5 Class Tips for Beginner Martial Arts Students


Whether you’re a beginner taking your first martial arts class or an old pro, here are 5 tips to get more out of your practice time. If you like the video, SUBSCRIBE. Then sign up for my 7-DAY MARTIAL ARTS CHALLENGE here:

Now, on to the tips to be your best!

Tip # 1: Be On Time. Even better—show up to your martial arts class early. Give yourself time to say hello, change your clothes, warm up, and get focused. That’s not just good for you, it shows respect for your teacher and your fellow students.

Tip #2: Keep It Clean and Safe. Every martial arts class has at least one student who stinks. Don’t be that guy! Wash your uniform. Wear deodorant. And cut the cologne! I also recommend carrying some breath mints in your bag. My advice– show up to every class like it’s a first date.

If you practice in bare feet, carry some baby wipes, too. A quick wipe down will help keep dirt and germs off the mats.

It’s also important to keep your fingernail and toenails short. And lose the bling! Piercings and jewelry of any kind are a danger to you and everybody else. If you do get cut or scratched, carry some Band-Aids and athletic tape in your bag. Nobody wants your blood on them!

Tip #3: Bring a Notebook. Don’t let lessons slip from memory. Make it a habit to write down what you learned after every class. If writing is a chore, use your phone to make a quick video. Even after years and years, I can still look back on my first notebooks and find new information. You should, too!

Tip #4: Hold Your Questions. They say there is no such thing as a dumb question. Not true! If you ask a question about a technique you haven’t even practiced, that’s a dumb question.

The answers to all of your questions will be revealed by practicing, not by talking. So, here’s my advice for every beginning martial arts student– listen first, practice second, question third.

5) Prepare for the Plateau. Being a white belt is thrilling because you’ll never learn so much, so fast ever again. But at some point, you’re going to hit a wall. You’ll either think, “I already know all this,” or, “I’m never going to get all of this.” Either way, you’re wrong.

The learning process is erratic. Sometimes you’ll make big jumps, sometimes you’ll make small jumps. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re going nowhere, sometimes you’ll feel like you’re going backward! But you’re not… you’re still learning. So, have faith and don’t give up!

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WARNING: The advice and movements shown in this video are for informational and educational purposes only. Consult a doctor before engaging in any exercise or martial arts program.


21 thoughts on “5 Class Tips for Beginner Martial Arts Students”

  1. I had a similar idea to the notebook but instead I use postits and write down everything Im doing right and wrong after a sparring session so I can keep doing whats right and correct whats wrong

  2. All of those tips are actually in our club rules 🙂 That's not because one has copied the other, it's because it's sound advice for any school. Excellent advice as usual from sensei Ando. I have one potentially stupid question though. That one person that stinks, what if they arrive all fresh, but sweat so much they are like a walking rain cloud? Does that count?

  3. ah thank goodness! i thought i was so weird for keeping a notebook, i'm glad it turned out to be the right thing XD thanks for your videos. i like how they apply to all different types of martial arts.

  4. Hello sensei i do these workout at home
    1. 10 min Meditation
    2. 10 min tai chi
    3. 20 min warm up and stretches
    4. 20 min martial arts (since i started martial arts. I did karate in way back 8 years but planning to increase the time)
    5. 20 min weight lift gym workout
    its a mix form of workout
    I m a average indian guy of 29 with little belly fat but im looking for lean body with inner strength
    So i chose this way in order get body in shape as well the chi also get stronger
    I just started this workout 3 weeks back sometime i get into situation adrenal fatigue specially in martial arts..
    What you suggest sensei is it ok to mix them or should i do one by one…As you are an expert thats why i need your advice.

  5. I'm like, 14, and I'm considering being in martial arts, but I would like to know what martial arts is really like.

  6. I especially love the short: "sometimes you might think you're actually getting worse," because it's so true and yet rarely mentioned. The fact is, there are a lot of reasons why you sometimes think that you are getting worse, but it's rarely true. It could be some skewed type of nostalgia, depression, or simply the fact that some people got better, i.e. had the plateau jump at a different time than you. Consistency, sparring, and open-mindedness towards other techniques make sure that you aren't actually getting worse, so as long as you keep going to the gym/dojo, everything will be fine. 🙂

  7. Between Sensei Rick Hotton and Sensei Ando… Ya, you can cover a lot of good ground with these masters. No excuse for not training when these guys can motivate so well

  8. I quit karate when the teacher expected all the students to do 100 pushups, at least in ten successions.
    If I ever learn to do 100 pushups on my knuckles, then I'll return to the dojo, 'cause then I'll be worthy of being taught.

  9. That's interesting! I'm not a person who relies a lot of experience. I'm more of a person who relies on introvertes sensing, strong introverted thinking, and strong extroverted intuition, though I DO know experience is important. I bet the reason why I have trouble learning bodily tricks is because of this. Thanks for the insight!

  10. I also learn quite different from the typical person. The greater and detail my understanding is of something, the better I can apply it…I can't see that working as well with something like martial arts, though, so that's useful to know. I also often ask questions and correct, though I don't correct out of disrespect. I've learned to reserve my corrections if it prevents the situation from going south. I ask questions, because it helps me learn better, but what you said makes a lot of sense!

  11. I originally tried Judo when I was little. I tried it, because my brother tried it, which I now know is a stupis reason to try something. I quit due to social reasons (I had a misunderstanding with the teacher). I'm socially awkward, and I didn't grasp the situation, so I was confused why I was being punished. I think the teacher didn't understand nor knew that I didn't understand. I think he was a nice guy. I think there was simply a miscommunication. I was MUCH more vulnerable emotionally and mentally back then. Ironically, I'm actually not very in-touch with my emotions now. I'm actually very left-brained. lol It doesn't mean I don't have emotions, and I don't suppress them, because that'd cause problems. I'm just not very in-touch with them.

  12. Hey! So, I'm a 5'1" girl and I'm a bit overweight… I would really love to get into martial arts, but I'm not sure if my body type will hinder me. Should I lose weight or something before getting into classes?

  13. Sensei Ando,
    First of all thank you for your tips.. I just opened a martial art club Nd your this video clip boost me up to tell my students about it that how to maintain and take responsibility as a beginner ??

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