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No Patch... No Symbol

Recently, I visited a friend's dojo to learn the basic outline of a kata.  I actually wore a gi and belt that night.  Usually, I have been wearing a gi bottom and white t-shirt only.  But it tends to get cold at night, so I wore a gi top.

A student noticed that I did not have a patch.  I tried to explain, albiet briefly, that I do not want to be mentally attached to a patch or symbol, or anything that identifies or limits my conception of the Karate I practice.  That may sound "metaphysic" or overly intellectual or something, but it is true, at least for me.  Once I start to identify with a patch or symbol or words, or anything concrete, then my Karate is in a box.  It is hard to think outside of the box if I put myself on the box!

Shinzato Sensei told me once that it is difficult to move freely if your mind is fixed.  In organized Karate, we tend to have many ways of developing fixed minds.

So I wear no patch and have no writing on my gi.  It is just a little thing.


Charles C. Goodin