Sunday, 24 March 2013

Lost in Translation

Kinjo sensei demonstrating "timing".  A punch is blocked and countered as the leg moves in to make the trip.
As so often happens these days, the rush for information about karate clouds the vision, it muddles the natural thought processes, and results in much being lost. However, this "loss" is not confined nor restricted to the physical techniques of karate alone, for it is found even more widely in the historical and cultural milieu from which karate grew.

I've spoken often of the need to take responsibility for your karate; to accept ownership of it, with all that this implies. That so many fail to find the courage to do this is not so surprising to me, after all, we live in a world of instant gratification, of image and status, a world where many have an over-developed sense of privilege. "I want" slips off the tongue far easier than "I'm obliged to ". Nevertheless, those who favour the former over the later will always fail to grasp the essence of karate.

Budo karate is not for the faint hearted, it's not for those who invest their efforts into defending their poor behavior or their inability to conduct themselves with dignity. For example, foul language and derogatory remarks aimed at women have absolutely no place in the life of a karateka. We're all human, for sure, but budoka are people with a purpose in mind. It's this sense of purpose, "budo", that is often lost in the karate practised by Western students: to the detriment of their education, and karate as a whole.

Here's what I think....if you can't behave like a mature adult, your grade means nothing, your skill in the dojo means nothing, your reputation means nothing.....in short, you are a non-entity as a karateka! The individual who continues to fail the tests that budo places before them can dream all they like of their karate abilities, but remember this, it's your cowardice and failure to improve yourself that stands you apart from others who wear a gi. I see it...others see it. You're fooling no one but yourself !