Karate’s Race to the Top
Straight to the Top!
That’s what many of us think when we first embark on our martial arts journey. We soon realize the reality – martial arts is a long, winding, sometimes treacherous path. As a teacher, I have seen it countless times: The new student is eager to learn all he/she can, as fast as they can. No stopping, no slowing down, no turning back..and no patience. Soon, they fall off, and then fade away altogether. They are the sprinters of martial arts. When they can’t learn the next kata, or get promoted fast enough (in their opinion) they lose focus of the real heart of budo as they are distracted by the materialistic rewards.
Friends, Students: Karate-Do is not a race to the top. It is not a competition; the experience lies within the journey. Our growth is forged from the struggles and hardships we find along the path. Our success is a result of determination, dedication, and discipline to remain on this long, winding, path, and just learn from the journey. Enjoy the small victories, and learn to embrace the challenges. Karate-Do is a marathon. We push, we sacrifice, and we struggle, to stay in the race, but the benefits are glorious to those who stay the course, and don’t give up. Often, we find ourselves making great progress, only to find that we are moving laterally on the path; that’s ok. Karate-Do is not about who finishes first; it’s about staying in the race. Health and longevity are rewards that can’t be bought, won, or taken away.