Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Choices You Make...

Sharing memories with Hirokazu Kanazawa sensei
Okay, so don't take this the wrong way, I am not (by any stretch of the imagination) comparing myself with Kanazawa sensei, so let's make that perfectly clear; still, looking at this photo again yesterday it occurred to me that even though we have had a number of similar experiences, our karate has occupied very different places in the lives we have lead.

Although a good deal older then I am, Kanazawa sensei and I both started training in karate as youngsters, we both grew to love the art, and we have both spent the greater part of our lives practising it. When I think of some of the events in Kanazawa sensei's life, it's clear we have also both struggled at times when dealing with the ambitions of others. I think perhaps many long-term karateka would have similar memories of this too.

What interested me most about this image, when I saw it again yesterday, was the difference in the choices Kanazawa sensei and I have made. You see, I believe that for the most part, you are living the life you have now, today, because of the choices you have made in the past. Oh sure, the interests and ambitions of others intrude from time to time, but again, the choices you make when these things happen are responsible for placing you where you are now(in life and in your karate), so it's always your call.

Kanazawa sensei has tens of thousands of followers the world over: I don't. Until last year, he spent much of his life travelling the world, teaching: I haven't. He is head of the largest karate organization in the world operating under the leadership of just one man: I'm not. So, is Kanazawa sensei content with how his life has worked out? Well of course, you would have to ask him that, but I think he is.

Am I happy with where I'm at right now? Generally speaking, yes, very happy; but, if I come across sometimes as if I'm not, then please understand something, what your witnessing is the "itch" I'm feeling at having to deal with others I've bumped into.....you'd be surprised (or perhaps not) at just how many in the karate world are capable of giving you a rash!