Karate Thoughts Blog

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Hitting Pads

We purchased three large football blocking pads/dummies for our students to kick and punch in our dojo. The pads/dummies were for children, so they are not quite strong enough for adults to hit hard. But they still are very good.

I have noticed that children get pretty excited when they get to kick and punch pads. Many adults do too. It appears to be a combination of fun and a release of aggression. Of course, everyone is different.

Here is my point. I do not get excited at all when I hit pads or the heavy bag. To me, it is just like hitting a makiwara or anything else. I guess that the excitement and aggression lessen with age and years of training. I guess that I do not have any excitement or aggression left.

When I hit, I feel "cold" and controlled. I am neither happy nor sad. I expect that a real situation would be different and that emotions would be harder to control. But I believe that this control factor is an important part of Karate training.

I often tell my children (three of whom are adults) that if they ever have to hit someone, they should feel neither good or bad. It would simply be inevitable. If you have to hit, you have to hit. You should try to avoid it, but once it becomes the last resort, then you cannot hold back.

When you have to hit, you have to hit. You should feel neither excitement nor aggression.


Charles C. Goodin