Saturday, 31 August 2013

Hihyo...and why we need it.


The ubiquitous Goju pic in Okinawa, c2007
In early November I'll be heading back to Okinawa for two weeks of training and socialising with friends old and new. I'm particularly looking forward to training again with my kobudo sensei, Hiroshi Akamine; for as much as I try to keep my waza and kata clean and correct, I know there will be many corrections to make.

Going back to Okinawa on a regular basis is important to me, although being there is not always entirely enjoyable. I find kobudo difficult, but the instruction and criticism I receive is entirely necessary if I'm ever to improve my skills.  Hihyo, criticism, is a vital element in the learning of both karate and kobudo, and you avoid it at your peril, just make sure the person you receive it from is authentic.

Hiroshi Akamine sensei of the Shimbukan dojo, c2008
I wonder sometimes about the folk who spend most of their time teaching rather than training, and who rarely, if ever, put themselves under the watchful eye of a sensei, or senior. If you ever expect to make progress you must first risk failure. If you ever expect to be taken seriously as a sensei, then you must always remain a student. Living in your comfort bubble all the time only highlights your lack of courage.

When I speak of recognition I care little about rank or title, instead I look for a sincere character.