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Looking Violent

Recently, I demonstrated the applications of some movements to a student. The student commented that I look "so violent."

I thought about it. The techniques were pretty destructive. If used properly, they definitely would cause damage to the attacker. From that perspective, the techniques were violent -- even if only to be used in self-defense.

But I did not feel violent. It is not as if my blood boils when I demonstrate applications. In fact, I feel the same as when I pick weeds in the yard or when I go fishing. Techniques are just techniques. I feel completely normal when I demonstrate them -- no different at all.

The techniques may look violent but I do not feel violent. And it is not as if I am numb to violence. I hate violence. The world would be a much better place if all people were peaceful. But short of that, self-defense is a useful skill.

When practicing Karate, I do not feel violent, angry, mad, enraged, etc. I don't feel anything emotionally.

My only aim is to work on refining my movement. And if I have to use Karate in self-defense, then that will simply be a necessity. I would be reluctant to do so, but if it became a last resort, then there would have to be no reluctance or hesitation. It would be time to act. But I hope I would not feel violent.

And to my students, if I ever look violent, please rest assured that I am not. Karate is for peace, not violence.


Charles C. Goodin