Practicing classical Japanese karate in a safe and collegial setting.



A New Language

Learning Karate is Like Learning a New Language

Learning something new, like karate, takes time and mastery is a life-long commitment. The progress, however, can be compared to learning a new language. Karate-ka (practitioners of karate), like scholars, start at the beginning and diligently develop their skills over time.

  • At the white belt (or beginner) level, training is like learning the ABCs. Scholars learn to make sounds and recognize symbols. Karate-ka learn the basic techniques (punches, kicks, blocks, stances) of the art.
  • At the yellow belt (or rookie) level, scholars become more familiar with the alphabet and begin to piece letters together and identify simple words. Karate-ka become more accustomed to the techniques and feel more at ease with the fundamentals.
  • At the orange belt (or novice) level, scholars can easily identify words and begin to understand their meaning. Verbs, nouns, and other grammatical elements are discerned. Karate-ka begin to tie techniques together and develop basic attack and defence combinations.
  • At the green belt (or greenhorn) level, sentences begin to form and ideas begin to take shape. Scholars begin to appreciate poetry and the beauty of the language; a story begins to emerge. Karate-ka begin to apply movement patterns and develop balance, timing, grace, and power.
  • At the blue belt (or intermediate) level, students can read paragraphs. The whole story becomes clearer with beautiful descriptions and a sense of continuity. Scholars begin to relate elements from their story to elements from other stories. Karate-ka begin to tie various aspects of their training together to form a cohesive whole.
  • At the brown belt (or apprentice) level, scholars begin to compose. Karate-ka begin to incorporate ideas and techniques from other disciplines. They begin to see how knowledge from other areas can enhance their learning.

the ABCs of karate training

  • At the 1st and 2nd black belt (or advanced) levels, scholars’ writing skills become more and more refined and others begin to benefit from their work. Karate-ka begin experimenting with their own style, nuance, and application.
  • At the 3rd, 4th, and 5th black belt (or expert) levels, writers become accomplished and their influence begins to be felt in wider circles. Karate-ka serve as instructors, coaches, and role models for other, up-and-coming students.
  • At the 6th, 7th, and 8th black belt (or master) levels, scholars have acquired true mastery of the language. They are distinguished poets, authors, and professors. Karate masters advance the art and science of karate and serve as inspiration for the next generation.

Whether you are learning a new language or learning karate:

  • master the fundamentals
  • apply the basics
  • enjoy the journey

Visit the Charles Fink Karate Dojo and begin your learning today!

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