- THE PASSAGE
- Here today,
- Over the past 29 years I
have taught karate to a seemingly endless number of
- Many of them trained for
only a few weeks, or a few months before they decided
that karate was not for them. While still others have
remained along side of me for more than a decade,
convinced to this day that they will never stop training.
- Few, however, and this is
the sad truth, ever last as long as they think they will.
- The dojo it seems with it's
four walls, roof, and a floor to train on, has one other
feature that all dojo's could really do without.
- A revolving door.
- The question is why?
- Karate after all is one of
the very few physical activities of any kind, that allows
the practitioner to actively continue participating well
in to their eighties or nineties.
- The answer is I suppose in
the long run, is a very simple one.
- With the passage of time,
- Their interests change.
- Their lives change.
- Their priorities change.
- Let me give you an example.
- Do you remember that really
hard working young boy you always use to see at adult
class, you know the one I mean. He started karate around
the age of eight, progressed well over the years, and
finally obtained a coveted black belt. You remember him
now don't you.
- Well today he is sixteen.
High school sports, a new drivers licence, a girl friend,
and even a part time job, now all vie for the limited
number of hours in his day, and as a result he seldom
comes to class any more.
- So like any good
instructor, his Sensei called the boy's home and spoke
with the boy's father.
- "Karate, oh yes my son
is still very interested in karate, in fact he plans to
come back and start training again just as soon as the
summer holiday's are over". "Don't you worry,
my son loves karate, he will never quit".
- Famous last words, and yes,
you guessed it. Johnny, or Billy, or whatever his name
was, never did go back to the dojo.
- Instead, he like far to
many others before him, became a casualty of the passage
of time. Another reminder that what interests us, and
what we are passionate about today, does not necessarily
last a life time.
- Yet you would think that in
a world where we come up against negative behaviour, and
lousy attitudes virtually everyday, that with all of the
positive true benefits that karate has to offer, instead
of abandoning karate students would hang on with both
hands even tighter than ever before.
- So what is the solution?
- I wish I knew.
- If you ever figure it out
please be sure and let me know.
- In the meantime I think I
for one will stand a bit closer to that revolving door,
perhaps in doing so I can catch one or two of those who
are starting to feel the power of it's vortex.
- You never
truly know what you have got till it's gone.
- Part the
clouds - see the way.
objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
- of the
human spirit through physical and mental training."