Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Not a Warrior

I think it's important to say that the independent study of karate does not make you a fighter or a warrior. It makes you someone who studies karate. I know I dip my toe into self defense every so often, but this is more an encouragement for people to evaluate their own practices and not to unintentionally pick up bad habits. It's pointing out an alternative viewpoint. I try and practice my karate in such a way that it won't hinder me in a violent situation, but I'm definitely not relying on it. I try and focus on the fundamentals of my kata and how I can explore them. I work on what I can and try not to worry so much about the aspects that are out of my control. A parallel would be dry firing a pistol to work on fundamentals. It will help you improve your shooting, but it's not an answer to everything.

Independent study firmly places you in the recreational category of martial arts practice. There's overlap, but as I see it the only people who aren't playing around are force professionals. Police, military, prison guards and bouncers. The people who's safety depends on it routinely. Everyone myself included is just playing around. It's a serious issue, but it's also fun to explore.

Diligent, careful and thoughtful solo kata practice can help you build a solid foundation to work from. It's about building a tool out of your body. It doesn't mean you can apply it, but you can still study it. There are a lot more benefits from karate and single kata practice than just learning how to hurt people. This is okay. I believe this opens up a door for people to get interested and practice without feeling like it's necessary to engage in what is sometimes very time consuming and expensive training. It should be fun and thoughtful.