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A Half Second Warning

Would you rather be 15% better in Karate of have a half second warning?

Think about it for a moment.  We practice Karate, at least in part, to develop self-defense ability.  If we are attacked, we should be able to defend ourselves using the techniques we learn and practice in Karate.

We train, year after year, even decade after decade, just to become a little bit better.

But being better might not be enough.  Even a skilled Karate expert won't have much chance if he is hit hard without warning.  He is walking down the street, and bam!  A punch to the side of the head.  All the self defense training in the world won't work if you are unconscious.

But what if the Karate expert had a half second warning?  Then he could step aside, block, counter attack.  You can do a lot in half a second!

It is one thing to practice to improve your skill.  It is quite another thing to train to improve your sense of awareness.  Dojo training often (usually) does not concentrate on awareness.  Attacks are prearranged.  You know who will attack you, when, and how.  Walking down a dark street you will know none of these things.

But if your awareness is "turned on" and you are consciously aware of your surroundings, you might be able to see a dangerous situation before is happens and avoid it.  Or you might be able to at least see (hear, sense) the punch before it lands.  A half second is a really long time in self defense.

It takes a whole lot more work to get better than it does to be more aware -- and awareness might be more useful.

Of course, we should work on both things -- really work on both things.  Practice awareness.  When you do, you will realize how oblivious most people are -- like people crossing a busy street while texting.


Charles C. Goodin