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Best Karate Drills -- 4-way Training Drill for Large Class

Here’s one of many drills that will be posted on this blog. Feel free to use the diagram however you want. I created it as a .png so you photoshoppers can edit it to include your own drills in the grey boxes. Feel free to cut and paste any or all of the below.

For each drill I will address five areas: (1) Purpose; (2) Description; (3) Equipment required; (4) Audience (That is, for what level and age group the drill is appropriate); (5) Best Practices (I’ve learned all of the potential pitfalls of these drills so you don’t have to).

Here it is, the inaugural drill posting for

Four Line Drill for Karate

Purpose: Skill development with a class of 8 or more

Equipment Required: Any pads, targets, or kicking shields. Focus mitts, Thai kicking pads.

Description: Assign 2-4 students to stand at a station with their backs to one another. Each student is given a bag, focus mitt(s), kicking shield or other striking target. Each station is assigned a technique or series of techniques. Evenly line up the students in front of each station. When you say “begin,” each station executes their technique and then moves to the back of the line to their right.

Audience: All ages, all levels. Ideal for classes of 8 or more.

Best practices:

  • This drill is highly usefull with large classes as it keeps a large number of students active will little effort.

  • This drill is appropriate for all levels. Be sure and match the difficulty of the technique with the level of the students.

  • Although it can be difficult to track, consider two separate (I do not recommend more than two) techniques at each station: one for one level of students and one for another level. Example: Station 1=Beginners and intermediates, four straight punches; Advanced, two punches and then double right round house

  • While this is a highly effective and fun drill for young children students, be sure and pay as much attention as the young students in line as you do those executing the techniques. They will goof around in line and detract from the focus of the drill.

  • Plan out the total time you want to consume by the drill and then divide that by about 1/3d and that is how many times to change the techniques at the station.

  • Remember to replace the students at each station so they don’t spend the whole time holding the bag.

There are more best practices where these came from, but I have to sign off. Feel free to write me at if you would like more detail on how to make this drill even more effective for your particular situation.

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