Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Don't seek to climb higher, instead, work hard to enter deeply!

Receiving a promotion certificate from my sensei, c1996 
It's easy to see how many believe it's the attainment of rank that marks a karateka's progress, after all, isn't rank, and the myth of its recognition, two of the many marketing tools used by the Pro's these days: "All grades recognized in Japan" isn't that how the sales pitch goes? It's all rubbish of course, the Japanese karateka in your gang wouldn't know you from a bar of soap! Especially if you've never had the courage to get on a plane by yourself and go to Japan.

When you're training in karate is authentic, that is to say, conducted in the same spirit as the karate passed down through the ages, then you're in for a treat. But as with all good things in life, the gifts to be had from karate come with a price tag attached; not in cold, hard, cash, but in responsibility and obligation. As you climb higher on the ladder of promotion, you should (in theory) move ever deeper in to the tradition you are a living part of; if you're not doing that, then you're missing the point of your promotion.

For those who fashion themselves "Traditional" karateka these days, it is important to remember the obligation you have to accept ownership of your karate, and remind yourself of the need to teach by example. As a result, you do well to take ownership of your mistakes with just as much vigor as you lay claim to your achievements; for to do otherwise will see you being recognized for all the wrong reasons!