Monday, 2 September 2013

The Group Mentality...

One of many gatherings at the Budokan in Okinawa: c2008
I'm not a fan of training in massive groups, it's boring! Besides, it's not really training as such, more like the kind of drill you find in the armed forces. I don't like this type of training much because it disengages the imagination and hijacks decision making; when you train en masse you're simply doing as you're told.

The group-mind is a powerful draw for  many karateka, in fact, I'd go so far as to say the majority of karateka today would be totally lost (as far as training goes) if they didn't have somebody else (the more the merrier) to train with. Many assume it's natural for us to form groups...but is it? If we were meant to gather in large groups, how come we're so bad at it?

Fish can swim in huge shoals and move as one, birds form flocks of up to a million individuals and they never bump in to each other, even bats, who huddle together in the dark can fly around at break-neck speed and avoid colliding with ease: humans can't do any of that. Hell, we can't even live side by side without stepping on each others toes. 

Large gatherings of humans means only one thing...trouble!