Thursday, 24 January 2013

Sometimes I'm the sensei...but!

A much younger me with a student (c 1995) - training in Jiyu ippon kumite  
Not so long ago, I asked someone with over 30 years of training behind him, what his favorite thing about karate was. Without hesitation his answer came back, "Teaching self-defense techniques!" I smiled to myself and let the moment pass.

Now, although I've never seen this guy training, and for all I know he could be brilliant, his answer suggested to me that he probably isn't. You see, for all the time you may have behind you, and regardless of the rank or title you have acquired, the moment you regard teaching karate as being more important than practicing it, you've lost the plot!

I have no problem with people teaching, someone has to do it....I do it! But I do it extra to my own personal training; I don't teach every day, but I do practice my karate every day. I'm not sure why some folk think it's acceptable to forgo their own training in favor of teaching others; an over developed sense of their own importance I dare say.

Same year, same dojo...but this time I'm the student
I know it's not easy for some to devote as much time as they might like to karate, but here's the thing; if you think you have anything worth teaching others, when you don't have the self-discipline to train yourself, you're lost! If you don't have enough time for both activities then stop teaching....the karate world will get along just fine without your input.

Karate is awash with the poorly skilled and the mediocre passing on something they have little understanding of. But you know what really amazes me? That they're able to find anybody willing to listen to them.