People ask about lessons all the time. Some out of curiosity, some out of real interest and others because they want to pretend they know something about karate. To be honest I’ll speak to all three types but for students, sometimes, it’s hard to cut through the chaff to get to the wheat. And by wheat I mean those that genuinely have an interest instead of those that tried karate for a while, profess to have an interest yet for some reason stopped training?
Karateka never stop training, you cannot because like anything it becomes a part of you. This is no zen master enlightenment here it’s a simple fact. Like anything if you don’t practise it then it wanes and becomes less strong, less technical and less effective. I do not train at the level I did when in my 30’s, weekend courses all over the place, different instructors that each bring something I wanted. Training in Australia, South America, Spain, Scotland and basically anywhere I happened to be holidaying. For a kick off physically I lack some of the energy although other aspects remain, I am slower but I can still punch like a mule kicks. I am not using the weight training aspect to improve my strength or speed so comparably I am weaker. I can still use my own weight and technique to lift and drop a person. Another thing changes too, I am less likely to get into a situation these days preferring nicer places than dark backstreet cafe bars in downtown Lima (Peru) or Santos (Brazil).
Students don’t have the experience and often come to me having been bored at length by someone who knows they train and want to wax on (and off) about how good they were, demonstrating their stances and punching. Well stances are easy to stand in for 10 seconds, punches are ok too once or twice but if you can, like my students, move up and down the dojo for 30 minutes, punches, blocks and kicks going off then perhaps we’ll accept your skill set. I won’t hold my breath though.
To my students I say one thing, only accept advice from those still walking into a dojo regularly and learning, no matter who they are.
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