Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Is Your Karate Honest... a gentle rant!

Naha - has always been a place of business
Over the past thirty-years I have been fortunate to visit a great many dojo in Okinawa through my magazine work, and as a result, have engaged many sensei in conversation who under normal circumstances I would never get to meet let alone sit down and talk with. I've enjoyed the experience of meeting all the sensei who have invited me into their dojo, and sometimes into their home.

The published interviews and articles that emerge from such meetings never contain the whole conversation however, I always keep things back; sometimes at the request of the interviewee, but mostly because I've never believed in giving away everything I work for. I've always been happy to share, even with people I don't know, but only to a point.

Right now people around the world are stealing my work, on file sharing sites where whole books of mine can be downloaded for free, to magazine articles and interviews posted on web sites without my permission, and individual photographs and artwork of mine being sold and handed around as if people had some god-given right to simply take and use what they want. It's so easy to take what you want these days isn't it?

The Internet provides thieves with the perfect environment to indulge their habit, and allows the lazy and the deluded within the karate world to create a place for themselves that they could never occupy in an authentic dojo. How sad a place this karate world of ours has become, where manufactured facts are held so dear, while truth is discarded with such ease; where image and forgery receive more investment in many an individuals mind than humility and honest endeavour.
I'm not sure it's possible to be a karateka and dishonest too....but I find it amusing that so many today seem to have no problem believing that it is!