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Once when I was giving a lecture at class, I told the students to be careful to adjust the headrests in their cars. Too often, I said, the headrests are at the neck level, below the head. In case of an accident, the occupant's head could snap back, causing injury. The headrest should be behind the head to cushion it in case of a collision.

At the next class, one of my yudansha students told me that his car had been struck from behind after the last class. But because he had adjusted his headrest, he was not injured. The headrest had prevented him from getting whiplash.

There is more to Karate than punching, blocking, and kicking. We have to look for ways to be safe and careful in daily life as well.


Charles C. Goodin