Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Giving it away!

Mitch Turner, happy to receive Shodan
I've had a couple of emails recently requesting I post some video footage of me 'doing' karate; one email even asked why I don't have my own YouTube channel? (Give me a break!). While another asked if I could explain the bunkai from Tensho kata? (My answer to him was: "Yes, I can).The answer to why I'm not on YouTube is a simple one, I have no interest in displaying my karate to anyone who cares to watch it. My karate practise is personal, not for general consumption, and definitely not something I would want to share with many of the people who call themselves karateka these days.

While I have watched many wonderful displays of karate on YouTube, and often felt truly grateful that certain people have shared their skills by posting footage of themselves, I would be far too self-conscious to face a camera and tell people; "This is how things are done". Even in my dojo, I only ever suggest to the students what they might do to improve their karate. I fully expect the bunkai I introduce them to when they first begin to study a kata, to be abandoned later in favor of applications that suit them better; applications I expect them to have discovered for themselves.

Also, a small part of me can't help feel that posting yourself on the Internet demonstrating your karate, somehow cheapens it. Quite apart from the "Look at me, Look at me!" factor noticeable in so much of what is available for viewing; I think giving away your karate so freely is a bit like allowing anybody who wants to, to walk in to your home and make themselves comfortable. My dojo forms a part of my home, and I would never have anyone in the dojo who I wasn't also happy to have in my house.

Besides, who really cares if you do your kata this way or that, or if your applications are done one way or one; except maybe the idiot instructor who gets his next lesson or seminar ideas from watching you. But naw! one is that pathetic....right?