Monday, 10 March 2014

Not Teaching..!

Training with a student, original Shinseidokan dojo, Perth W.A. c1996
After a Summer that was relatively free of visitors to the dojo, the onset of Autumn has proven to be a little busy. Not everyone has come from a different school or dojo, but the net result has been the same, recently I've spent a lot more time teaching karate than I like to. When visitors are Shinseidokan students from the mainland (Tasmania is Australia's only island state), I have an obligation to help them as much as I can before they return home, so we spend a lot more time together in the dojo each day.

I still find time to do my own training before they arrive, so this isn't a problem for me, but I'm beginning to tire of teaching the casual visitor who wants to drop by. I'll be 60 next year, and although that's a long way from being old, I'm beginning to feel the need to focus more on my own karate. I'm now taking the view that if a person doesn't want to take ownership of their training, then I no longer want to provide an alternative for them. I'm no longer going to be an "option" for people who can't find what it takes to be an authentic karate student.

So what does this mean?  Well, in the short term, it means that I'm no longer accepting casual visitors to the dojo, and you'll notice the information concerning that has now gone from the blog; and in the future, I'll be teaching even less than I do at present. I never really wanted to be a karate instructor, I wanted to be a karateka. Circumstances, and my own ignorance, placed me in the role of teacher, but I've never been all that comfortable about it. Over time, I came to believe that helping others was a way to give something back to karate, so I continued....but I'm now beginning to feel I have re-payed that particular debt.

I get a lot of value added to my life from training in the dojo in the early morning...alone!