I have been ‘doing’ Karate for a long time – a very long time. I also lift weights (which I love), do cardio (which I tolerate) and try to watch what I eat (which I hate!) but there is something ‘special’ about Karate. This is the case whether I am teaching it or training in it. Some of my students (or more usually their parents) are surprised that as a Karate teacher I still train as well but this concept is usual in all martial arts – you never stop learning.
What is it about Karate that makes it so ‘special’?
What is it that holds my interest?
What is it that makes me feel so ‘alive’ after a good Karate session?
To steal a trendy modern phrase, perhaps it is the ‘holistic’ nature of a good Karate session. It stretches me not only physically but also mentally. If I am on the ‘hill walking’ machine, I switch off mentally and have to resort to youtube to prevent terminal boredom! Karate is different. I am trying in every session to be better, mentally and physically, than I was in my last session. Sure, I am trying to move faster (at nearly 60), kick higher (I wish) and improve the quality of my techniques. But there is more to it than that. I am also trying to maintain concentration, to be ‘in the moment’ and to forget about the 1001 other things that were on my mind when I came into the dojo.
When I do Karate I am not ‘Dad’ or ‘Husband’ or ‘Boss’ – I am just ‘Me’. Hopefully a better me (mentally and physically) than I was the last time I trained. I think it is this quest (which is never fully achieved) which leads to that feeling of satisfaction at the end of a good Karate session.
I have tried my best
I have made perhaps only a slight improvement
I am better than I was the last time I trained.
Of course this doesn’t happen every time I train but when it does it is a great feeling and one that I only seem to get from………………….Karate.