Karate Thoughts Blog

Contents   /   Email  /   Atom  /   RSS  /  

1700+ Posts... and Counting

My Craftsman Tool Chests

A couple of weeks ago I bought two beautiful Craftsman tool chests for my back lanai area. These are really nice ones, on wheels, and I had been looking at them for months. Finally they went on sale and I bought them.

Anyway, I suddenly had more space for my scattered tool collection and set about to organize them. I found an old toolbox full of wrenches I had inherited and started to put them in one of the drawers of the tool chest. I gradually realized that I had no idea about what many of the wrenches were used for. I am not very mechanically inclined, and I think that some of the wrenches were for auto work.

So I had tools but did not know what they were used for.

Sound familiar?

In Karate, our movements, whether in kata, kumite drills, or otherwise, are tools. They are the tools of Karate. If you had the opportunity to organize your Karate "tool" collection, would you know what each of them mean or can be used for?

I have to admit that I don't know what everything means. I do understand some things and often ask my senior friends what they think certain movements mean. Karate is a constant learning process.

When the movements are scattered in our general curriculum, we do not have to really think about each one. But when we sit down and try to organize all of them, some questions might arise.

Since Karate has evolved over at least a few hundred years, we also have to deal with the fact that some movements might have made more sense at the time and in the cultural context in which they were developed. For example, today we do not wear kimono (or similar clothes) and do not wear metal spikes (jiffa) in our hair. Movements based on the use (or restrictions on use) presented by such items might not make much sense today. And three hundred years ago, people did not have cell phones or cars.

I feel tempted to throw away some of the wrenches I might never use. But who knows, maybe I will learn their proper meaning and use them one day... like some of the movements in Karate I might not quite understand yet.


Charles C. Goodin