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Guest Post: Mada, Mada, Mada

This Guest Post is by my friend and mentor Sensei Pat Nakata. Nakata Sensei is the head of the Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate Association in Hawaii. He was a student of Chosin (Choshin) Chibana in Shorin-Ryu, and also studied Ryukyu Kobudo under Sensei Fumio Nagaishi. When he was a young man, he studied Wado-Ryu Karate under Sensei Walter Nishioka.

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It was true that Chibana Sensei was never completely satisfied with anyone's kata, not even his own. He always said, "Mada, mada, mada." (Not yet/still to be.) He never complained about students not training hard enough. He encouraged all his students to train hard, but cautioned everyone not to overdo their training.

He gave this analogy: If you made the makiwara too rigid, it would be difficult to hit with many repetitions and nor would you want to hit it. But if you made the makiwara softer, it would be easier to hit and you would hit it more. In other words, make it hard enough so it is meaningful to hit, but soft enough so you are more willing to hit it.

Training should be approached in the same manner.

Pat Nakata