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What I Notice First

I get to meet many Karate students and instructors. Here is what I notice and ask first:

  • Is he in good shape?
  • Does he act like a gentleman (politeness and courtesy)?
  • Who is his Sensei?
  • For how long has he trained?
If he is in poor shape, I will think that he does not train very regularly or well -- unless he is ill.

If he does not act like a gentleman, I will think that he does not train his character as well as his body.

Knowing who his Sensei is will help me to understand the type of Karate he is learning -- the style and emphasis.

If he has trained for a long time -- say 30 years or more -- I will know that he is very serious about Karate.

You might have noticed that I did not ask about his rank or titles. These are too subjective and tell me very little about the person. In fact, if he emphasizes his rank and titles, this will tell me that he is insecure and seeking recognition through his Karate.

You will also notice that I did not ask about tournament wins. I am simply not interested in such things.

I have just thought about another thing I notice -- fingernails. If he has long fingernails I will think that he has not been training regularly.

I'm sure that Karate seniors have their own list of things that they consider. Usually, the first consideration is politeness and composure.


Charles C. Goodin