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Karate Update

If your Sensei teaches you one technique, application, or way to move, and you only practice that one thing by itself, you will have learned one thing. But if you apply that one thing to all of your techniques, to the extent applicable, you may have actually learned dozens or even hundreds of things.

If you have Windows or an antivirus program installed on your computer, your program will routinely update itself. The update will install new versions of the programs, or parts of the programs. Learning from your Sensei is a bit like a Karate update. Each new thing you learn can be used to update and enhance your Karate.

Or you could simply learn that one thing and keep it separate, in which case you will have only learned that one thing.

Your Sensei teaches you one thing and you multiply it throughout your Karate, making it your own. You have to do the hard work.

Another way to look at this is to view the thing you are taught as an infection. The new technique, application, or way to move, will positively infect your Karate.

The worst thing that a student can do (aside from abusing Karate for violence), is to waste what he is taught by his Sensei. The Sensei plants a seed. A few weeks later, he will want to check on the growth of the seed. It is up to the student to water, fertilize, and tend to the plant.

The Sensei should not meet his student several years later and hear the student say, "Look Sensei, here are all the seeds you gave me. I have keep them safe in this jar!"

It is the student's responsibility to grow his Karate.

That said, I often see students who learn something and then ignore it. They have to be taught the same thing over and over again because they do not invest their own time and effort to understand and apply the technique. The same type of student will ask to be taught a new kata -- but will not improve his technique. A kata is good or bad because of the individual techniques, not because of the name or degree of difficulty of the kata. One good punch is a great kata, but a hundred lousy techniques will make a lousy kata.

It is better to do Fukyugata Ichi well than Kusanku poorly. But of course, it is better to do Kusanku well!

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin