Can You Teach Yourself Karate?

can you teach yourself karate

Of course. It’s possible to learn some karate basics on your own. There are certain areas of the craft you can learn by yourself at home, but truly becoming proficient in the art takes guidance from seasoned veterans. 

Karate is an ancient martial art that has been practiced for hundreds of years. The most famous martial arts form, the discipline is known for the several physical and mental benefits for those studying it. 

Though it takes years to truly master the art, the journey is filled with lessons in patience, gratitude, and humility. These virtues will teach you a lot about not only Karate, but also yourself, and the habits you develop will assist you in other areas of your life. 

What Can You Teach Yourself? 

You can learn a reasonable amount of karate by yourself. If you’re just looking for a fun way to exercise at home, then you’ll enjoy learning basic kata and rudimentary karate moves. 

1. An Understanding of Karate History and Traditions

We live in an age of instant information. If you’re eager to start training Karate at home, then the Internet will be an indispensable tool in your quest for knowledge. 

Sites such as YouTube and most Karate Apps will have a plethora of videos on Karate history, culture, and traditions as well as several videos on how to master basic moves. 

You can also surf the web and read up about prominent Karate masters and how they came to be so proficient in the art. Remember, you can never know too much about karate – so be sure to learn all you can!

2. Basic Moves, Stances, Blocks, and Techniques

Websites such as YouTube can be a tremendous visual aid as you learn basic karate moves. Kicks, punches, and blocks can all be learned via the Internet, and there are several ‘how-to’ articles available for free online.

Just be sure, though, that your information is coming from a legitimate Karate instructor. It’s easy for anyone to upload content online, so make sure you’re confident you can trust those giving advice. 

3. Karate Kata

In a similar vein to the previous point, it’s definitely possible to learn Karate Kata (which essentially means the forms and movements) at home via online visual aids. Kata is an integral part of Karate training, and you can refine your technique from the comfort of your own home. 

What You Won’t Be Able to Teach Yourself

It’s impossible to teach yourself everything about karate, though. Even if you follow the best home training program in the world, you’ll be missing out on these things:

1. The Experience of a Renowned Sensei 

You can’t put a price on experience. If you plan on going solo, then you must accept the fact that your knowledge of karate will be stunted without the guidance and wisdom of an experienced sensei. 

2. Sparring

You also won’t be able to spar with others. An integral part of karate, sparring helps build skill, confidence, and solidarity with learners. 

If you’re self-taught and are interested in competing, then your lack of sparring will present a huge hurdle for you. 

3. Group Learning

Group training has a positive effect on your social skills, mental health, and ability to push through personal boundaries. 

Without the support and teamwork of others, you’ll never know what you’re truly capable of in the dojo. Whilst you can learn some elements of karate on your own – you’ll never reach a high level if you depend entirely on independent learning. 


Overall, it is possible to learn certain elements of karate by yourself. You’ll likely hit a plateau pretty quickly, but if you’re just looking to learn the basics, then self-teaching yourself karate will work wonders. 

There is no substitute for experience and knowledge. If your plan is to train Karate entirely at home, then your progress will be substantially stunted and limited. If, however, you have no choice but to self-teach, then it is possible to learn basic moves and achieve a baseline level of competency. 

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Benjamin Roussey
Benjamin Roussey
Hi! My name is Benjamin and I love martial arts. I am from Sacramento in the ungolden state of California. I went to CSUS to participate in a baseball scholarship as a pitcher. I finished in 1999 and joined the US Navy for a 4-year stint. I am currently learning karate. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my life is researching karate and writing about it. It is my honor to contribute to The Karate Blog. Now, I can finally write about what I love and enjoy the most: karate.