Internet is great and all, but sometimes I’m thinking that there’s one huge drawback.
Everything is recorded…
So, this means that what I wrote two years ago can be read by somebody today. And naturally, what I wrote two years back wasn’t what I would write today. Sometimes it’s even the opposite!
I’ve evolved, just like you and everyone else.
But a new reader doesn’t think about that.
And that’s why I’m always trying to write more “timeless” stuff. With timeless, I mean an article that is thought-provoking, interesting, informative, a little bit disturbing and a bit funny.
And if you read it in two years, it will (hopefully) still be as true at it is today.
So, with that being said, today I decided to put together some general thoughts, or guidelines, of Karate that will probably never be old. A timeless list of statements and facts (?) that hopefully just reinforces what any half-decent Karateka already knows.
Written yesterday on a plane from Amsterdam.
With my lap full of tomato juice.
29 Things About Karate You Ought To Know
1. No matter what they tell you, Karate is easy. The hard part is being good at it.
2. Two techniques learnt is worth more than twenty techniques forgotten.
3. Don’t look; try to see. Don’t hear; try to listen. Don’t do; be.
4. Karate attracts all kinds of strange and unusual people. Accept this.
5. A black belt is not the end. It is the very beginning.
6. Comparing two equally technical fighters, my money is on the stronger one.
7. Comparing two equally strong opponents, my money is on the more technical one.
8. Kata is stone dead. It is your job to make it live. Not many people succeed.
9. A black belt tells as much about your skills in Karate as a Rolex tells about your skills in reading the time.
10. A gi is great. No gi is even greater.
11. Understand the straight punch and you’ve come a long way to understanding Karate.
12. Sometimes it’s more important to be kind than to be right. People train Karate because it makes them feel good. Don’t ruin that.
13. We all need a brutal awakening now and then.
14. Observe, analyze, and think.
15. Don’t think, just do.
16. A week has 168 hours. If three or five of those hours go to Karate, don’t waste them on not doing your absolute best.
17. Anybody can find a fault. Few can find the reason to a fault, and how to improve a fault.
18. The purpose of Karate is to flip out and kill people. (Just wanted to see if you’re still awake!)
19. It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.
20. Actually, sometimes it’s not how you do it, it’s what you do.
21. Finding similarities is twice as hard as finding differences. It also gives you twice as much.
22. Karate is one of a few activities where young and old people interact. Use this opportunity.
23. The more you dislike competing, the more it will give you.
24. Karate makes us see sides of ourselves that we either neglect or intentionally hide. The sooner you start working on these, the better.
25. Karate can make you lose weight, become stronger, healthier, happier and feel better. But so can jogging, ice hockey, baseball, soccer, golf, basketball and swimming.
26. A good sensei teaches you what you need. Not what you want.
27. Trying harder and trying smarter are two sides of the same coin.
28. The paradox of Karate is that you’re using it when you’re not. And that is also the goal.
29. Do what your sensei says, not what your sensei does. Everyone is human.