Monday, March 14, 2016


The way I practice karate has been described as super traditional since I only practice one kata. About the only thing that Motobu and Funakoshi agree on is that people used to practice only one kata, or at least established a firm foundation in one kata before continuing on to another, so I guess it's fair to say that it's a traditional practice, but this isn't the reason I started practicing one kata. I don't practice this way because it's traditional. I practice one kata, because it's the only way I can practice karate.

I had no money, still have no money, to spend on classes. The greatest teachers in the world can live down the block, but if you have no money to pay them, they might as well be on the moon. I did know that people used to practice one kata that it was supposed to embody a complete fighting system and that there was no definitive interpretation to any of them. I decided that if people used to practice one kata and make it an effective fighting system for themselves than why couldn't I? I had a kata, some spare time and a drive to learn. This was how I was going to study karate, or I wasn't going to study karate at all.

Is it traditional if you practice a certain way because you don't have the money? Maybe, maybe not. I'm glad I went this route though. I've learned far more than if I'd gone the conventional way. I don't really care if it's traditional. It's not really about the labels. I'm not even sure if I really practice karate. It's just a convenient descriptor, because telling someone I practice Seisan requires too much explanation.