Karate Thoughts Blog

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My Senior Friends

Because of my Karate research, I get to meet many senior Karate Sensei. I am sure that to some people this must seem like an ego thing -- that I name drop. I actually saw this posted once in a discussion group.

I can understand this. I've met many people who name drop in an effort to make themselves seem more important.

But one thing I have learned about meeting and training with seniors is this -- your Karate will improve if you are surrounded by talented people. It is not that skill rubs off. It is more that seeing talented people gives you an idea of the right direction.

In addition, far from making you conceited, knowing truly talented people makes you more humble. It is easy to feel "superior" if you are surrounded by beginners, but you get a reality check when you are near outstanding martial artists.

I will give you one example. Sensei Morio Higaonna visited my dojo. I teach Shorin-Ryu. He teaches Goju-Ryu. But that does not matter. Karate is Karate and he is one of the finest Sensei I have ever met. Wow! Seeing him train really makes you want to train harder and improve yourself.

What about my own Sensei? Why do I mention Higaonna Sensei? Because it is not too good to say much about your own Sensei. It is easier to speak about others. Of course I admire my own Sensei. Of course I believe that they are outstanding. But that is not something a student says. A student just feels fortunate to have a fine Sensei.

I try to learn something from everyone I meet. When you are lucky enough to meet outstanding Karate Sensei, there is always a great deal to learn.


Charles C. Goodin