Should I quit karate, please read!!?

Im 14, I have been in karate nearly my whole life, Im a brown belt, I have always liked it until recently. Recently i have been getting really frustrated when we practice, I DO like katas, but we always do them slowly so he can see our mistakes, I really dont want to sound narcissistic or anything but I almost never have mistakes so its very annoying. Second, we never do kumite(sparring) and when we do he either puts me with people smaller than me or much bigger (there are people my size). The only thing I enjoy is the tournaments, I love them, but they are every 4 or so months so its ridiculous.

I feel like i cant quit because ive been doing it for so long and i think my parents would be dissapointed.

P.S. What martial art has tons of freestyle sparring?
PS I train in MMA twice a week
I also honestly think the fighting part of karate is useless, and I dont enjoy kata anymore so….

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11 Responses to Should I quit karate, please read!!?

  1. Filebuster says:

    You are put with people who are either better or worse than you, it’s not about size.

    Kata are done slow. You are to learn grace, sequence and patience.

    You are too stupid and vain to realise this.

  2. Frank says:

    Kid don’t listen to that guy Filebuster, he’s just depressed and so his strategy in life is to try to get other people miserable like he is. As you grow up you’ll experience more of those types.

    But no, I don’t think you should quit just yet. Often when you are learning anything you experience periods of frustration where you feel like you aren’t growing or progressing. It’s called a learning plateau and it’s during those times that many people quit because they can’t handle the frustration of not progressing. But the ones who become really good at something are the ones that persist on the plateau until they reach a higher level. If you can find a copy of the book “Mastery” by George Leonard, he explains this very well. He was an Aikido instructor, by the way.

  3. *Nas The God MC* says:

    yes.. karate is a waste of time imo. I quit shotokan karate after i got to my brown belt which took me like 8ish years for something more fun and practical in muay thai and jiujitsu

  4. John says:

    I think the fact that you’re a brown belt at 14 says it all. And you claim to train MMA 2 times a week to, which I have a hard time believing. But switch to MMA. What’s the problem?

  5. thetruesloth says:

    From reading your comments, I get the strong impression that on some level (if you are aware of it or not) you have already partially made up your mind and want us to agree with it. You fully admit that you liked it up until recently, which begs the question what has changed recently that caused this shift in mindset? You say on the one hand you DO like katas, then add on as an after-thought that you don’t enjoy kata anymore, so which one is it honestly? You say you’ve always liked karate, but the only bits you enjoy are the tournaments – but then to add on with “the fighting part of karate is useless”. If you think the fighting parts are really useless, what is it about the tournaments you love? What was the point in adding that you practice MMA twice a week?

    However, my opinion is no, you shouldn’t quit. All students go through periods of time with different intervals where you plateau. You feel down, frustrated, wonder why you keep slugging away at it, wonder what’s the point, etc. Everyone does it. The difference between a hobbyist and a martial artist (in my opinion) is really evident at this time – a hobbyist will probably walk away because it is no longer enjoyable. A martial artist will persevere until it becomes “enjoyable” and easy to practice again and accept that they will grow from the experience.


    Just to focus on a couple of specific bits:

    “I really dont want to sound narcissistic or anything but I almost never have mistakes so its very annoying.”

    There is a massive difference between not making mistakes when performing kata and practising kata and performing it properly. Do you understand the bunkai (analysis of the moves) or oyo (application of movement in a combat scenario) of the katas you practice? If not, then you really can’t say you never make mistakes. The reason you’re being slow drilled is – exactly as you said – so your instructor can look for mistakes. I’ve trained with karateka who only drilled their katas fast and frankly they were all diabolical. Because they strive for speed they “pull their punches” too soon, hold back on techniques like mae geri so they don’t apply it properly and fail to develop it as muscle memory. Your instructor is doing you a big favour – though ideally you should try it fast on occasion to see how it feels.

    “Second, we never do kumite(sparring) and when we do he either puts me with people smaller than me or much bigger (there are people my size).”

    People smaller than yourself generally present an interesting challenge in that they probably won’t move like you do and may even be a little faster, so you have to learn to use your reach to your advantage. Sparring with people bigger than yourself presents another challenge in that they have the reach advantage (which makes a big difference) so you have to learn to spar “like a little guy” and actually move and think about how to attack and defend properly. The real question is, why do you find this so frustrating?

    “I also honestly think the fighting part of karate is useless”

    Given that this was only added in as a second after-thought, I suspect this is not that you truly feel it is useless but that you’re convincing yourself of yet more “reasons” to give up. If you had honestly felt this to begin with, you would have brought it up before.

    There’s also a lot more to karate than “the fighting parts”. You may not practice shiai kumite very often (the competition sparring), but how often do you practice kumite gata, ippon/nihon/sanbon kumite, tanto dori, idori, jiyu kumite or jiyu waza, randori, etc? If you honestly can’t say, then it means that – in most cases – your knowledge of karate is not as complete as you might expect. Which if anything would be more reason to stick it out and examine your practice in more detail, not less.

  6. Kokoro says:

    karate has tons of sparing,
    which brings up a concern when you say you dont spar, just doing kata is not enough you need to learn the applications and apply them to sparing, once you reach the level were you can use kata in sparing you will understand kata. but without sparing you will never reach that point.

    people in the street and in self defense situations are never your size, so then just why should they be your size when you do kumite?
    are the bully’s in school the same size as the people they bully? no they rarely are, and such is real life. your opponents are rarely your size. techniques should be used and practiced on people both bigger and smaller then you. not just on one size. how do you expect to beat someone bigger then you if you never attempted it?

    karate kumite is not useless they way your training just might be though. yo might want to look for a better karate dojo instead of quitting

  7. David N says:

    No you shouldn’t.

    You said:
    “I ALMOST never have mistakes…”

    In other words, you still make mistakes.

    As a brown belt you are still learning the basics.
    You will not learn the actual martial art itself until AFTER you have become a black belt.

  8. Nick says:

    Ok Ok ! kid if your tired of Karate take a break and concentrae on MMA whats the worst you decide to go back to karate after a period of time/years they will either asses your technique and start you off on blue ,purple or brown , so really you wont loose anything i just came back to karte after 15 years ( i was a brown too 3kyu) and i realised how much i actually missed it. Ignore the majority of comments do as you feel because remember you can always go back nobody is turning their back on you.
    maybe its just the Club you train at is pissing you off and killing all the fun.

    All the best kid

  9. anonymous says:


  10. Donald says:

    While I respect the answers that advise: “No, don’t quit”–which are supported by some very persuasive arguments–my answer is a bit different:

    Talk to your instructor about your concerns. Then, if you don’t feel that your concerns have been adequately addressed, quit.

    Sometimes you just outgrow a sport, or an instructor, or a school. Or, rather, your goals head off in a different direction.

    Something like that, kind of, happened with my son. He studied a mix of traditional martial arts for about 8 years–maybe age 9 to 16. He became very good at it. However, his instructor (who was an excellent competitor) didn’t really believe in teaching his students to compete. And my son wanted to compete. Or, really, he just wanted to see how he compared with others. He tried a few karate tournaments, but lost badly on points…because he’d never been taught point fighting.

    He later moved into high school wrestling, grappling, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and MMA. He loves that because he gets to compete. And it helps that he’s very good at it. But it took awhile.

    One point about being matched up with people smaller or bigger than you: Size isn’t the issue. Experience is. Important lesson: You will never get better sparring with people who aren’t as skilled as you. You will only get better by sparring with people who are more skilled than you.

    True story: When my son started wrestling (with NO previous experience), he competed at 119 lbs. One of his teammates–a lot of experience who’d go on to win states four years in a row–competed at 103. The kid was smaller (but much better) than my son. that helped my son greatly.

    True story: In some sports, such as BJJ and grappling, you can compete in the “absolute” division–no weight limits. My son now competes at 135 (advanced level no gi and purple belt gi) and often ends up being bumped up to the 149 pound weight category. He also competes in the absolute division. He doesn’t always win, but he usually does quite well. He’s helped in that because in practice he goes with guys who weigh 160-200 pounds.

    Bottom line: Go up against people who are more skilled than you. It really doesn’t matter (and can help) if they’re either bigger or smaller than you.

    If you’re not finding that where you are, then–after talking to your instructor–look for some place that’s a better fit.

    Hope that helps.

  11. Cecil Ryu Martial Arts says:

    Should you quit? If you have this much doubt, then yes, you should. Do yourself and the people who really want to learn a favor.


    I do not think you should quit until you get to black belt because:
    1) This may be a phase that will blow over. Once you get black belt, you may feel differently.
    2) If nothing else, you will have a black belt. That will enable you to one day open your own club or school.
    3) There is nothing more frustrating then getting that close to a goal, then quitting. If there is something illegal or immoral going on and you wanted to quit, that would be different. Since that does not sound like the case here, then you should stick it out to black belt.

    I also suspect that you are letting TV and the Internet brainwash you into thinking that the MMA training you are getting is better than the karate training you already have. TV and the Internet also ignore the fact that there are top MMA fighters who also know Karate. Plus, the karate background is also helping you with learning MMA.

    I know I will bring wrath down upon me for suggesting that a child quit an activity. And, if it were my child or student, I would not want him/her to quit. But, if someone has already mentally checked out, they are probably already giving off a negative attitude that could spread to other people in the dojo. If someone thinks that the style they study is inferior and that they have found something “better”, then hey, let them go. All I see is that we could have a situation where the brown belt is disgruntled and the instructor is frustrated with the student and doesn’t know why. Who needs that!

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