7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Kravate101's picture
Funokoshi's recommendation on training times

Something that struck me whilst reading Funokoshi's "Karatedo Kyohan" is that he recommends that the practioner not over do things. He suggests that for most purposes 10-15 mins are adequate- and the odd time training for an hour or so. he does say that this way one could train at various times throughout the day: eg in the morning, at lunchbreak and in evening.

I have started to train this way- and am just wandering what people make of this idea. Obviously its radically different from an hour and a half to 2 hour mega-sweat at many modern dojos. Perhaps things were more laid back in Funokoshi's day.

I'm training almost exclusively on my own these days and I'm hoping to grade to 2nd Dan this year so I'd appreciate any feedback.

For me these multiple mini sessions fit in nicely around my other interests- running and all the stretching and strength work associated with middle to long distance running. I do sometimes wonder if longer karate drills would be better than short multiple sessions.


Joshua.Harvie's picture

I'd mix it up, ten minutes here and there throughout the day is an easy way to get more training in than you would otherwise. Lately I've been training by myself a lot as well, I find that the mini-sessions are a good way to focus on one specific technique or sequence rather than have a full 'mini-class'. Really, when you think about it in a class with basics, combinations, forms, application, sparring, padwork and in many cases combinations of those elements as well you won't be spending ten minutes on a specific technique. Good thing too or everytime you finish a class you'd already be running late for the next one! You may not do a specific technique more than a handful of times or if you do it will be at the compromise of the rest. The mini sessions are a good method of focussed and specific training, but sometimes you just need to go through everything which takes a little more time.

Hope this helps,


lcpljones_dontpanic's picture

I think that if you can fit such a training schedule into your daily routine IN ADDITION TO formal instruction from ones Sensei for correction and progression then its probably a much better way of training than simply attending an hour and a half or two hour class 2 or 3 times per week. one could look at it on a weekly aggregate training time basis, such as;

3 x 2hr formal classes per week = total weekly training time of 6hrs

2 x 1hr formal classes per week + 2 x 15min personal session per day x 7 days per week = total weekly training time of 5 1//2 hrs

now the 1/2 hour less for the more frequent training schedule may seem at first glance to suggest that one would not gain as much as from the more intensive but less regular sessions. however if one looks carefully at the 3 x per week schedule and takes into consideration that the first 10-20 minutes will probably entail some sort of warm up and stretching routine and then add in to equation issues such as time spent listening and watching the sensei demonstrate or explain something (allow another 5mins per session for this) the I think that the two schedules can be viewed equally.

I would like to add a caveat to all this though. that is it would be different for each individual as no one progresses at the same rate and in the same way as everyone else. the above examples are purley theoretical for explanatary purposes.

i beleive that what funakoshi was referring to was that if one can only attend training with ones sensei even once a week for an hour or two then one can still benefit from and indeed should train alone on a daily basis.

Tau's picture

I think developing endurance is important. Then there's time with Sensei.

I admit that I nearly always have ten (or twenty) minute sessions of Kata practice when I work night shifts and my colleague is on break. 

Dillon's picture

I think this is a great additon to class times or longer dedicated training sessions.  I think a lot of my personal skill development comes from the fact that I do a little here and there through the day, every day, whenever I get a moment.  I don't make a big deal out of it- I just work on whatever bit of movement or technique I happen to be thinking of at the time.  I hadn't thought anything of it until talking to another student about training a few years ago.  I realized it's pretty easy for that to add up to an extra hour or two of training a day.

Making a habit of doing a little here and there will make a big impact over the life of your training.  Don't worry about setting aside the time specifically; just make the habit of doing a bit when you're unoccupied.   15 minutes is about 1% of your time for the day; how many of those instances do we waste without even thinking about it?

Finlay's picture

I like the idea of the quick sessions, i some time walk about the house trying to get my hip motion right etc.

But i think with these quick session you never have time to really work hard as it would take a while to get warmed up in the first place. i think the advantage would be not isolating the practice to when you are wearing a gi and in the dojo, practicing all the time in little bits makes everything more natural.

Deciding what to work on is another question. if you had 10 mins right now, what would you work on to get the most out of it

Michael Hough
Michael Hough's picture

I prefer to use karate to train karate, and do my conditioning work on my own, so I'm really not into the 2-hour "workouts" anyway. Actually, it annoys me. But that's another topic.

As for what to train in ten minutes? Anything. Pick a technique. Do 50 of them. Go watch tv. Stretch during commercials. Walk through the house throwing front kicks. Isolate a single moement from a kata and practice it on both sides. Stand on one leg while you make a sandwich. You get the idea.

You can also see why my mother was so annoyed while I was a kid. I did karate CONSTANTLY back then.

One of my mentors always says, "Practice every day. 5 minutes to start. Every day. You do that, try 10 minutes. But every day. Then 15, 20, an hour. But every day. You can't do every day, go back to 5 minutes."