Alright, so to start, I'm not highly knowledgeable in martial arts and fighting styles... I practice shotokan karate, and I am at 5th kyu. Not sure how much that detail will matter, but I will put that out there if it is necessary. Anyways.

My health has been alright as of late, but I really want to push myself to get into shape. After thinking about it, I realized that boxing training is quite intensive, and might give me what I'm looking for. However, I'm not quite sure if it would have a negative effect on my karate skills; boxing habits leaking over into my karate stances and whatnot.

So, all in all... is it a bad idea to add boxing training on top of karate?

2 Answers 2


Boxing technique is vastly different from karate... it will indeed engender habits that compromise the karate technique. For example, in karate you don't tilt the torso left and right, or tuck the chin in behind a raised shoulder.

I'd suggest instead finding some more physical karate training. Hitting a large shield (e.g. random googled image) is exhausting - I recommend hitting them two or three times for 2-3 minutes each, with 15 second rests between. Try to find someone at least your own size and do your best to knock them backwards (or sideways for mawashi geri) with every attack.

If you don't have such equipment at your dojo, and can't interest your sensei in getting a shield or letting you bring one in, and don't have anyone to train with outside the dojo, perhaps consider supplementing your shotokan with some kyokushin - they will almost certainly have such equipment, though might only use it at training sessions where the karateka are preparing for competitions. Kyokushin is a derivative of shotokan and goju-ryu, so you're unlikely to have to change your technique to train with them. (Indeed, we have a 5th dan Shotokan shihan from France drop in to train with us every few months when he's visiting Tokyo).


Boxing movements, stances, and techniques will overlap with your karate movements, stances, and techniques. Depending on how well you have ingrained those already, you may interfere with them or learn new ways to look at them.

If boxing technique interferes with your karate technique, it wouldn't be the worst thing. Boxing has proven itself and has an excellent track record; if you accidentally start turning your hips into your reverse punch or moving your head during sparring it's not a bad thing.

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