Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Why Love Karate?

Hard question to answer. My journey in karate, like many people's, is almost purely circumstantial. I started because there was a dojo in my hometown, which was close by and I could afford the membership fees. A traditional dojo, whose curiculum mirrors programs designed to promote Japanese militarism and physical fitness rather than martial art study. People generally are also ferociously tribal for no real reason. Right now it's a hobby, which costs me absolutely no money.

The reason I love karate now is that it is democratic, meaning it can be practiced easily by everyone, and it can be used as an intuitive and instinctual form of physical combat. Anyone can learn a kata and start practicing at home. General principles can be followed, which make a kata a pretty brutal form of violence. We must remember that the kata survived till the modern period because they were easily transmittable, people were able to learn at night or travel abroad for a few years and become proficient. They also needed to work. All those, which practiced a bad kata, more than likely were either forgotten or lost because it got you killed. In violence, what doesn't work gets you killed. The kata we see are the survivors.

This is why I love karate, which is why I want to share it with people. You don't need a dojo, or a belt, or tradition or any of this stuff that decorates most places windows. You just need a little bit of space, some patience and a few minutes a day to play around with the kata.