Sunday, 5 January 2014

Karate Training...what is that?

The Shinseidokan dojo kun
In my experience there is at least one big difference between Okinawan karateka and non-Okinawan karateka, Westerners tend to spend a lot more time teaching and talking about karate than they spend actually training in it: and Okinawans don't!

When visitors to the Shinseidokan tell me they have been training for ten, fifteen, or even twenty years, I'm always sceptical; further discussion usually reveals their time in the dojo began with a couple of hours training two or three nights per week, but is now spent instructing others: in my mind this is not the same as years spent training in karate.

Even if you do train in karate for a couple of hours every day for ten, or even twenty years, you will hardly scratch the surface. Sure, you'll be able to kick and punch, perform many kata and remember lots of bunkai, but this level of karate proficiency is reached fairly quickly; to mature as a karateka will take you a lot longer.

I smile when people tell me this isn't true, because the folks who say that are always shinning examples of short-term karateka; people who didn't have the guts to remain a student of karate for very long and moved quickly on to becoming an instructor instead. Teaching karate isn't training, talking about karate isn't training either.....only training is training!