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Karate Metamorphosis

An amateur zoologist was walking through the woods. He bent down by a bush and saw a round white thing attached to a leaf. "Hmmm... I wonder what animal this is?" he thought.

He walked a little farther and found another bush. This time he found a furry worm munching on a leaf. "Hmmm... I wonder what animal this is?" he thought.

A few minutes later he stopped by a pond and saw a beautiful butterfly fluttering from flower to flower. "Hmmm... I wonder what animal this is?" he thought.

In the beginning level, Karate is like an egg. It is solid and has a definite shape. It does not move at all. Its purpose is to nourish and incubate the student. It is fixed to a leaf (style).

In the intermediate level, Karate is like a caterpillar. It is softer and can move, but not too well. Caterpillars have a voracious appetite, just like intermediate students want to learn everything possible. But they eat so much that all they have time to do is poop! Caterpillars can move from branch to branch.

In the advanced level, Karate is like a butterfly. It is beautiful and moves freely. It flies, not crawls, from place to place. Unlike the caterpillar which consumes everything, the butterfly is more discriminating. And when it eats, it pollinates the flowers. The butterfly's focus is on the next generation, not itself.

When you view Karate students, you find that most are eggs, some are caterpillars, and a few are butterflies. They are all the same animal, but at different stages of life. Karate is a metamorphosis.

And try as it might, an egg cannot fly. Practicing beginning Karate for decades does not make one a butterfly. You have to crawl before you can fly.


Charles C. Goodin