When things get crazy, how do you stay committed to your karate training?

This week has been nuts. Southern British Columbia, where I live, has been going through a natural disaster. From an atmospheric river, to flooding, to mudslides: it’s been a horrible ordeal for so many. I have been incredibly lucky in that my family and home are safe, but it’s nevertheless been very stressful.

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So considering all of that stress (and there’s been more, trust me): how do I find the time or presence of mind to keep practising? In other words, how the hell do I manage to stay consistent with my karate training even when shit hits the fan?

Well, I have a trick.

I came up with this idea at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Here’s what I did: I made a list of all of the empty hand and weapons katas that I have learned, as well as various techniques and drills that I can practise on my own.

The key? Every item on this list can be practised in under 5 minutes.


I’ve posted this list in various rooms of my house. In my kitchen, in the living room, in my office.

In the middle of cooking, while waiting to flip a pancake, I can practise one item on that list.

In between editing tasks while working on my computer, I can look up at that list on my corkboard, pick one item, and get in a much-needed break.

Because each item is under 5 minutes, I have no problem finding time to do these things. And because the list is posted in a prominent location, I have that constant reminder of activities to practise.

Furthermore, because everything is typed up for me to read, I don’t have to think about it too much. I just find an item and do it. Easy peasy.

With this trick, I can easily incorporate an EXTRA 30+ minutes of karate training in my day. With that list, I can stay focused with my training, I can get much-needed breaks while working at my desk, and I can stave off boredom while waiting to flip that pancake.

I can stay dedicated as a karateka. And all it took was a few minutes of my time to type and print that list.

Where could you hang your list as a reminder to practise? What would work for you?

Recommended Resources

Here are some great books to help you improve your habits, focus, and mental game:

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You’re reading Practising Martial Arts When You Feel Overwhelmed by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!