Karate Thoughts Blog

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Training Focus

There are only so many hours in the day, and only so many hours in the week for Karate training.

Because of this, I try to keep our class tightly focused. Two things that we do not spend any time at all on are tournaments and kyu promotions. Avoiding tournaments saves a lot of time and money. Avoiding kyu ranks also saves a lot of time (for me) and expense for the students (assuming I would charge for testing, certificates, etc.).

I have spoken to students who found tournaments to be very expensive, especially when travel to the mainland or overseas was required. I also do not agree with the idea of a winner for kata and kumite. The idea is foreign to Karate, in my opinion. Karate is an art of self defense. It is a group mission for all the students in the dojo. There are no winners or losers. I don't give medals to my children for "best child." We are a family and so are the members of our dojo. What we do we do together. There are no external rewards. I believe in the old style trophy -- a bag of rice. At least you can eat it.

We never perform a kata based on how it would be rated in a tournament. Our only criterion is function. We do not care how a kata looks, just how it can be used. We seek perfection of form because that is what is required for maximum effectiveness -- not because it looks good or will be well received by the public. The public is easily impressed and poorly qualified to rate Karate performance.

We do not belong to a Karate political association either. I find politics to be the greatest waste of time and money.

Practice, practice, practice, and help the other students. That is more than enough for me.


Charles C. Goodin