Karate Thoughts Blog

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How Much Do You Owe?

Sometimes you might see a television commercial in which a person exclaims, "I own real estate worth over $1 million!"

Being an attorney practicing in the area of real estate, I always ask myself, "How much does that person owe?"

A million dollar property with no debt is really good, but the same property with two million dollars in debt is something altogether different.

When it comes to skill in Karate, I always feel the same (sort of). I am very grateful for the Karate I have been fortunate enough to learn from my Sensei and seniors. If my Karate skill is worth $1 million, I would say that I owe $10 million for it. My Karate is encumbered by the debt I owe to my Sensei and seniors. Without them, I would have nothing in Karate.

Of course I realize that we have to refine Karate by our own sweat and effort. We can only learn so much from our Sensei and seniors. But without them, we could not get to the point where our own sweat and effort could lead to refinement. Without our Sensei and seniors, we would be groping in the dark.

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I am not saying that my Karate skill is worth $1 million. I am just using that as an example. Whatever skill I have in Karate is encumbered tenfold by my debt to my Sensei and seniors.

Also, when I use the term Sensei, I am writing it in the Japanese sense. There is no plural in Japanese. So when I say "Sensei," I mean all the Sensei I have ever had. I currently have two Sensei of Shorin-Ryu and have had many Sensei of Karate and other martial arts. I mean all that when I write the term "Sensei."

Being in such great debt, I will try my best to use my Karate for good and also teach to the best of my ability. I feel that there is no way to directly repay your Sensei and seniors. So the next best thing is to pay the next generation by teaching them. We repay our Sensei and seniors by teaching and setting a good example for the next generation.


Charles C. Goodin