49 Reasons to Skip Karate Practice Today

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. But you’re thinking of getting that new Seishin gi!

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.


  • Manuel
    there’s fitness chicks in yoga pants there!
    • Manuel-san: I want to hear YOUR favorite excuse!
      • Manuel
        I liked that one! Anyway, I have to write my Final Dissertation! That takes a LOT of time!
      • Thea
        My parents are really busy to take me and arrive home late (This is true though, I hate missing karate class,??)
  • Sebastian
    There's soccer training at the same time (and soccer is much more important than karate).
    • Szilard
      Soccer is much better for self defense too.
  • Number 43, 44, and 47 are the ones I deal with most from my students.
    • Tyler
      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
    • Whilst some of these are Jesse's "tongue in cheek", those 3 are unfortunately true and account for most reasons and ALWAYS precede quitting.
      • Unfortunately your observation is correct, Graeme-san...
  • Amakiri
    The traffic is terrible...hopefully next week would be better.
  • Maria
    Mothers have a nice repertoire. Sick kids, no baby sitter, suppertime, school functions. Putting your family first! Horror!
  • Erin
    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
      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
        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...
        • rain's when the excuses roll in, just like the increased rate of cars through the kfc drive through.
  • Jorge-San
    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...
  • Kat
    I'm too anxious and need to drink wine?
    • maasen
      Damn, happends too me everytime. And when I finaly get to training 3 decades later I wonder why I never get better :P
  • emp
    #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! ...
  • Bob Lynch
    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.
  • Mark A
    It's double XP weekend on Xbox Live! Surf's up!
  • A real one: I need to get fit first.
  • Lisa
    The big brother final is on tv ahhhhhhhhh
  • Jack M
    "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.
  • Daniel
    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)"
  • Jan
    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.
  • Alex
    Exhausted of everyday work . . . recently, always putting together last atoms of will and power to force myself to dojo . . .
  • Ian
    "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?"
  • Joël
    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
      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
        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
          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.
  • Pleiades
    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
    • 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
        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
  • Tyler
    I'm busy with the biggest magnet in the world.....It's my bed.
    • Tyler-san, I thought you were gonna say the fridge! (Or is that just me?) :)
      • Ian
        Reason #50 is fresh carrot cake??
        • 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
        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.
  • David Alexander
    I think NOBODY should skip their karate classes for ANY of these reasons!!! Nice Sarcasm, Jesse San!
  • Jim
    My Instructor doesn't understand my training needs - the classes are all aimed at kids these days.... ;)
  • Noel Minay
    This one is excluded: frozen left shoulder!.....he he...NM
  • Maria
    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?
    • I prefer the term "cult", Maria-san! ;)
  • Natalie
    "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.
  • Wes
    It's too cold. It's too hot.
  • Sabine
    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
  • Brad weston
    Can't find my headphones!
  • 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
      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 ;-)
  • Helena
    I'm a beginner. I haven't started to find excuses yet. ;) For now, I just have "excuses" to go to the Dojo.
  • Al
    You forgot the mother of all escuses: "I'm too tired" Osu!
  • Kyra
    Being a woman, I'm personally a fan of #22!
  • Blockstrongorelse
    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!
  • Lisa
    I mowed the lawn this morning and 2 exercise sessions in the day is overtraining
  • Hand Dry
    That damn McDonald's between home and the dojo...
    • Ian
      That's a whole new meaning to "McDojo".
      • Pleiades
        There's a McDonalds next to our dojo/gym/swimming pool :-) I use the mighty power of Karate Mind! to deflect their oleaginous fumes...
  • Al
    My big toe hurts
  • Blockstrongorelse
    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"
  • KarateMom
    Wait. People train only 2-3 times a week? I'm doing way too much driving....
  • 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!
  • ???
    Lol. Actually I'm a karate chick who fell in love with a MMA fighter. XD
  • 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. :)
  • I never try to miss the dojo because 1) I love karate 2)I can miss studies
  • Natasha
    I ask your permission to print some of this and hang on my bedroom mirror (or my xbox for that matter).
    • Print it everywhere, Natasha-san! Go nuts, and then please send me some proof :)
  • I can´t practice because it´s too cold, hot, rainy, shiny, cloudly. Generally Morther Nature doesn´t want me to practice. Plus, I´m so bad at Karate I can´t learn anything. I´m too good at Karate, that I can´t learn anything new :-D
  • These are just too funny, Jesse-san. Thank you for sharing! I'm not such a big fan of carrot cake, but a chocolate-peanut butter cake and I'm done. Lol. Living in Thailand, the two biggest excises I hear are "It's raining." and "Traffic jam." The funny thing is, here in Thailand, when it rains, traffic all but stops. A journey that would normally take 20-30 minutes in a car will take 2-3 hours once it starts to rain. Loving your site by the way. I have share it with my Sensei, but he can't read English very well, but he is working on it.
  • smartplayer
    I have no money, no good partner, no equipment, no masters nearby... What I have is myself! Is there any program suitable for me?
  • "I'm having a barbecue with friends. Tons of hot chicks end beer included. Wanna join, sensei?"
    • Yes please! Uh... I mean... thanks for commenting! :P
  • helen
    Flat tyre! Been used many a time...not by me!! Z
  • carlos
    hello, I nearly broke my foot once in a tournament, the next day I went to the dojo to keep training. :)
  • Yaron
    Did forearm training 2 weeks ago and don't want to overdo it!
  • Topu
    Does weight gain really matter in karate? i've gained 2 kilos just for missing a week's class-i.e. 3 classes a week. but just to defend myself-i had 20 minutes intense workout at home which was mostly skipping, jumping jacks, running, crunches, and practicing my kicks.
  • Angel
    Ha ha ha ha... Brilliant!! Thanks, Made my day
  • Noya
    I like to combine: after getting your black belt in a McDojo you have the permission to see it in your ass!!! This is something that you see very often, unfortunately.
  • pinoy martial artist
    I got a problem with #24, it's not true. I can train without bananas, I train without bananas. You can train without bananas.
    • Joe the Penguin
      Sure, you can train without bananas, I guess. But it’s just not the same.
  • Manuel
    I'm skipping MMA sparring class tonight, I'm tired of getting hurt, and justifying black eyes with parents/colleagues. Tomorrow I'll train karate, I did a bad choice when I began training in MMA thinking it would've been useful to my karate, it doesn't fit me....perhaps....
  • Myra
    My excuse would be that there was bad traffic and a snow storm. The problem is, we live in a very small island where it hardly ever snows and most people drive golf carts or walk. My favorite meal ( dinner), is a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter, half an hour before karate class. ?? Our teacher is so awesome most students come to class consistently. He's younger than most of his students and exceptional at sharing his knowledge of karate.
  • Bruh
    I don't feel well!
  • Akshat chaudhari
    I was out My head my paining My stomach was paining My face was paining My mom's wheel got punctured My gi is wet My gi is torn I thought today was holiday These are the excuses i heard from my mates
  • - next time I see you, I want you to take photos of me prleyrop. i loveeee the ones you took of me that day we went to the beach. I want a whole portrait shoot of images your vision blows my mind. you a special lil dude.
  • Shin0bster
    I can't train yet! My Seishin Gi hasn't come in!
  • 9:00 pm, July 22, 2012|Coming to your local Bed, Bath, and Beyond this fall: ‘Lady Báthory’ bath tubs and jacuzzis. For a clean so refreshing and rejuvenating, you’ll have the energy of a dozen virgin girls.
  • Graziela
    You still have to learn how to juggle, how a knife is made, how a panda gives birth and why pandas are called that way!
  • Warrior_artiste?
    Not lyk m a great performer or a champion or something but i never faced any of these excuses in my short karate career. And also I have nevr evr been late..ever! Be it for my training or for the studnts. I gues m jst lucky.
  • andres
    - I got married and my wife doesn't allow me to go for practice. ...one of our boys in Bangladesh :)
  • Joe the Penguin
    But I’ll have to spar with people who are better than me! I would rather eat dinner before 8.
  • Lieto
    Because reason 30 has expired! (You’re waiting for New Years… 2018.)
  • Joe the Penguin
    Is it sad that my dog actually ate my belt back when I was a purple belt and I had to get a new one? From now on I hide my belt in my closet.
  • tay
    chicks dont like karate guys ? its the total opposite XD
  • It's kata night...kata doesn't work on the street. I'll come back for kumite night.
  • Its fried chicken night at the VFW.
  • 50 I think i might have Covid ...waiting for a PCR test (it's going to be hard not to accept this one)

Leave a comment