Friday, 20 June 2014

Karate's Big Secret...

Three generations of karateka
I know, I know, I've posted this image before; but you know me and my camera, we seldom go training together, so I don't have a picture of me for every occasion or with everyone I've ever met or trained with. Seikichi Kinjo sensei represents a generation of Okinawan karateka that have now all but passed into history, so I consider myself extremely fortunate to have received instruction and advice from him and others of his generation in Okinawa.

Next to Kinjo sensei, on either side, stand my closest friend, Richard Barrett, and me. Together we represent a younger generation of karateka to Kinjo sensei; but a generation that is beyond the brashness of the "I know it all" generation that seems to spend at least as much time on the Internet as in the dojo. When Richard and I conducted our early research into karate we got onto aeroplanes, alone, and took off into the unknown.....we didn't go to Japan and Okinawa on high-school excursions like so many do today.

On either extreme in this group stand two younger karateka, both in the 30's and both with young families. Standing next to me, Mitch Turner has only just begun his education in karate, but with one trip to Okinawan behind him he's off to a good start. Next to Richard, Garry Lever, perhaps one of the finest karateka of his generation in my opinion. Garry has trained in karate for considerably longer than Mitch, even so, they each have a lot to experience yet in order to reach their full potential as karateka.

Between each generation in this photo stands not only time, but experience; and an understanding that only one has the potential to bring the other. Time is perhaps karate's biggest secret, for without it, there is so much that simply cannot be experienced.