email at to get started.


Every culture and sub-culture has its own rituals and etiquette you’re expected to follow, and karate is no different. It’s important to follow these practices, as it’s a sign of respect to your fellow practitioners, the instructor, and the sport itself.

Bowing (Rei)

The bow is the most common act of respect. It’s typically done standing with your heels together, so your feet form a “V” shape. Your arms lay straight down at your sides, with your open palms facing yourself. To perform the bow, you slightly bend at the hip, keeping everything else straight.

Bowing is often accompanied by saying “osu” (pronounced oss). This acts as both a greeting, acknowledgement, and sign of respect.

When To Bow

As the most basic form of respect, bowing is done for various reasons.

You’re expected to bow whenever you enter or exit the dojo. This should be done while facing the inside of the dojo. It’s a sign of respect, and a good moment to step into the karate mindset before class.

It is also common to bow at the start and end of each class. This is traditionally done while in seiza (or a kneeling position), and involves two different bows each time.

  • Shomen Ni Rei: Often translated as a bow to the front. This stems from the tradition of adorning the front wall of the dojo with important cultural items, like images of karate founders and flags.
  • Sensei Ni Rei: This is a bow to the sensei (or instructor), and is meant to thank them for teaching the class.

Bowing is a common way of greeting others in Japan, so it is customary to bow when greeting other karatekas. This is especially important when greeting a more experienced or senior practitioner. This would be done instead of a “hello”.

When practicing kumite, it is important to bow whenever you face a new opponent. You should bow once before beginning to spar, and once again when the spar is over. This simple act of respect keeps the sparring professional, and prevents the attacks from feeling personal.

It is also common to bow when acknowledging the sensei. Once you start practicing karate, you will quickly find yourself bowing and saying “osu” instead of “yes” and “okay” when addressing the instructor. You might even find yourself accidentally saying “osu” in other contexts outside of class, getting you confused looks from the people around you.

Lining Up

Karate classes typically begin and end with students lining up on one side of the dojo to begin bowing. Your place in the line is important, and you should position yourself based on your seniority. This means the line will often go from white belt to black belt, and each colour group will be organized by the karatekas’ experience.

It’s important to note that when visiting other dojos, you are expected to show humility by standing at the least experienced position based on your belt’s colour. Even if you have more experience than the people of your belt colour, you should still show them respect as a guest.

These lines form when the instructor gives the command, so you should hurry when told to move or line up. Walk quickly, jog, or run to get to your position as soon as possible. Not only does this show respect to the instructor, but it helps the class flow more quickly so you have more actual training time.

Finally, if you show up late to class and people have already lined up, you should simply sit in a kneeling position near the dojo’s entrance. Stay quiet, and wait for the instructor to tell you to join in.

General Etiquette

There’s some other general etiquette that can be applied to most martial arts. These are meant to keep classes focused and help people stay safe.

  • Stay Quiet: Just like in school, it’s considered impolite to talk to others when the instructor is speaking. Try to stay quiet and focused on the lesson at hand. You should also silence your phone to avoid interrupting the class.
  • Be Hygienic: Just like in any other environment, it’s important to maintain good hygiene. Be sure to keep your karate uniform (often called gi) clean.
  • Remove Jewelry: You should take off any jewelry, including watches, before a class. Not only could you damage the items, but you risk injuring yourself and the people around you by wearing them.

Now that you know more about karate etiquette, you should consider signing up for one of our beginner-friendly classes at Traditional Martial Arts And Fitness. We offer sessions for all age groups and have classes all throughout the week. Send us an email at or call us at +971 4 430 1011 to schedule your first class!


If you’re looking to stay safe, you’d naturally look at the different martial art and combat sports being taught in your area and wonder if they’d actually help you in a real fight.

When it comes to karate, the answer depends on several different factors. Before exploring these factors, keep in mind that karate is a form of self-defense. It is intended to keep you safe, so do not use karate to start a fight, as this goes against the principles and philosophies of this martial art. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the factors that would affect the outcome of a fight.

Style Of Karate

You can divide karate into two broad categories.

  1. Traditional Karate
  2. Sports Karate

These categories focus on different aspects of the martial art, and that can affect how useful they’d be in a real fight.

Traditional Karate

As the name implies, traditional karate follows the same core philosophies that inspired the foundation of the martial art. To get a good understanding of these, it’s important to briefly go over the history of karate.

Karate was founded in Okinawa as a means of self-defense. The people were prohibited from carrying swords on their person, so they needed to develop a form of unarmed combat to protect themselves. Hence the formation of karate (which literally means “empty hand”).

Today, traditional dojos emphasize self-defense and practical techniques that would be helpful in a fight. They also place an importance on the culture and philosophy of karate.

Sports Karate

Dojos focusing on sports karate tend to emphasize competition-style kumite. These competitions are point-based.

  • 1 point is awarded for landing a punch.
  • 2 points are awarded for landing a kick to the body.
  • 3 points are awarded for landing a kick to the head.
  • 3 points are awarded for knocking an opponent to the ground and then landing a punch.

Competitions also tend to avoid some of the more dangerous karate techniques (like elbow strikes and open-hand attacks) to protect the participants. Grappling is also not permitted.

Because of all these restrictions, sports karate dojos focus on light techniques that get the most points instead of the most effective techniques in a fight. This makes them less ideal if you’re practicing for self-defense.


Experience is one of the most important factors in a fight. The person who’s been in more fights is better in-tune with their body, and they know what they can and can’t do. More experience also teaches you what techniques work best in what scenarios. You’ll also develop a better sense of combat distance and timing.

By sparring in martial arts classes, you’re building the experience that will help you in a fight. Karate offers a safe environment to develop these skills and gain that experience, so you’re ready in a real fight.


Physical fitness is another contributing factor to the outcome of a fight. While experience and technique are much more important, being fit can massively sway the outcome of a fight in your favour as it affects:

  • The strength of your strikes.
  • The stamina to last the entire fight.
  • The stability to avoid being thrown down.
  • The mass to throw down your opponents.
  • The endurance to withstand being hit.

Practicing karate is a great way to develop the physical fitness needed for a fight. At Traditional Martial Arts And Fitness, we tend to incorporate both cardio and weight training into our classes, so you can develop the abilities needed to win a fight.

If you want to focus on this factor, you should do regular auxiliary training at a gym to increase strength and stamina.


A real fight is not constrained by any rules, so your opponent might brandish a knife or other weapon. This can massively tilt the fight in your opponent’s favour, so it’s important to react accordingly.

Do not attempt to fight an armed opponent. Your best option is to escape in that circumstance. Remember, karate is a form of self-defense. The focus is on survival, not beating your opponent. So running away is a valid strategy and should be used in these circumstances.

That said, karate does offer some techniques that can mitigate or disarm your opponent’s weapon, but these are still very risky. So your best option is to avoid the fight entirely.

Number Of Opponents

When in a real fight, you might be facing several opponents instead of one. This is not a good situation to be in. No martial art or combat sport is truly effective at fighting multiple opponents.

At our dojo, we occasionally do uneven sparring where you can gain an understanding of how to handle multiple opponents by improving your positioning. But it is still easy to be overwhelmed despite your experience, so escape is your best option.

Karate offers plenty of benefits that will help you win in a fight. You learn how to land strikes, how to take a hit, proper distance, timing, and spatial awareness. You even develop a good deal of physical fitness.

But no martial art is guaranteed to help you win every fight in every scenario. There are countless factors outside of your control, like the number of opponents, or weapons. But martial arts can still tilt things in your favour.

That’s why you should consider enrolling in one of our karate classes. Just send us an email at or call us at +971 4 430 1011 to schedule your first class!

What people do during their formative years has a profound effect on who they become as adults, so as a parent it’s important to enroll your kids in positive activities like martial arts that teach children valuable lessons. There are tons of physical, mental, and social benefits for kids enrolled in these exercises.


Karate’s most obvious benefit is physical fitness. Any sort of exercise is good for children, as it improves their health and reduces the risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

Martial arts also improve your physical health in numerous other areas, owing to the variety of techniques and exercises involved. A 2022 meta study mentions the benefits to:

  • Speed.
  • Agility.
  • Strength.
  • Flexibility.
  • Coordination.
  • Balance.

These improvements can help kids in many areas of their lives, and it gives them the physical ability to engage in more activities as adults.


Many unarmed martial arts like karate were created to allow people to defend themselves in times of need. Nowadays, most people don’t live under constant threat, but it’s still useful to know how to take care of oneself.

Martial arts can help kids avoid being bullied. It can also make them more aware of their surroundings, resulting in fewer injuries when out and about.


Discipline and self-control play a huge role in martial arts. You go to the same place at the same time and perform the same techniques every week. This routine does wonders for kids, as they commit to tasks and become comfortable with repeatedly working on something.

Learning self control will have a huge impact on your kid’s future, as they’ll get used to working hard to achieve their goals and meeting their resolutions.


Living in a fast-paced, technology driven world has left many people unable to focus as everything is vying for your attention. This is a problem that affects both adults and children, so it’s important to develop the ability to focus as early as possible.

Martial arts can help with this. They’re famous for improving people’s concentration. Children can learn how to focus on their work, improving their school results, and making them happier overall.


Katas are one of the core pillars of karate and many other martial arts. They involve performing long and complex sequences of movements. As children practice karate, they’ll have to memorize several of these katas to advance in rank. So not only does karate improve your physical fitness, but it keeps your mind sharp as well.


As individual sports, martial arts require students to hone their abilities to advance. Kids learn to trust in themselves which improves their confidence. Students are often required to perform their techniques in front of others, teaching them how to stay calm and overcome their anxieties in front of a crowd.


Martial arts offer a safe environment for kids to let out all their pent-up feelings and energy. If you think your child is aggressive, you should consider enrolling them in karate classes as studies indicate martial arts reduce aggression. Leaving them happier at home and at school.


Respect is one of the core philosophies of karate and many other martial arts. Every session begins and ends with a bow to the instructor, as you acknowledge their skills and experience, thanking them for teaching you. These martial arts teach people to be humble, which is a good trait for kids to develop, as they’ll learn to be respectful and polite to everyone around them.


Martial arts classes are a positive environment that encourages friendship. This is a great place for kids to meet one another and make friends outside of school. It offers children a way to develop their social skills, and to feel welcome within a large community.

It doesn’t matter what age you are, martial arts offer plenty of benefits for your kids or yourself. Our head instructor at Traditional Martial Arts And Fitness has over 20 years of experience teaching kids martial arts, so we offer an excellent learning opportunity through after-school and weekend karate classes. Be sure to send us an email at or call us at +971 4 430 1011 to schedule your first class!

The Month Of Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it’s famous as the month of fasting. During this month, Muslims tend to avoid having food and water from sunrise to sunset (if they are in good health).

With over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, there are many athletes and sports-enthusiasts who struggle during the month of Ramadan. Should they train when fasting? And how can they make it a better experience?

Benefits Of Training While Fasting

For many people out there, it’s a good idea to train when fasting. The two main benefits are:

  1. Fat Loss: The human body gets most of its energy from glucose, a molecule derived from carbohydrates found in sugars and grains. Most glucose is used up instantly, with the excess being turned into fat. When you fast, your body loses access to glucose and is more likely to break down other macronutrients like fat (and occasionally protein). This is why studies link fasting to fat oxidation, which is excellent if you want to lose weight and body fat. Just be mindful not to overeat after breaking your fast.
  2. Improved Endurance: Studies also show that training while fasting improves your endurance, meaning you will be able to do aerobic exercises for longer. The underlying cause is that your body becomes reliant on stored fat, so it gets better at breaking down the fat into usable energy. This improvement helps your endurance, as endurance exercises last longer than your glucose supply.

Downsides Of Training While Fasting

Training while fasting isn’t without its downsides. The two biggest are:

  1. Muscle Loss: The reason for muscle loss is that your body will also break down the protein in your muscles for energy. That said, the rate of muscle loss is much slower than fat loss because fat has more energy than protein. Yet it’s still a good idea to exercise while fasting, as the exercise will help you maintain your muscles if paired with a proper diet.
  2. Worse Performance: If you’ve ever practiced martial arts while fasting, you’ll already be aware of the worsened performance. The cause is a lack of energy, which makes it harder to concentrate on what you’re doing and tires your body more quickly.

Nutritional Tips

One way to improve your training is by managing what you eat after iftar.

Eat High Protein Foods

To combat muscle loss, you should try to eat foods that are high in protein. This includes meat, eggs, nuts, and legumes. You should also consult with a nutritionist to see if you need protein powders if your diet is lacking in this department. These will help you maintain your strength when training.

Eat Nutritious Foods

You have a limited eating window during Ramadan, so you should try to get as many nutrients as possible. The best way of doing this is to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. A good piece of advice is to make your plate as colourful as possible to ensure you’re getting all your vitamins and minerals.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Dehydration is a big problem when fasting. It can have serious health consequences, so you should try to drink plenty of water while you have the chance. Make sure to always keep a bottle of water with you, and drink from it consistently. Doing so reduces the effects of dehydration when training, so your performance won’t be as impaired.

Avoid Foods That Make You Thirsty

In a similar vein, you should avoid foods that make you dehydrated. This includes salty snacks and diuretics like coffee (especially if it’s the only thing you drink). This helps keep you hydrated and healthy.

Training Tips

You can change some aspects of your martial arts training and be more mindful when exercising to have a better fasted training experience.

Train At A Lower Intensity

You’re fasting and have less energy, so it’s going to be difficult to go all out without crashing. That’s why you should pace yourself and focus on doing lower intensity training. A good way of doing so is by reducing both the training duration and how much energy you put into it.

When practicing martial arts, this means focusing on your technique instead of your speed and strength. Use this as an opportunity to master a kata and develop a good stance, as this knowledge will do you more good in the long-term.

Know Your Limits

Training while fasted can be problematic if you aren’t self-aware. Track your energy levels and be aware of your limits. Don’t try to push beyond what you can do, as this is dangerous.

If you’re beginning to feel light-headed or dizzy, tell the instructor you need to rest. There’s nothing wrong with knowing your limits, and it’s better to take a rest than risking your health (which can have long-term consequences). Your instructor will understand what you’re going through, and they’ll try to help you as much as possible, so don’t be afraid to ask if you need a breather.

Train At A Convenient Time

When you exercise is much more important during Ramadan. Studies show evening training is better for your health when fasting. Anecdotally, many Muslim athletes will also train right before iftar, as it allows them to refill their energy levels as soon as they finish training.

That said, each person is different. Some people prefer to practice after they’ve had something to eat. Or they might prefer waking up early, and training before sunrise. See what works for you and your system.

Here at Traditional Martial Arts And Fitness, we offer plenty of classes that will help you train while fasted. Our special Ramadan classes offer a shorter and lighter experience for anyone who wants to train fasted, and it takes place right before iftar. If you’re interested in this, be sure to call us at +971 4 430 1011 or send an email to INFO@MARTIALARTDXB.COM.


Whether you’ve just started karate or have been at it for years, everyone gets nervous at times. Maybe it’s an exam for your next belt? Or maybe you have a competition coming up? Regardless of the event, you feel your heart racing, your breath catching, and your hands shaking. What’s going on?

Performance anxiety is the fear of not being able to do a task. It affects people in many areas of their lives, be it a school exam or a presentation in front of a crowd. It’s especially widespread in sports, from beginners to world-class athletes. And the root cause is often putting too much pressure on the task.

How To Deal With Performance Anxiety?

Meet Your Physical Needs

No matter how nervous or anxious you feel, you should continue prioritizing your health above all else. Not only will this help you be in your best shape when it comes time to do karate, but it can greatly reduce your anxiety.

Make sure to get enough water, eat nutritious meals, and get plenty of sleep. Try to avoid staying up the night before the event, because a lack of sleep is closely tied with drowsiness, a lack of focus, and poor mental health which will only amplify your performance anxiety.

Be Positive

It can be hard to stay positive when you’re worried about the future. Your head is full of negative thoughts as you overanalyze every last detail and think of everything that could go wrong. You start saying “I can’t do it” or other negative things.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Focusing on little details puts you out of the moment, so you can’t focus on being your best self. And your demotivating thoughts will make you stop trying, because “what’s the point?”

The trick is to turn the self-fulfilling nature of self-talk to your advantage. You can start picturing yourself practicing karate at the event and thinking of everything that you’re doing correct, as imagination acts like exposure therapy and can reduce your anxiety. Repeating positive mantras and telling yourself “I can do it” will also motivate you to be your best, and can greatly improve your performance.

Calm Yourself

In addition to being positive, it’s helpful to clear your mind before the event. You should try to find ways to calm yourself to better enter a state of flow when you practice karate.

There’s no sure-fire way to relax, but you could try listening to music or meditating in peace before the event. As long as it’s something tranquil and enjoyable.

Talk To People

Sometimes you just need to vent and express your feelings. Whether it’s your friends, classmates, or your sensei, be sure to tell others if you’re getting anxious.

The people around you are sure to encourage you. Your friends will listen and support you; your classmates will help and motivate you; and your sensei can reassure you of your success. After all, your instructor knows you can handle it if they let you compete or go in for an exam.

At the end of the day, there’s no need to be nervous. Success in any martial art is about practice and dedication. It’s about attending class and being persistent. No single moment can undo everything you’ve learned and accomplished. Just take a deep breath, because you got this.

And if you’re anxious about starting karate, then Traditional Martial Arts And Fitness has your back. We offer beginner classes for all age groups and skill levels. Be sure to give us a call at +971 4 430 1011 or send us an email at INFO@MARTIALARTDXB.COM to start practicing today.

Everyone sets goals for the new year, but how many people actually stick to them? If you’re like most people, you’ll manage to keep up a diet or exercise routine for about a month before life takes over and you’re back to square one.

Why does this happen? And what can you do to stick to your goals?

Why Is It Difficult To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution?

The New Year is a symbolic fresh start. It’s a time for rebirth and new chances. Unfortunately, we often get so enraptured by the symbol that we forget the truth behind it.

Just because the number on the calendar is different, doesn’t mean the pressures of real life will go away.

Unrealistic Expectations

We’re living in the information age which comes with many benefits, but one major problem is that people spend too much time comparing themselves to others on social media. While this isn’t inherently bad, social media often shows the glamorous parts of the picture, while ignoring all the hard work and time that goes into accomplishing something.

The result? People think they should quickly be able to accomplish anything.

But that’s not how things work. We can’t just flip a switch and go from zero to a hundred. Accomplishing anything takes time and dedication. More importantly, you need to improve gradually.

Instead of committing to going to the gym five times a week despite never going, try going only once or twice. First build the habit, then worry about increasing the quality and frequency.

Reliance On Motivation

We’re all so excited when fantasizing about the new year and all the possibilities. We’re motivated to pursue our goals and see them to completion.

The problem? Motivation doesn’t last. Your motivation is like the tide. It comes and goes, ebbs and flows. You can’t rely on it to carry you through to your goal.

Accomplishing any long-term goal comes down to one thing, and that’s discipline. Sometimes life gets in the way, you get bored, or you’re just tired, but discipline can carry you through. It’s the habits you build that will help you accomplish your goals.

How Can Karate Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals?

Many people know fitness is important, as physical exercise comes with a whole host of benefits:

  • Increases Amount Of Movement: Most people live sedentary lives, as they sit in the office, car, and at home. Exercising is a good way of changing that.
  • Improves Mood: Exercising has been shown to improve people’s mood, give them more energy, and reduce the symptoms of depression.
  • Enhances Your Mind: Your brain is a part of your body, so exercising can actually stimulate your mind as well. This leads to better decision-making and learning.
  • Reduces Chances Of Illness: Exercising can greatly improve your cardiovascular health and prevent other health problems.

But going to the gym, running, and other self-directed exercises can be difficult to stick to. That’s why you should try karate and other martial arts, as they provide plenty of advantages that make it easy to build a habit and accomplish your goals.

Low Commitment

People have a lot of misconceptions about martial arts, and they worry they need to commit several hours a week and train non-stop. The truth is that you can get started with as little as one hour a week.

The low commitment lets you attend classes even when your life gets busy. This way you can build a habit and only take more classes when you feel comfortable.

Community And Friendship

Many of us experience loneliness in life, as there just aren’t enough hours in the day to spend time with friends and family when there’s so much to do. That’s where martial arts can help.

Many people join a dojo with their friends and family. You can enjoy each other’s company (and punch one another) while staying fit and accomplishing your goals. Dojos are also full of people with similar interests and goals, giving you the opportunity to meet new people and make friends. That’s part of what makes martial arts so fun.


A martial arts session is run by an instructor who understands your abilities and goals. They’ll constantly keep things exciting by challenging your skills without overwhelming you. Instructors will also motivate you by awarding you higher ranking belts as your skills develop.


One reason people fail to build a habit is a lack of accountability. It’s easy to slack off when no one is relying on you.

With martial arts, you have an entire dojo rooting for you and holding you accountable. Your friends, instructor, and community want you to succeed, and you’ll find plenty of encouragement and support that’ll help you stick to your goals.

Flexible Schedule

Life gets busy. You have work, important events, or you might feel a little sick one day. At Traditional Martial Arts And Fitness, we provide karate sessions every day of the week. If you’re unable to make your regular session, you can always attend another one. This lets you stay consistent and build healthy habits.

If you’re interested make sure to give us a call at +971 4 430 1011. You can also send us an email at INFO@MARTIALARTDXB.COM. Start your fitness journey today!


With close to 200 different martial art styles out there, it’s hard to decide what to practice. Each of these sports have their own unique history, philosophy, and approach. Some focus on certain combat techniques, while others emphasize the health benefits of the martial art. Here you’ll find a summary of some of the most famous martial arts around the world.


Karate is perhaps one of the most famous martial arts in the world. It originates from the Okinawa region in Japan and was partially influenced by Chinese martial arts. The word “Karate” itself means “empty hand” which refers to this martial art’s focus on weaponless combat.

Karate techniques focus on combat and self-defence, and it involves many strikes (such as punches and kicks — with more emphasis on techniques with punches). This Japanese martial art is also a philosophy focusing on discipline, respect, and improving oneself.

There are several styles of Karate, with the most prominent being Shotokan, Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu, and Wado Ryu.


Another very famous martial art is Taekwondo. This ancient form of self-defence stems from Korea and can be traced back to the 7th century.

Much like Karate, there is a focus on self-defence and combat, with many strikes. Unlike in Karate, however, there is more emphasis placed on kicks instead of punches.

Kung Fu

When people hear the words “martial arts” they often first think of Kung Fu. Many believe that this refers to a specific Chinese martial art, but it is actually an umbrella term that includes many such sports. In fact, the original meaning of the word is “an expertise in a skill” and had nothing to do with martial arts.

There are various types of kung fu. Some famous examples involve animal mimicry techniques; others are based on Chinese philosophy and religion; while others are more focused on physical fitness.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a martial art that stems from Thailand and whose name means “Thai Boxing”. This is an old martial art that stems from the 13th century.

This sport requires a lot of discipline and has an emphasis on full contact close combat, with many different strikes and grapples. While most martial arts focus on four points of contact (the two hands and two feet), Muay Thai uses eight points of contact (including the two elbows and two knees).

Muay Thai is one of the greatest influencers of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) — a combat sport that incorporates various techniques from different martial arts.

Jiu Jitsu

Jiu Jitsu is originally a Japanese martial art that warriors learned to fight off armed and armoured opponents. As such, this martial art focuses on both unarmed combat and lightly armed combat.

What makes this martial art so special is its emphasis on using the opponent’s strength and momentum against them with the aid of throws, grips, pins, and sweeps. It is these traits that made it very influential and helped create other martial arts like Judo and Aikido.

In the early 20th century a new form of Jiu Jitsu appeared in South America and is famously referred to as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.


Judo is another famous martial art that stems from Japan. Judo is a modern martial art and was created in 1882, and is derived from Jiu Jitsu. Despite being so young, Judo became the first martial art to enter the Olympics — with Taekwondo later entering and Karate appearing once in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The aim of Judo is to use the opponent’s strength against them, and so it involves many gripping, throwing, and pinning techniques. There is a lot of focus on getting the opponent on the ground and immobilizing them. The main difference between Judo and Jiu Jitsu is that Judo emphasizes techniques while standing up, whereas Jiu Jitsu emphasizes techniques when on the ground.


Aikido is another modern Japanese martial art that stems from Jiu Jitsu. This sport started in the early 1900s and shares much in common with both Jiu Jitsu and Judo.

What sets it apart is that Aikido focuses on disarming the opponent without causing significant damage. As such, there aren’t many offensive techniques as everything is done in self-defence. Many of the techniques involve throws and joint locks, as you use the opponent’s momentum against them. Staffs are also a commonly used weapon in Aikido.


Kendo is yet another Japanese martial art. Unlike the other ones on this list, Kendo is closely related to Samurai training from over 200 years ago. It focuses on using nihonto (which refers to swords like the Japanese katana) as opposed to unarmed combat.

You can often recognize Kendo practitioners from their use of bamboo swords and the protective gear they wear (which can resemble dark-coloured fencing gear).

Tai Chi

Tai Chi — more formally known as Tai Chi Chuan — is a Chinese martial art. This exercise is primarily learned as both self-defence and for its various health benefits. You can recognize this sport by its very slow techniques that focus on improving a person’s internal strength and their control.

This martial art is commonly taught in China as an effective way of leading a healthy lifestyle, which is why it’s popular in hospitals, clinics, and senior centres. It is a common part of many people’s lives, and as such, there is no uniform like in many other martial arts.


Hapkido is a modern Korean martial art formed in the 20th century. It draws inspiration from many martial arts, including Judo.

This is a hybrid martial art, so it utilizes various techniques. These include strikes, throws, joint locks, and even the use of various weapons — such as swords, staffs, canes, and nunchaku.

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