Friday, 7 February 2014

The Evolution of karate...and the dash for cash!

From big to small and back again...
Over the passage of time the depth and nature of karate training, and the number of it's practitioners, has waxed and waned according to the milieu of the day. Today the number of participants is high, higher than at any point in karate's long history in fact, but what about the nature of karate training these days, how does that compare with "what" karate was in times gone by...ehm?

As regular readers will know, I'm not a great fan of looking too hard at the history of karate; for me there is too big a margin for speculation and interpretation, and way too little "known facts". Hearsay and stories make up the vast amount of  "known" karate history; much of it in my opinion is spurious and easily seen as such with very little research required.

Notice karate is depicted here as a "James Bond" type activity...
I'm not sure how much truth there is in the maxim: "Money is the root of all evil"; I think the 'evil' has more to do with some folks desire for money rather than money itself. Karate has become a way to make money, and lots of it; enough to live off, buy a house, travel the world, and drive expensive cars. Like the hijacking of spirituality by religion, karate too has been invaded and occupied by many of the lowest of human characteristics: greed being just one of them.

So, is money necessary? I would say yes, and qualify that by once again stating my belief that while it's okay to make money in order to teach karate, it is not okay to teach karate in order to make money. The  former allows for karate to continue, the latter will only hasten it's demise. What future karate history will say about us today is anyone's guess, but let us leave that up to the karateka who are not yet born; right now, you and I have an obligation to nurture what we have received, and to pass it forward intact.