- SLOW AND
STEADY DOES IT
- If karate
was easy no one would be doing it
asked me the other day why I still practice karate after
so many years.
- Not wanting
to give them a flip, spur of the moment answer, I thought
about their question for a moment and then I replied,
"because karate is so very difficult for me to do".
- The person
then asked me what I meant by that.
- I went on
to explain that karate has never come easily to me, I am
not a "natural" at it. For me karate has always
been, and remains to this very day, a lot of bloody hard
back I can remember my very first class, as the saying
goes, "like it was yesterday". I came out of
that class aching in places I never knew I had. My mind
was a whirl of Japanese terms and karate techniques and
the sound of "lower your stance" constantly
rang in my ears. Yet in spite of how stiff and sore I
felt I clearly remember one thing, being absolutely
determined to go back as soon as possible and do it all
- More that
twenty-nine years have now passed since I first entered a
dojo and in all that time I do not think I can recall a
single class where I did not have to work hard to improve
some aspect of my karate. I suppose it is my desire to be
better at karate today than I was yesterday that has kept
me going to the dojo all of these years.
frankly I think if I had been a "natural" at
karate I would probably have quit a long, long time ago.
- Don't ask
me why, but for some reason students who on the surface
appear to be gifted never seem to last for very long. You
know the ones I mean, they can lift up either leg and
thrust out a side kick at head height, all the while
seeming to hold it there with little or no effort, and
this is in their very first class!!
- For them
the physical aspects of karate come easily, they quickly
develop good stances, solid looking techniques and more
often than not they are the envy of almost every student
in class. Then one day you turn around and they are gone.
No notice. No explanation. They simply stop coming to
- Perhaps for
them karate was simply not challenging enough.
- Sad really,
because karate is so much more that just physical
movements. The true depth of all that karate has to offer
lies elsewhere and this is often only revealed, if ever,
after a great many years on the dojo floor. Like many
things in life karate in and of it's self is not a
destination, but instead it is more of a journey. A
journey that literally tens of thousands of students
around the world embark upon each year, yet few ever
- Those rare
few who do make the entire journey they become the
masters, the teachers of other teachers. We look up to
them with gratitude and true appreciation for all the
time, the effort, and the energy that they have given to
the development of karate-do. They are the leaders that
set example for all of us to follow.
- But my true
inspiration can be found much closer to home.
- For me it
is the student who is training beside me during class.
Their belt rank does not matter. What does matter is the
fact that we are both sweating on the same floor, putting
forth our best effort, and spending our energy, striving
to make our karate better today than it was the day
before. It is these students that have kept me coming
back to the dojo day after day. It is these students who
help me on my journey and who make all of the bloody hard
work that karate demands seem just a little bit easier.
- I for one
will never be a master, or perhaps even a good sensei,
but one thing is for certain, I will always be a student
who is very grateful for the fact that when it came to
karate, I was not a "natural".
- The truth
lies in your effort,
- not in the
- 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."