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Hard, But Not Impossible

I remembering watching a television show about these large rock spheres in Costa Rica or some other tropical land. Anyway, these spheres are pretty big and close to being perfect. Given the technology of the inhabitants, some researchers had speculated that they must have been created by... you guessed it, aliens.

But it turned out that there was a more earthbound explanation. The inhabitants, using pretty primitive tools and their shaping skills, worked at it very hard for a long time.

You could not shape these stones in a day or a week -- that would be impossible -- but if you had lots of time and kept working at it, it could be done.

I remember the first time I saw visiting Okinawan Sensei at a seminar. They were so skilled, so strong, so fast, and they made it look so easy. Of course, it seemed like they must have had a special secret. I heard speculation that their secret was that they were Okinawan! They were so skilled, so strong, so fast, and they made it look so easy because they were Okinawan.

Of course, that was not the explanation. The explanation was more earthbound -- they had worked hard, trained hard, and kept working at it. Like the mysterious stone spheres, they had seemingly done the impossible. It is true that it would have been impossible to develop such skill in a short time, but they had put in lots of time and kept working at it.

Sometimes, things that seem impossible are actually just hard and take a lot of time and effort. Karate is like that.

I know many highly skilled Karate instructors. In most cases, I weigh more than them, am taller, and am younger. I have not excuses! Their skill is not because they have some physical advantage over me, or because they are of a certain ethnic background -- their skill is the result of hard work over a lifetime.

My attitude is that if someone can do something, I can too if I am willing to put in as much work as they have done. I don't mean that I could slam dunk like an NBA star (unless they lowered the hoop a couple of feet), but in Karate, I should be able to become as skilled as other experts if I am willing to work at it like they have done.

And that is the heart of the matter. How many people are truly willing to work at something that hard and for that long?

Of course, there a many aspects to Karate and we have to pick the areas in which we wish to specialize. We cannot be good at everything. But if we focus our efforts and work really hard at it, we can shape ourselves, like mysterious rock spheres.


Charles C. Goodin