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Working On Yourself

As Karate students, we have to remember that in Karate training we are always working on ourselves.  It is not enough to work on technique and conditioning.  Those are important, essential for Karate training.  However, it is not enough to be skilled at Karate.  We also have to be "good" people.

In Karate, most students receive promotions to indicate their progress.  What "promotions" do we get to indicate our progress in character?  How do you measure a student's respect, compassion and humanity?

Life is a precious thing.  In Karate, we learn to protect life.

It is possible to become absorbed in Karate training (and the structure of Karate organizations) and lose sight of the importance of character.  I'm sure that you've met some Karate students or instructors who are poor excuses for human beings.  What kind of Karate do they practice?  What kind of Karate allows a student to neglect his character and actions in daily life?

The dojo for Karate is daily life.  How we conduct ourselves in our daily lives is the measure of our Karate, and any martial art for that matter.  What kind of person are you?  How do you treat others?

Karate is about working on yourself, every day, for your entire life.  Rank and titles are insignificant.  Skill and character are what count.

They say that Karate training polishes the character.  Actually, you have to build your character first (through the lessons learned in life).  Then you can polish it.

I am not trying to preach.  This is something I try to do myself, every day, all the time... even now.


 Charles C. Goodin