As I type I think back on the training that we have done in the Hackettstown area since 1979, a number of the original students are still involved in our training. The training has remained traditional in nature, which is uncommon in these days because most directors of schools look to make money, sacrificing the “art and the tradition of self discovery and intrinsic improvement.”
One of the strengths of a karate training session is that the process is mental as well as physical, so the whole person benefits from the time spent in the dojo as well as during the disciplined practice at home. We cannot attempt to stay at the same level that we are at today. We must try to improve our abilities at kata, kumite, kobudo and self development. Training regardless of the reason provides us with an increased confidence in our ability to function at a specific level of competence. Training is something that cannot be over emphasized. We need it initially to develop the basic skill sets and attitude that allow us to function in a given situation. Intermediate and advance training enhances these skills sets and allows us to function at a higher level. None of this will happen unless we train on a regular basis. Training helps us develop the necessary conditioned reflexes to immediately deal with a problem as it happens. It also prepares us for a variety of possibilities.
At times illness and injury may limit our physical activity. If this happens we either take time off or we continue to train, doing what we can to advance the capabilities we are able to use. Working through injuries when appropriate, knowing no further injury will occur if we do what is reasonable, is a sign of maturity, dedication and discipline. So, with all this being said, what must be understood if we are to use the proper speed zone. Strive to follow the direction of the sensei that knows how to best help each of us to improve. Practice daily demonstrating the proper way to do kihon, kata and kobudo and at the appropriate speed. When in the dojo, use the time efficiently; arrive early and be ready to start at the beginning of each training session. Practice what you have been taught and be open to improve when instructed. Lastly, have a beginners mind; be open to learn and review the skills you may feel that you know (perfectly). With this open and willing mind, each person will be able to learn more (happily) and become an exceptional karate student and person.
Another strength of traditional karate training is seen when the student can focus his or her energies on the inner qualities that set our training apart from other forms of exercise. Goal setting is not unique to karate training but is at times different because we cannot look at just the physical benefits of an exercise program. We must take into account that we want to improve ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Think about what you want to accomplish during this year and write it on a piece of paper – – – put it away in a safe place (with your monthly dojo newsletters) and look at it every so often to see if progress is being made toward accomplishing the desired goal. Accept the challenge of setting realistic short and long term goals. Be prepared to work toward the goal and step by step improvements will be made.
As we enter a new year (2017), I am reminded of a segment of a segment from “Leading with Passion” by John Murphy. We must all strive to keep the love and passion for our training alive as we desire to improve daily.
” Light a match in a dark room and watch as the light instantly overcomes the darkness. Observe the power and grace of that single, solitary flame dancing with life. Now light several candles or kindle a fire and experience the added warmth and comfort extending from that first, vulnerable flame through others. This is the heart and soul of leadership—the essence of inspiring others. It is about courageously casting off fear, doubt and limiting beliefs and giving people a sense of hope, optimism and accomplishment. It is about bringing light into a world of uncertainty and inspiring others to do the same. This is what we call passion, the fire within. Passion is a heartfelt energy that flows through us, not from us. It fills our hearts when we allow it to and it inspires others when we share it. It is like sunlight flowing through a doorway that we have just opened. It was always there. It just needed to be accepted and embraced. Under the right conditions, this “flow” appears effortless, easy and graceful. It is doing what it is meant to do. It is reminding us that we are meant to be purposeful. We are meant to be positive. We are meant to be passionate. We feel this when we listen to and accept our calling in life. We feel it as inspiration when we open the door of resistance and let it in.”
“Remind thyself, in the darkest moments, that every failure is only a step toward success, every detection of what is false directs you toward what is true, every trial exhausts some tempting form of error, and every adversity will only hide, for a time, your path to peace and fulfillment.”
Congratulations to the people who earned promotions since our last newsletter: Liana Torlucci, Skye & Trinity White – Junior Yellow Belt.
Golden Rule Karate Tournament, Sunday, February 19, 2017 – Warren Hills High School