Wednesday, November 03, 2010

More to Learn!

There's always more to learn in Karate.

It doesn't matter how long you've been training, what rank you are, how many kata you know, or how many students you have. As a student of Karate, you should always be a student first.

Karate Kata are designed for life-long learning.

When you first begin training in Kata, you have to learn the patterns. Stances are not very comfortable and are difficult. Learning to coordinate punching, blocking and kicking is a challenge. Next, you start to incorporate power into your techniques. Depending on your inclination toward physical learning, it may take you several years to "learn" all the kata and achieve a Shodan or Nidan rank.

Are you done learning? No.

You continue training and your kata become more powerful, fast, and graceful. You learn numerous practical self-defense applications from the kata techniques. You become more physically fit, learn to relax, learn to focus. Maybe you are even becoming a better person.

Are you done learning? No.

You start teaching a few students the kata you learned. Years pass. You have a few very dedicated students who are now starting to experience what you have experienced through karate training. As your students learn, so do you. You learn that every student has their own unique body type, their own style of learning, their own strengths and weaknesses. You teach the kata to their specific needs.

Are you done learning? No.

Many years pass by. You have redefined your understanding of Karate many times over the years. You see the kata you have practiced thousands of times in many different ways. Some of the first kata you learned, the "beginner" kata, have become some of your most important karate teachers.

Are you done learning? Never!

Keep training!

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