For the vast majority of people, it's best to learn karate with a qualified instructor rather than by watching videos or reading books. To get the most out of karate, it's important to occasionally spar with a partner to test yourself. Additionally, an instructor can correct problems with your form.
When choosing an instructor, it is beneficial to find one with a good reputation. There are a lot of underqualified karate teachers in cities throughout the United States, and students need to be careful that they don't end up with an instructor who creates an unsafe environment. Some things to consider when choosing an instructor include how long he has been practicing and teaching martial arts and what certificates and belts he has. It also helps to talk to current or former students about the environment in the class and any complaints they may have.
The process of learning karate involves earning colored belts and sashes. These articles of clothing show how far the wearer has progressed in his or her education. There are nine belts a practitioner of karate can acquire, each of which contains multiple sub-levels, or degrees. The lowest ranked is the white belt, while the highest ranked is the black belt.