Wednesday, August 12, 2009

About Karate and stuff

Allright - when opening any topic, there are so many other things that can be talked about. Nothing, it seems, can be mentioned or considered in isolation. This is part of "relationship with truth". The implications are profound

Let me begin by connecting the 'Karate' word found in the title, with my own life, primarily because this blog is connected with my life.

Yes, I learned some Karate in my teen years. Developmental years are so full of questions and options, you don't know what you want to do with your life. But what you do know (if fortunate enough) is you are preparing for being a fully fledged adult some day.

The helplessness, insecurity, self-doubt of a child growing into a man (or woman) needs to be addressed at some point. My own tryst with Karate began as an antidote to the fear in my mind growing up bullied by most

What Karate did to me was, gave me a leeway to tap into my real underlying physical strength, so I could defy someone should a need arise.

What is Karate for me?

First, some points on what I consider it NOT to be:
- Some means of getting into fights and winning
- Defending against adversaries or showing off
- Even, playing cool (often to detrimental effect)

Yet, to a teenage mind these things are hard to get right

Now the part about what it is, and how it should be used
- A "real fight" really takes place at a mental level. I was once attacked by a group of drug addicts. I gave up the moment the fight started. Why? Because the settings of the fight was not of my choosing. It was completely dark. I didn't know how many of them were there. Some were behind me. It started with a guy from behind me hitting my head with a blunt weapon. I didn't know what other weapons they had.
If you really want to learn to fight, then concentrate on these kinds of scenarios. If I were to run a dojo, I would form groups of students who would unexpected jump on a target student. I would even entail the services of another dojo or organization to do the work, because the surprise element should not be lost. To add to it, I would assign everyone to walk through a dangerous place every few days and give their report (but would secretly flank him/her with a rescue team that I would outsource).
- It is anxiety control. When you are in a real confrontational situation, your heartbeats go all but crazy. If you truly want to be a good fighter, or a fighter at all, you must learn to deal with the extreme state of caution
- It is anxiety inversion. Behave or talk in such a way as to deter the adversary.
- It is game theory. Understand how to apply the carrot and stick. The physical fight always, always comes LAST, and it's best not to even hint towards it but simply to preserve your ground gently, maybe with some humor

Does your Sensai teach you to work on yourself? I would say jump on him some night and find out how good he really is - even an initial reaction would do the trick, for knowing him better (you don't have to get hurt for that!)

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