Karate Thoughts Blog


Contents   /   Email  /   Atom  /   RSS  /  

1650+ Posts... and Counting

Bowling -- Back to Normal

After bowling my lifetime high game on Father's Day with my children, I went back on Sunday. When I got home, my wife asked me whether I broke 200. I said, "Yes, when you added up my three games!"

It seemed that every time I hit the head pin, I got a split. Pins would wobble but not fall.

I am back to normal.

I will have to wait for another magic Father's Day opportunity! Maybe we were having earthquakes that day.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

You Can Count On...

I my experience...

You can count on some people to be there, not complain, and get the job done.

Thank goodness for these people!

But there are also people...

Who say they'll be there but don't show up.

Who come, but somehow are always sick or injured (somehow).

Who say they'll be there, promise to do something, but then something comes up that day!

Who show up and just watch while other people do the work.

Who show up and tell the people doing the work how they should do it better (but don't help).

Who show up the next week and say, "Oh, I thought it was today."

Who come late and leave early (always).

Thank goodness for the people who come early (to help) and leave late (after helping all day).

I always say that the Sensei should work the hardest and get the dirtiest. A Sensei should inspire the students by his (or her) example. This does not only apply to training.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

New Record!

On Father's Day, I went bowling with my second and third sons, Charles and Cael, and my daughter, Natasja. We played three games.

In the third game, I bowled a 207! My high game way back in high school (I graduated in 1976) was 157. My high game during the last year or so that my family started bowling on weekends, was 150. So 207 was really high for me (really, really high). And I had a clean game -- strikes or spares in all 10 frames. It was really amazing. I think that the Father's Day angels were helping me.

Bowling a lifetime high game with my kids on Father's Day was the best!

So here is the point. Karate makes you a better bowler! Or, I was really, really lucky that day!

And here is another point. Spending time with your kids -- doing anything -- is the best!

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Fingertip Bruises

I mentioned that I practiced Ju Jitsu a little with my son, Cael, after one of our recent classes. More correctly, he practiced on me.

One thing I did not mention is that when I went home, I had these bruises on the insides of my arms in the bicep area -- bruises in the shape of Cael's fingertips. So I got bruises from where he grabbed me, and he was not even grabbing me very hard!

Geez!

I am in pretty good shape for my age, but it is hard to compare the shape of a 52 year old to the shape of a 20 year old (who is in really good shape).

This really shows that if you try to use power against power, you better make sure that you have more power! In my case, I cannot overwhelm Cael with raw power -- certainly not! In his case, I would have to use strategy and attack vulnerable points. Of course, he realizes this and would be protecting his most vulnerable points. I guess I would have to try the Jedi mind trick.

Well, at least the bruises are going away (they did not hurt).

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Polite and Unassuming

My paralegal and I were discussing a Karate student today. We both felt that this student was very impressive because of the following -- besides being technically excellent, this student is polite and unassuming.

We also feel that this student is very humble, but that sort of comes under unassuming.

If you are a student, people might be talking about you. Sure it counts if you are strong and do well in class. Sure it counts if you are advanced and help teach. There are many ways to measure success.

But are you polite and unassuming?

I am impressed by students who are polite and unassuming, and I am distressed by students who are not. Character first, then technique.

I will let you in on a little secret -- the same applies to instructors.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Potluck Demo

I am preparing for a demonstration next month being sponsored by my friend and senior, Sensei Pat Nakata. It is a memorial demonstration for his student, Robert "Snaggy" Inouye, who passed away last year.

I am going to perform a bo kata and my sons will perform Wankan and Rohai, respectively. We had a practice session last Sunday.

Watching all the participants practicing there various kata, I had a thought. Wouldn't it be interesting if the performers were not told what kata they would perform? They would just go up to the stage and the emcee would announce a kata from their dojo's curriculum. They would have to just do that kata, right then and there.

It would be a little like a pot luck party. You never know what other people will bring.

In our dojo, we practice about 18 kata. In some other dojo I know, they practice over 50 kata -- not including weapons kata. I am pretty sure that some students would have a hard time performing a kata without practicing it in advance.

But shouldn't a student be able to perform the kata he is supposed to already know? Shouldn't an instructor?

I think so.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Not By Accident

The other night I was watching a student with my second son, Charles, who is the head of our dojo. The student was moving particularly well.

Later, at home, my son said, "You don't get that way by accident."

I had to think about what he said. Of course, he was right. The student moved well because he practices hard -- really hard. He comes to class regularly, but more importantly, he practices diligently at home. He moved well because he worked at it -- it was not by accident.

Sometimes you will get a physically gifted student who learns very quickly. But you can tell the difference between such a student, who learned quickly, and another student who became skilled by hard work. The quick student will often have a shallow understanding of what he is doing -- if he understands what he is doing at all. The one who worked at it learned the hard way. He is more likely to understand what he is doing because he has made a lot of mistakes and had to overcome them to become the way that he is.

No one gets skilled by accident -- it takes really hard work. When I see someone who has become skilled, I respect the hard work they have done to become like that.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Crucifix -- MMA

Last night after Karate training, my third son, Cael, "rolled" with me a little. On Monday and Wednesday evenings, after our Karate class, he then goes to Ju Jitsu training. He goes on Friday nights too. He is very active in Ju Jitsu and I am extremely glad that he has found an excellent teacher and school.

Anyway, he had shown me the "crucifix" before. Last night, as before, once I was in the crucifix (he basically ties up one of my arms with his legs and the other with one of his arms, leaving me pretty helpless and immobilized), I could not do anything except squeal like a pig and ask him to let me go. I should mention that with his free hand, he playfully (and very softly) punched me in the face, neck, chest... basically wherever he wanted.

Cael said that it is possible to escape from the crucifix by certain movements (bucking hard, for example), but I am pretty sure that I would have dislocated my shoulders in the process.

Now I am not saying that the "crucifix" is a good self-defense technique. But I certainly could not escape from it, once it was applied fully.

During our "rolling", Cael also playfully choked me out and arm barred me, among many other interesting techniques.

So, here is my point. I really respect Ju Jitsu and MMA. And I have to say that the reason I respect it so much is because of my son Cael. Watching these arts on the television or pay per view is very inspiring... but it is so distant. Seeing two highly trained athletes go at each other is one thing. It is quite another to feel it firsthand... particularly from someone as close to you as a son.

I practiced Judo in Japan as a child. Of course, I was only learning the child curriculum. However, I would best describe what my son is learning as Judo on steroids!

I should add that Cael is taller than me, has a longer reach, and is many times stronger than me. He does not outweigh me by that much (about 10 pounds), but when I "roll" with him it is like training with a tree trunk. Even if I can think about a lock or arm bar to apply, it is like going up to a big tree and trying to pull a big branch or root. It simply is not going to happen.

I also want to add something I found to be pretty interesting. To me, my son is extremely strong. When I ask him about the MMA and Ju Jitsu people we see on the television, he always says that they are great and would "kill" him. That is one thing he is never cocky about. He never says, "I could take him!", even when speaking about the losers in a particular fight. He respects that these people are highly trained athletes and great fighters. Even a fighter who is dominated in a particular fight could easily destroy an average person.

So I want to say that I respect Ju Jitsu and MMA and the reason I do so is because of my third son Cael. I hope that he goes on in his training to become a Ju Jitsu instructor one day. That would make me very happy as a father and Karate instructor. To me, all martial arts are good if the instructor is good. I enjoyed all the martial arts I practiced. I simply could not do many martial arts well. Practicing only Karate, I have a chance to become somewhat proficient.

Now, which art do I think is better, Karate or Ju Jitsu? That is not a good question because the arts have different objectives. My son is not learning Ju Jitsu as a form of self defense -- he is learning a competitive sport. That does not mean that he is not learning valuable self defense techniques, and he realizes that certain holds or moves that might work well in competition might not work on the street where an attacker could be armed or have friends. If I had a friend with a brick, the crucifix might not be the best technique to use. In a submission match however, it would probably be effective, especially against a grandfather like me.

In class, I often say that you do not want to wrestle a wrestler or box a boxer. And there are a lot of things you would not want to do with a Ju Jitsu or MMA expert.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Gulf Oil Spill

Living in Hawaii, we are especially sensitive to the ocean and beaches. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the people on the Gulf Coast affected by the oil spill. I used to live in Shalimar, Florida, and remember how beautiful the beaches were. The scenes on the news are absolutely sickening.

Here is a link to six underwater cameras at the spill site.

http://www.myfoxdc.com/generic/news/6-feeds-underwater-bp-oil-spill-camera-live-video-feed

I hope the leak is stopped soon, and that the spill is cleaned up. I really can't imagine how anyone or any technology could clean that much spilled oil.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin