Saturday, 9 February 2013

Seeing what you're looking for

"Gong Xi Fa Cai"

For many people, the Spring Festival is a time of renewal, a time to take stock and to plan for the next twelve months. In the West we tend to do this at the end of December, but for people living throughout East Asia, the Spring Festival is a more appropriate time.

If you look at the sign of the Snake (here) you will find out all sorts of information on people who were born in the year of the serpent. It's all nonsense of course, but the net is spread wide enough to convince many that there is something to all that horoscope stuff. The site I've linked you to purports to help people looking to get the inside track on their future partner.

The rest of the world is not immune to this kind of silliness, we have our star-signs and our belief in re-birthing, we go to India to learn about our chakra's, and further East to discover how to channel our chi. It makes you wonder why any nation on the planet bothers with a standing army. Why spend ba-zillions of dollars on weaponry and training, when all you have to do is visit your local martial arts master, and before you know it, you can knock people out without even touching them? ....."Use the force Luke!"....  

Something I come across a lot with karate people, is an uncanny ability to see what they are looking for. They want to believe in something special, extra-ordinary even, so much so,they begin to see it in those who teach them, they can see it in their seniors, and in their teacher's teacher...but not in your teacher. Mind you, if his teacher's teacher was friends with your teacher's teacher...then...he can see it, but if not: well.

Whatever happened to a respectful but enquiring mind? And when did karate become all about mastering stuff, rather than simply committing yourself to the training? Whose idea was it to form karate into gangs, and then set about trying to better everyone else? Why is recognition important? And when did it become acceptable to follow along, instead of forging ahead?

I don't have the answers, but I can see all too clearly the results. Perhaps that's because I look for karate people to disappoint me these days...yes perhaps that's why. But if I do, if I do expect to be disappointed by hypocrisy masquerading as authority, then it is only because I have been surrounded by it for so long it is rare to see anything else.