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Karate -- A Minority Art, Part 5

We are getting closer. But perhaps this is a good time to mention that there is no place for prejudice and discrimination in Karate. As instructors, we must be fair and open minded. A person should be judged based on his or her character and actions, not by the color of his or her skin.

Certainly, a person is not "bad" just because he is from Okinawa, nor is he necessarily "good." There are bad and good people from all parts of the world.

I think that there is a general bias in favor of Karate teachers from Japan and Okinawa -- that they are somehow superior. My personal experience is that there are good and bad instructors from both places. What is probably true is that there is a greater concentration of high level instructors in these places -- certainly more than in most parts of the United States. We are lucky here in Hawaii to also have a high concentration of high level Karate (and other martial arts) instructors.

But again, it is one thing to discuss discrimination at the time of the introduction of Karate to mainland Japan. That is history. It is quite another thing to continue to discriminate against people based on factors such as their country of origin, language, religion, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Come on! As Karate students and instructors we must hold ourselves to a high standard! We must not tolerate discrimination. The same sun shines on everyone in the world.


Charles C. Goodin