Saturday, 8 September 2012


Jesse Cottrell (L) and Mitch Turner working on Sakugawa no kon sho
Another student, Jesse Cottrell, came back home for a visit recently; and as usual, it made me happy to watch him training. Right now, Jesse is living in Melbourne while he studies for a degree in electrical engineering. It's a tough course with a high drop-out rate, but I have every confidence that Jesse will go the distance...why? Well, he's just that sort of person.

My dear old dad used to say, "It's easy being a catholic when you live in the Vatican."...he had a point. It's easy to do a lot of things when everything you need is laid out before you; or when everything around you is set up to help you achieve what it is you want to achieve. Both my parents were catholic, it gave them comfort to believe in the things they believed in; but I believe the church served them poorly, as it has so many of its followers.

Motivation is something altogether different from self-motivation; the first comes from an external source, the latter from within. The first can (and almost always does) carry with it the agenda of the motivator (which might not be the same as yours), while the second stems from your own best interest. While motivation has the potential to bring with it some degree of progress, self-motivation always pays off.

Right now, there are more Shinseidokan students training in other parts of Australia then there are training with me here in Tasmania. None of the students currently training on the mainland have taken it upon themselves to open a dojo, although they could if they wanted to; they have the rank and the expertise, but interestingly enough none of them have the desire. Instead, they continue to motivate themselves to practice their karate, and for each of them, that is enough.

I couldn't be happier!