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Try Hard in 2010!

Tomorrow is a new year. Here are my thoughts for fellow Karate students.

Try hard in 2010! Trying hard does not only mean that you exert yourself physically when you train. It means that you train regularly. You eat every day. You need to train every day too.

Don't miss class and don't forget to practice at home. The old saying is "come to class to learn, practice at home."

If you train hard once a month, that is not as good as training with less intensity once a week or every day. Just sweating on the dojo floor once in a while means little. Constant progress is what counts... you must progress every day from the time you start learning Karate until the day you die. High rank does not mean that you are done learning -- just the opposite!

You have to try to become better at Karate each and every day. If you are not better today than you were yesterday, then you are actually worse because you are older. Each day that you grow older, you are growing weaker and slower. To compensate for this, you have to learn to move better -- to improve your body mechanics. You must constantly seek to refine and optimize your movements and eliminate unnecessary movements -- to do more with less. If you try to move like a 20 year old when you are 50, you will probably fail. But if you move like a smart 50 year old, you may be able to out perform a 20 year old!

No one becomes skilled in Karate by just thinking about it -- but no one becomes skilled in Karate unless they think about it. Study your art in earnest, including its history and traditions.

I knew a man. He had practiced Karate but stopped for some reason. He told me that his Karate bag was packed and ready to go. He kept is at his office. He said that he looked at it every day and thought, "Maybe today I will go back." This went on for years.

I felt like saying, "Just go back already!" Stop wasting energy thinking about it. Just go!

When you train, train. Don't think about anything else. Leave the world in your slippers (outside the dojo). Train 100%. When you are done training, live 100%! Train 100%. Live 100%.

And actually, even when you are not training in the dojo, you are training in daily life.

Each day, each minute, training... constantly improving yourself.

This is not to get ahead of other people. That is a shallow measure. Seek to become the best you can become. Then comparisons are not necessary. If you are the best you can be, what more could you be? And if you are not, what are you doing? Get to work.

If you are a Sensei, you are the advertisement for your dojo. For good (and for bad), you are what the students will want to become. Are you in shape? If you are not, do you think that the students will want to train to become like you? Are you a refined gentleman (or lady)? If you are not, do you think that the students will want to train to become like you?

Trophies in the window mean very little (and they just gather dust). You are the trophy. You are the title. You are the rank. You are the measure of your Karate.

And about politics... just spend your time on productive things. If you are full of productive work, you will have no time for politics. And if you are embroiled in politics, just look at the heads of your organization... do you really want to become like them? If not, spend time on productive things! Politicians are usually good at talking and bad at Karate.

Let's all train hard in 2010 and work to become our very best. Life is short. Time is running out. Each day, each moment is an opportunity to improve ourselves -- don't miss it!

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin