Karate Thoughts Blog

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I Don't Care

I don't really care what other martial arts think about Karate. If a Judo person dislikes Karate, that is his prerogative. The same goes for Kendo, Ju Jitsu, Aikido, Iaido, Taichi, Kung Fu, etc. They are all entitled to their opinions about Karate, but with all due respect, I will not let those opinions bother or shape me.

And I respect those arts and the people who practice them. I even practiced some of those arts.

It is just that Karate is hard enough by itself. I care what my Sensei thinks. I also care what my students think. But if I start worrying what people in other arts think, then I will always be responding to them. It is enough that I try my best within the context of my own style and dojo.

And actually, I really don't care that much what people in other styles of Karate think about my particular "style". Goju-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu, and Shotokan people (for example) are entitled to their opinions, but I can't let those opinions influence me. If I do so, I will get off track. And I like those people!

Again, it is enough work for me to try to learn what my Sensei has taught me. If I run around listening to people in other styles, I will become lost.

I don't practice my Karate based on polls or what is popular at the moment. Those of us who have been around for a while have experienced all sorts of fads and crazes. Serious Karate students have no time for such things.

Life is short and it requires our best and determined effort to become skilled in our own style of Karate. I respect other opinions but I do not change my training based on them.

I remember Sensei Sadao Yoshioka saying something like this: "In the beginning the Way is wide, but it becomes narrower as you progress -- like the spine of a bokken." For some reason, I have been thinking a lot about Yoshioka Sensei this new year. I believe that he also said that in the end, the Way is only a razor's width.

As you progress, there is less room for "jumping around." Stick to the path and don't fall off it!


Charles C. Goodin