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On Effort

Your Karate sensei might urge you to try your best.

It is important to keep in mind that you should try your best, not someone else's best. You should try to be the best you can be. If you try to be a good as another student, you might accomplish this goal. However, you might find that his or her level was far below your potential. You should strive for your best without reference to others.

Jigoro Kano, the founder of modern Judo, said that what's important is not that you are better than others, but that you are better than yesterday. Constant improvement should be your goal. Even if you improve only a little bit, over time it will add up.

Some students learn very quickly. They often quit quickly too. The best teacher is usually someone who had to struggle to learn. Such a teacher understands how hard it is for some students. In addition, learning slowly gives you a better understanding of each technique and the progression of training. Sometimes we say that quick learners learn "shallow" while slower learners learn "deep".

Karate requires a lifetime of effort. It is not something to learn in a few years or months. The finest sensei always say that they are still learning.

Try your best in your Karate practice. Also try your best in everything that you do. Try your best without reference to others. Improve each day.


Charles C. Goodin