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Karate Builds Character?

Sometimes you might hear that Karate builds character. I disagree with this. Karate does not build character. Practicing Karate gives the student an opportunity to build his character. It is the student who builds his character.

It is impossible to estimate how many people have practiced Karate over the generations. Some have built good, strong characters. Others have not. In fact, some Karate students and even instructors have terrible characters! It all depends on the student (or instructor) and the environment in which he learns.

A Sensei cannot guarantee that all his students will develop a good character. He can try to get "bad" students to quit if they are unwilling to improve themselves. He can try to set a good example and encourage his students to work on their characters. But even then, you might hear of great Sensei producing "bad" students.

In the end it is up to each student. Each student must build his own character. The Sensei cannot do it. Karate cannot do it. It is up to the student. Practicing Karate gives the student an opportunity to build his character.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin