- IT IS ALL
IN YOUR MIND
- It is true
what they say - "there is no substitute for quality".
- Things of
quality tend to last. Things of quality tend to create
not only a good first impression, but also a lasting one,
as anyone who has ever seen Michelangelo's sculpture of
David, or Leonardo Di Vinci's painting of Mona Lisa, will
tell you. But in truth quality often demands a high price.
In fact it is not uncommon for people the world over to
gauge the quality of a "thing" by the price
that was paid for it. Quality costs, it is as simple as
karate is no exception.
of your rank in karate, to have quality in your
techniques, your stance, your balance, your posture, or
your kata, you must first pay the price. Now don't get me
wrong I am not referring to the dollars and cents that
you must spend to join a dojo in the first place, or the
monthly dues you may be asked to pay. What I am referring
to is the time and effort that you must pay in the form
of the hours, months, and years spent correctly
practicing over, and over, and over again, all of the
required movements and techniques found within the
Shotokan syllabus. You pay in the form of time away from
family and friends, in putting off traveling to places
you wanted to go, and doing other things you may have
wanted to do. You pay with the tremendous amount of
effort that you are often called upon to lay out both
physically and mentally each time you enter the dojo, or
get up enough courage to step on to the grading floor and
attempt to advance yourself within your dojo society.
- But time
and effort alone do not breed quality.
- In karate
as it is with many things, you must also remember to be
sure that you are always practicing under the right
conditions and in the correct manner as prescribed by
your style and your sensei. Training is one thing, proper
training is something else entirely. Someone once coined
the phrase "practice makes perfect" but they
were only partly correct. It would probably have been
more fitting instead to have said "perfect practice,
makes perfect". After all most of us at one time or
another have known of students who have a seemingly
endless numbers of "stamps" on their membership
card indicating for all to see that they are truly
devoted to the art of karate, and yet for some reason
when it comes time for demonstrating their basic
techniques, or kata in class, or on a grading, there
appears to be little or no improvement. Obviously it is
safe to say that "just any kind of practice, does
not make perfect".
- How you
practice is more important than what you practice.
- But where
does perfection start, and more importantly, should
everything you try and do always have perfection as the
ultimate goal. After all we are only human, and there
lots of things in life that should be done just for the
shear fun it, and any other reason including perfection,
be damned. Lets face it, in truth a perfect world would
probably be a very boring place indeed. But I digress,
and so back to the point I want to make about where
perfection, or anything else for that matter, really
- In the
beginning everything starts first and foremost in your
thought is visible everywhere. In fact we live in a world
made up almost entirely of ideas and thoughts that have
already been fulfilled in one way or another. Everything
that we see and touch is a by-product of our thoughts, or
the thoughts of someone else, and make no mistake about
it, these thoughts existed in someone's mind long before
they ever existed on paper. Take any building in your
home town for example, I assure you it existed in the
mind of the owner, the builder, the architect, or whom
ever, long before it became a rough sketch, a set of
construction plans, or for that matter a finished product.
It is precisely because the human mind is the first
source of everything that exists in the real world, that
we must first look within ourselves to both our sub-conscious,
as well as conscious thoughts, if we are ever to going to
make true progress in the art of karate.
- Karate is
90% mental 10% physical - the body can do nothing without
first getting the mind to participate.
- The quality
of your karate is a physical manifestation of your
subconscious and conscious thoughts, no more no less.
Learn to control your thoughts, learn to focus entirely
on the task at hand, and the quality of what ever you are
attempting to do will rise dramatically. You may have
heard the old expression "lost in thought" this
can occur when somewhere along the nuropathways from your
mind to your body the originally intended thought, while
being transferred into an action, becomes interrupted by
another thought that suddenly takes precedence, thus
altering your focus, and thereby effecting the outcome of
what ever it was you were originally trying to do. The
end result will then be a noticeable lack of quality in
the finished product, and of course this all happens in
the blink of an eye.
- The quality
of any technique is only equal to the quality of the
thought that went into it from start to finish.
- If you make
every effort to learn to control and focus your thoughts,
and try where ever possible to avoid being distracted,
then in the end your balance, posture, stance, basic
techniques, kata, bunkai, kumite, or anything else for
that matter, will take on a whole new quality and a whole
new perspective. You will notice immediate results, and
so will everyone else in the dojo. But remember, any
interruption anywhere along that thought process from
start to finish, can and will, have a dramatic effect on
quality of the end result.
- The end of
everything you do in the dojo has importance.
- While the conscious mind is
where you make events happen, your subconscious mind is
the place where every event begins, and ends. The subconscious mind
is where the conscious mind dreams, for the subconscious
mind never sleeps.
The subconscious is where dreams are born, and desires
are created, and then ultimately passed on to the
conscious mind for it's consideration and acceptance, or
out right rejection. Your sub-conscious mind is always
active even when you sleep while the conscious mind takes
the opportunity to rest along with the body. Whether you know
it or not each karate movement first starts in your
subconscious mind, it is then transferred to your
conscious mind, which in turn then transmits the
requirements through the body as needed in order to
perform the necessary action. How you begin each action,
how you follow through, and how you end each action, must
always be given equal importance, and focus, because they
are so interconnected that the end of each technique is
in fact the start of the next one. Even when you have
completed your last physical movement in any kata, the
"thought" or "intent" of the that
last movement must continue outward in your mind as if
there is no ending.
reality is the result of the conscious decisions
originally created in your sub-conscious mind.
- The underlying message
here, or for that matter any article devoted to karate,
usually amounts to one thing, keep on training. So go to
class as often as you can, listen to your sensei, and
train with commitment. Given time you may find that your
body and your sub-conscious mind will begin to work
together in harmony. At which point you will no longer
have to "think" about each technique or
movement before you perform it, but instead you will
learn to just "react" to what is required, when
it is required. At this point in your training your
concious mind will begin to take a back seat to your sub-concious
mind which will ultimately lead you to being able to
perform your karate as "thoughtless action",
which must never be confused with the unintended result
of "a thoughtless action" . Knowing the
difference between the two is what separates the teacher
from the student.
- Good luck in your training.
- A bad day
of training Shotokan Karate
- beats a
good day doing anything else.
- Part the
clouds - see the way.
objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
- of the
human spirit through physical and mental training."