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Not Ready -- No Excuse

My daughter also practices Karate, so periodically I attack her -- like any good Karate father would do. I have done this since she was a little girl (she is now 17).

The other day I threw a punch toward her head and she missed the block (I did not hit her). She said, "No fair, I wasn't ready."

Thus, this lesson.

In Karate, you can never say, "I was not ready." It is never a good excuse.

In Karate, we have to be ready all the time -- all the time. We not only have to be ready, we have to be able to see ahead, to avoid problems. If you see a person lurking in the shadows up ahead, you probably should cross the street. But if you do not see the person, you will continue walking right up to him. And then it might be too late.

Karate is 70% awareness and 30% preparation... something like that. Training is good. Training is important. However, if you are hit in the head by a brick, what technique will you be able to use? All the training and skill in the world might not help at that point. But if you can react before the hit, you then might have a chance to use your Karate techniques.

Not being ready is no excuse. We have to be ready. We have to be aware of everything happening around us.

We also have to be aware of other people in other contexts. How do our actions affect others? Are we being considerate of the people around us? Sometimes an unkind word can hurt just as much as a punch (of course, in a different way).

When I used to practice Aikido, Sensei Sadao Yoshioka used to speak about a sixth sense. Awareness was an essential aspect of Aikido training. It is an essential aspect of Karate training too.

And don't worry, I have never hurt my daughter.


Charles C. Goodin