YOUR THOUGHTS ON KARATE
 
Speak Your Mind
The best way to learn anything is to experience it first hand.
 
After you have gained some knowledge and a degree of expertise, learning from reading the thoughts and comments of others who share a similar passion, is probably the next best thing.
 
As a result this new page is dedicated to anyone who wishes to write me more than just a brief note in my guest book.
 
Here I will publish your thoughts on any karate related subject. By sending me your thoughts and comments it is understood that in doings so you are granting me your permission to publish them here on this web page for other to read, to learn from, and if they so desire, to respond to in kind.
 
If you do decide to express your thoughts please be sure to include your name and email address, this is for my information only and will not be passed on to others. If you do not wish your name to appear on my web site please says so, otherwise I will use what ever name you use to sign your letter.
 
So the floor is yours if you want it - my email address is peterb@vreb.bc.ca
 
I reserve the right to edit all letters and articles for content, language, or any other reason what so ever, so while I invite you to speak your mind please do it in the same manner as you practice your karate in the dojo - with courtesy and respect.
 
 
December 31, 2004
Subject: I found something I love
 
Dear Sensei,
 
As a newly orange belt, I may not know alot about Karate, but this I do know; no matter the belt, you are equal to every student in your class. Wheter he be black or white. This is a black belt student, whom I feel he should be white again, as far I have seen he only speaks to upperbelts, and it infuriates me to see this!    
 
Another thing that grates on my nerves are those few who laugh at those who study martial arts. Karate is something I cherish. I have made new friends, those who don't care what I wear, how I dress, what music I listen to, or who my friends are. They may find me stange, but that what sets me apart from the rest in the class, and they don't care.
 
I have gained more confidence then what I had when I first started two months ago. Just recently I was able to perform in front of several people I don't know. And now, I can't wait for a compeition, not because I want to prove I am good enough, but because I want to participate. Something I would never have thought of two months ago. Two months ago, I wouldn't have thought I could feel so good, granted I am still negative about myself, but that will eventually go away.
 
When I first began, I thought I'd never be a black belt. Even though I am still far away from being a Shodan, I am one step closer. And while I strive to be a Shodan, and to learn to like my self, unwittingly I have found something I love! It's fun, hard work, yes, but fun. I love the classes and I love the katas, given I only know two, as of yet. But I will learn in time, and in time I will like myself.  
 
Amanda
 
December 28, 2004
Subject: The Challange
 
Dear Sensei Lindsay,
 
You can publish the next paragraph under "Your Thoughts on Karate",
 
Today I read the story "The Challenge" that's published on your site.
 
To say the truth the deeper meaning of the story wasn't obvious to me right away. But as the day went on I caught myself thinking negatively in regard to this girl I'm interested in. My thoughts were a jumble of opinions like "she does not really like me", "I'm imagining things" and similar.
 
Somewhere along the way it hit me.
 
I was doing almost exactly the same thing as the sword master from the story. Allowing my doubts and insecurities to influence my thoughts and possible future actions. So, the story can be applied to every day life, not just martial arts in particular. Anyway, as soon as I realized what I was doing, I was able to stop it and rearrange my thoughts.
 
After all, we are what we think.
 
Warm regards,
Bojan
 
 
December 2004
Subject: Karate Journey
 
Hi Sensei,
 
I went to visit your Karate site tonight, to go through some of the things that I've missed.
 
When I think about Karate, it's like a life long course, that needs continuous studying, refreshing and improving.
 
Tonight's class felt like I was learning for the first time again. It hit me that there is so much that I should know, but do not. It made me realize how much I need to relearn, how much I never really knew, (up to the belt that I am now), and what there is to learn. If I were to take a lower rank exam, I'm not sure I should or would pass. Do you know what I'm saying?
 
While I'm working on patience, the basics and spirit, are not so easy a road to travel on, this time around. There are six Kata I must know and show well at my black belt grading. There are self defence moves I've forgotten, sparring that is still so very basic I could be beaten by a green belt. There is basic Karate knowledge that I'm embarrassed to say I don't know. It's all such a revelation that it has me thinking as to how I will organize myself to begin again.
 
All is not lost, though! I have a couple of Shotokan Karate books, a great website that I have access to, and Sensei to ask questions. What it comes down to, is patience within will bring the best of me out, in the end. Seeking perfection of character can be very humbling, while at the same time, can develop self confidence. At least this is how it feels for me.
 
I am ready to accept this challenge with a willingness to open my mind to future lessons. While it took me awhile to get jump started tonight, I did learn a lot. I don't know why my mind finds difficulty with Oi gyaku zuki. The Katas are coming back and I did remember Jion after going over it a few times. It was the last Kata you had introduced to me before I took leave. This does give me a feeling that at least I know the general steps, to get started. In my mind, I visualize the Kata's in a way that shows strength, rhythm, spirit and technique. What comes out is not exactly the same as my mind had decided was the way it should look.
 
Below is what tonight's Kata lesson inspired me to write. I can feel what is written, now I'm ready to learn.
 
Kata
Flowing with grace and strength at important places and turns,
First fast, then slow, then slow again,
A powerful undercurrent that is there but not seen,
Moving very quietly, but very noticeable,
Power that is undetermined until met against another force,
A force surprised by power hidden in the form,
Swift moves at once with powerful strikes in the end,
Building confidence and spirit, just as it was meant to do,
Learning to defend and protect all the while not letting out any secrets,
Secrets taught by many before; those that have developed Kata,
Demonstrated moves without showing the defence, or strike,
Practiced with great importance, so they can be used only upon faced with protection in mind,
Each form titled like a song to masquerade the story developing within,
Many moves and titles to master, practiced many hundreds of times,
Rhythm, spirit, open, closed, long and low,
Sculptured, trained, and beautiful.
This is my Kata.
 
I look forward to the next class.
 
Roberta
 
 
 
 
Remember
Karate begins and ends with courtesy.
 
Part the clouds - see the way.
 
"The objective of karate is to contribute to the evolution
of the human spirit through physical and mental training."
Sensei Peter Lindsay