49 Reasons to Skip Karate Practice Today

By Jesse | 66 Comments

I know, I know.

Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to practice Karate.

We’ve all been there: Family, work, duties, errands, chores, homework… it never stops. Juggling personal responsibilities with Karate can be a pain in the butt for many.

Sometimes, you even run out of bad excuses!


I’m here to help you with that today.

[Warning: Sarcasm ahead.]ecard-dojo

Right here, I’ve put together a list of 49 reasons to why you definitely don’t want to go to the dojo today. Reasons that, when used convincingly, can help you stay home from the dojo to catch up on those “important” things you’ve been planning on doing any day now.

It’s all about priorities, right?

After all, you only practice 2-3 times a week. Might as well skip today.


Here’s 49 reasons to skip Karate class like a pro.

Read carefully:

1. Your dog ate your belt.

2. You went last week. You don’t wanna overtrain.

3. You’re waiting for your dojo mate. You usually go to practice together. He hasn’t been returning your calls though – since 2009.

4. You actually do plan on training today. Right after you finish your next beer.

5. You like the general concept of sucking at Karate.

6. Your gi doesn’t fit perfectly. It never has. And never will.

7. You’re tired of explaining your gigantic bruises to co-workers.

8. You think the founder of Shotokan Karate, grandmaster Funakoshi Gichin, was clearly crazy when he wrote: “Karate is like boiling water; without constant heat, it eventually returns to its tepid state.”

9. You don’t need kata and kumite – you recently purchased Smith & Wesson.

10. Karate doesn’t work on the street anyway. Some dude on a forum told you that. Everyone on the internet is always right.

11. You have nothing to prove. A belt is just there to keep your pants up.

12. The dojo is too crowded. You can’t train properly.

13. The dojo is too empty. You can’t train properly.

14. You’re going to try a McDojo™ instead. They got a 90 Days Fast Track Black Belt Program.

15. They’re showing The Karate Kid on TV – for the third time this month. But as your sensei always says, repetition is the mother of perfection. So this counts as training, right?

16. Chicks don’t like Karate guys anyway. They want MMA fighters.

17. There’s no wi-fi at the dojo.

18. Endorphins, which are released by the body when we exercise, are addictive – and you don’t wanna get hooked. Stay home. You’d rather be safe than sorry.

19. Only insecure people need Karate practice, to overcompensate for their inadequate bench pressing ability.

20. Mom loves you just the way you are. No need to improve.

21. Exercise is bad for your joints. Especially those deep stances and high kicks.

22. You’re a woman and don’t wanna challenge the macho culture of the martial arts. Might as well stay home and cook or clean.

23. Your sensei never shows you deadly points anymore. (To this day, you still swear his cat died of natural causes.)

24. You’re out of bananas. Everybody knows you can’t train without bananas.

25. It’s sparring class tonight, and you’re out of excuses to why you don’t want to fight (because “I’m afraid of getting hurt” always makes you sound like a wuss). Better stay home and think of something clever ’til next week.

26. You like to be weak and bullied. By kids. And cripples. And your little sister.

27. Your back hurts. Or your knee hurts. Or your big toe hurts. Or your butt itches. Or you got some other boo-boo that you don’t wanna make worse by going to the dojo.

28. You saw a study on the news yesterday, saying that martial arts makes people violent. You like peace.

29. You don’t have the time. (But strangely enough, you got plenty of time to read Jesse’s Free 7-Day Karate Nerd™ E-mail Guide.)

30. You’re waiting for New Years… 2018.

31. There’s a Twilight marathon on today. (Back-to-back Twilight, b*tches!)

32. You already did some Karate today. You dodged a bird trying to crap on your head.

33. You’re too old.

34. Too young.

35. Too fat.

36. Too slim.

37. Too [insert random physical attribute here].

38. But… it’s Saturday!

39. It’s Sunday. The Lord said not to workout on Sundays.

40. It’s Monday. Everybody knows you can’t be productive on a Monday.

41. It’s Tuesday-Friday. You got TONS of work to catch up on.

42. You’re going to the gym. Who needs Karate when you can squat, bro? Plus, there’s fitness chicks in yoga pants there.

43. You’re waiting to get your life together. (Hint: You never will. Might as well go to the dojo.)

44. You’re waiting to get motivated. (Hint #2: You’ll be waiting forever.)

45. A new episode of Enter the Dojo was just released. After reading Jesse’s exclusive interview with Master Ken himself, you promised to never miss an episode. Ever.

46. You’re out of protein powder. Gotta get that post-workout fuel, bro!

47. You already have a black belt. That gives you permission to sit on your ass.

48. You’d rather feel guilty for a day, than exhausted for an hour.

49. You don’t wanna get calluses.

Your turn.

Share your favorite excuse in the comment section.

About the author

is a self-titled Karate Nerd™, best-selling martial arts writer, unreasonably handsome elite athlete, autodidact, karatepreneur and carrot cake aficionado. He really thinks you should become a Karate Nerd™ too.


  1. Manuel

    November 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    there’s fitness chicks in yoga pants there!

    • Jesse

      November 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Manuel-san: I want to hear YOUR favorite excuse!

      • Manuel

        November 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm

        I liked that one! Anyway, I have to write my Final Dissertation! That takes a LOT of time!

  2. Sebastian

    November 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    There’s soccer training at the same time (and soccer is much more important than karate).

    • Szilard

      November 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Soccer is much better for self defense too.

  3. Michael Tucker

    November 5, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Number 43, 44, and 47 are the ones I deal with most from my students.

    • Tyler

      November 6, 2013 at 3:35 am

      well they accept themselves like that. I keep my belt for 4 year already and i feel never strong enough to move on.keep working hard everyday.t

    • Graeme McConnell-Brown

      November 6, 2013 at 6:19 am

      Whilst some of these are Jesse’s “tongue in cheek”, those 3 are unfortunately true and account for most reasons and ALWAYS precede quitting.

      • Jesse

        November 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm

        Unfortunately your observation is correct, Graeme-san…

  4. Amakiri

    November 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    The traffic is terrible…hopefully next week would be better.

  5. Maria

    November 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Mothers have a nice repertoire. Sick kids, no baby sitter, suppertime, school functions. Putting your family first! Horror!

  6. Erin

    November 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Top excuses I hear:
    I can’t go to karate because:

    2 There’s a rugby game tonight
    1 it is raining

    Don’t ask me why, but numbers are always down when it rains. Maybe karateka are like witches and melt in the rain?

    • Chjalmar

      November 6, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      The “raining” line is very common in my dojo; even though I live in a city where it rains almost every night of the year! I wonder how all this people started to train in the first place, when it was probably raining that night…

      • Ian

        November 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        Strangely enough the rain excuse seems to be the opposite in our dojo, horrible night out pouring with rain (even hail), head to training expecting low numbers and we end up with a full class.
        But other nights where the weather is just a little bit cooler than is comfortable (i.e. great for training but not much else) ends up with low numbers -- that’s where all the other excuses start coming in…

  7. Jorge-San

    November 5, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    It’s Halloween night, Christmas Eve or any other “holiday” gotta put on your costume and ask for candies and don’t want to ruin your new hairstyle either…

  8. Kat

    November 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I’m too anxious and need to drink wine?

  9. emp

    November 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    #14 is my favorite!!!

    This topic came up last night at the dojo, one of the other black belts has a buddy he works with and was talking about the club his 12-year old son is in. And him being recently accepted into the “Advanced Master/Black Belt” classes as a green belt and guaranteed a black belt in a couple years… As long as they sign a contract and fork out $2300/year plus grading fees on top of that!

  10. Bob Lynch

    November 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    It’s close to the end of the year and Sensei usually has us sit and meditate/reflect.
    I will go back next week when he starts doing Karate again.

  11. Mark A

    November 5, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    It’s double XP weekend on Xbox Live!

    Surf’s up!

  12. Bregje

    November 6, 2013 at 12:14 am

    A real one:
    I need to get fit first.

  13. Lisa

    November 6, 2013 at 12:45 am

    The big brother final is on tv ahhhhhhhhh

  14. Jack M

    November 6, 2013 at 1:10 am

    “going to a halloween party”

    seriously what kind of freak exchanges bruises and lactic shock for underage drinking and a slim chance of underage sex. My peers confuse me beyond words.

    I’d say your chances of vomiting repeatedly are far higher drinking at a party but as anyone that’s ever got punched in the floating ribs will tell you, that’s just not true.

  15. Daniel

    November 6, 2013 at 1:28 am

    this one is from me: the gym is too far way from home and by the time that it is nowsurely i will find a jam on the road…

    and this one is from one of my students regarding to the friday class….”I am sorry sensei, but is friday ! ¡i ve been studying and very busy all the week so i deserve some fun with my colleagues (dating with girls)”

  16. Jan

    November 6, 2013 at 1:38 am

    I always have to fight with myself over my 2 hour commute (after a long day of university), since I live ~30km away from my dojo. Luckily 99% of the time I’m too much of a Karate Nerd to lose this fight. Also I don’t want to leave my teacher alone for childrens class.

  17. Alex

    November 6, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Exhausted of everyday work . . . recently, always putting together last atoms of will and power to force myself to dojo . . .

  18. Ian

    November 6, 2013 at 2:14 am

    “I *usually* go to the Dojo, so missing tonight won’t be that bad.”

    “I haven’t been at the Dojo for a while now, and my technique has deteriorated and/or I’m out of shape. I have to train at home to get back in shape and/or get my technique back up to snuff so I don’t embarrass myself when I do return.”

    “Oh crap, look at the time, man. I’m gonna be late. Well, if I’m gonna be late there’s really no point in going then, is there?”

  19. Joël

    November 6, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Dojo is in a different city and I don’t drive.

    They don’t need another instructor at the dojo.

    I’m bored, I do more teaching than learning.

    I’m gay, karate is only for straight guys, right?

    Karate is gay.

    Karate is only for kids.

    I’m too old to keep up.

    I don’t need self-defense, I don’t get bullied.

    Once a week is good enough.

    I practiced at home.

    • Tyler

      November 6, 2013 at 3:24 am

      well if you said I practiced at home it’s not correct.because like me. I practicing at home everyday.I don’t have enough money to go to the dojo.And at home i can practice a long time.Very flexible.By the way, i get a same schedule everyday, start at 3:40 and finish at 7:00. So i don’t agree with the last reason.

      • Ian

        November 6, 2013 at 3:46 am

        Well, of course everyone should practice at home anyhow, on top of going to the dojo. Hopefully your financial situation clears up soon and you can get back to your dojo.

        I think for most people, training at home instead of the dojo results in a degradation of their technique and intensity, with no Sensei to correct form and provide motivation, and no fellow students to measure one’s self against.

        Hopefully you have found a way to avoid those common pitfalls. :)

        • Tyler

          November 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm

          Thanks Ian-san. I will come back to the Dojo soon. i got karate for 10 year already and my sensei was in VietNam national team. so i was practiced with her for a longtime then moved to U.S . also i still remember everything she taught me. The stances, kata, techniques, kihon and kumite. I can say i having really good karate basic already. Just changing a little bit to full contact kumite and i get some kumite program from my friend.He practicing Shinkyokushin-kai in Singapore, he also helps me out with the kumite.

  20. Pleiades

    November 6, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Has anyone mentioned cost? This month my dojo wants £20 for grading and £7.50 for a little patch that’s probably worth 10p. The average monthly costs of doing Karate twice a week is, for me, twice as much as gym membership (which I use everyday including 2 or 3 classes)…

    It might be trivial for some but unfortunately it comes under ‘luxury items’ in my particular budget.

    And yeah, since I have no car, cycling in the snow/rain/sleet/freezing fog in the dark across a traffic-jammed town does make me wonder if it’s worth it…

    Of course none of this will make sense to those karateka that can afford Sensei Jesse’s new ‘gis for the masses’ LOL

    • Jesse

      November 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Pleiades-san: Do you see challenges as obstacles… or opportunities? Do you see things as expenses… or investments? I think you could gain a lot from developing your “growth mindset”, in order to reach greater heights in life - both physically, mentally and spiritually. Sounds like “hippie BS”, I know - but worth checking out. You’re already half the way there.

      • Chris

        November 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm

        Great point on growth mindsets—I teach and growth mindsets are a big part of my pedagogy. My passion for karate makes me see the value in my tuition even though it is three times the cost of a gym

  21. Tyler

    November 6, 2013 at 3:18 am

    I’m busy with the biggest magnet in the world…..It’s my bed.

    • Jesse

      November 6, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Tyler-san, I thought you were gonna say the fridge! (Or is that just me?) :)

      • Ian

        November 6, 2013 at 10:59 pm

        Reason #50 is fresh carrot cake??

        • Jesse

          November 7, 2013 at 12:36 am

          You read my mind, Ian-san! …. and if it’s extra frosting, I might just stay away from the dojo two days in a row! ;)

      • Tyler

        November 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm

        Oh no. I just made a reason pop up in my head.Because my friend training in shinkyokushin-kai in Singapore and he told me about being lazy with the bed.I also told him you’re an iron boy but your bed is a giant magnet.

  22. David Alexander

    November 6, 2013 at 3:37 am

    I think NOBODY should skip their karate classes for ANY of these reasons!!! Nice Sarcasm, Jesse San!

  23. Jim

    November 6, 2013 at 5:59 am

    My Instructor doesn’t understand my training needs -- the classes are all aimed at kids these days…. ;)

  24. Noel Minay

    November 6, 2013 at 11:19 am

    This one is excluded: frozen left shoulder!…..he he…NM

  25. Maria

    November 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Ooh! This all makes karate sound like a religious organisation. The “you will go to hell if you don’t go to church” type of religion. But then this is all just in good humour and not self-righteous, hey Jesse-san? Karate is not really elitist, is it?

    • Jesse

      November 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      I prefer the term “cult”, Maria-san! ;)

  26. Natalie

    November 6, 2013 at 11:56 am

    “I just hd a row with my boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife and I am too upset to train.”

    If you overcome this obstacle you will find after training that you feel better, emotionally and physically. You have calmed dow and you are able to think rationally. Not going only will make you feel worse, adding feeling of guilt to your problems.

  27. Wes

    November 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    It’s too cold.

    It’s too hot.

  28. Sabine

    November 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I would expand #7 to … You’re tired of explaining your gigantic bruises to … law enforcement officers who think your husband/boyfriend is abusing you …. or …. the concerned lady who wants to give you the number of the local women’s shelter

  29. Brad weston

    November 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Can’t find my headphones!

  30. Steve

    November 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    It’s the 80/20 rule Jesse-San……you’ll have a hardcore 20% at any dojo who are always there regardless…the others are just there for a brief moment of time…..and it’s important to remember the important ones are those that are there!
    This is no different from any other activity people get involved in. You can’t want it for folk!

    • Pleiades

      November 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      Yeah you can tell the hardcore because they’re always being strapped up due to over-training; and they can’t do the jumps in Unsu or Kanku Dai LOL.

      They then have the cheek to take a few months off just for knee or hip replacements! Don’t they know you just have to ‘work through’ your illness and injuries, train so hard you throw up (always a badge of honour for the elite)… The more you attend the more superhuman you are, it’s obvious!

      I can do sarcasm too ;-)

  31. Helena

    November 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I’m a beginner. I haven’t started to find excuses yet. ;) For now, I just have “excuses” to go to the Dojo.

  32. Al

    November 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    You forgot the mother of all escuses:

    “I’m too tired”


  33. Kyra

    November 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Being a woman, I’m personally a fan of #22!

  34. Blockstrongorelse

    November 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I have an awesome son, a Shodan like myself age 15, national champion, hasn’t trained for about 5 weeks, his excuse “My knee doesn’t feel right”, strangely a girlfriend turned up about 5 weeks ago also… can’t blame him from straying from the way, he’s trained like a machine since he was 5. Keep up the good work Jesse!

  35. Lisa

    November 7, 2013 at 12:44 am

    I mowed the lawn this morning and 2 exercise sessions in the day is overtraining

  36. Hand Dry

    November 7, 2013 at 2:22 am

    That damn McDonald’s between home and the dojo…

    • Ian

      November 7, 2013 at 2:24 am

      That’s a whole new meaning to “McDojo”.

      • Pleiades

        November 7, 2013 at 2:32 am

        There’s a McDonalds next to our dojo/gym/swimming pool :-)

        I use the mighty power of Karate Mind! to deflect their oleaginous fumes…

  37. Al

    November 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    My big toe hurts

  38. Blockstrongorelse

    November 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I love that that last comment Al, “My toe hurts”. In the whole time I have been trainig I have never known a day, where some part of my body has not been in some way, sore, hurt, bruised, blistered, sprained, strained or ached. I accept “You play, you pay”

  39. KarateMom

    November 9, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Wait. People train only 2-3 times a week? I’m doing way too much driving….

  40. Lorraine Jacobs

    November 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Those are great points to review before you decide to join classes for Karate. I believe that when you enroll to Karate you have to make sure that you are dedicated to train, to learn and to practice. You also need to be qualified and fit to practice Karate so that you are also not jeopardizing your health while wanting to learn Karate. Thank you for sharing this post!

  41. ???

    December 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Lol. Actually I’m a karate chick who fell in love with a MMA fighter.


  42. Anna Dawson@Judo Sweeps

    December 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Staying motivated is very important. There are so many distractions in life, it is easy to say, “I don’t really feel like going to class tonight. I think I’ll skip.” Excuses like, “I’m too tired” or “I don’t feel well” or “I’ll just go next week” all are an easy way out. It’s always easier to make an excuse. :)

  43. shankar

    December 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I never try to miss the dojo because

    1) I love karate
    2)I can miss studies

  44. Natasha

    December 18, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I ask your permission to print some of this and hang on my bedroom mirror (or my xbox for that matter).

    • Jesse

      December 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Print it everywhere, Natasha-san! Go nuts, and then please send me some proof :)

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