Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kaizen-Kai

Kaizen is japanese and means continius improvement. Its my chosen name for my group of like-minded people. (Kai means group)

How do i think the concept of being a student of karate (or any skill for that matter) should change over time..... hmm.... I think most people *do not* study for their first time in our dojos, and the sooner they decide to immerse themselves, the better. Then; how long until i see my students as my "colleague"? For me the answer to that is whatever time it takes for the new student to develop a strong sense *ownership* of their karate. An solid opinion about how to execute our techniques and *why* it should be in the way they believe. Furthermore i think they should as soon as possible arrive at the level of understanding required for them to be their own most important instructor. A litmus-test would be something like: Can their karate improve without the input of anyone else? If the answer is yes; then i see the student as my peer.

And "how long time will that take" i hear someone think.... Depends; i would say that if you *study* a subject like shotokan karate-do; then 10 years or sandan should do the trick; whichever that comes first. However; even after 5 years and only the rank of shodan, i am ready to see people as my peers, if they really grow into having a strong belief in themselves and their skills.

Should they then stop studying? Ofc not, this is when it gets interesting.... You have taken the time and effort to get your body physically ready for martial art; you have developed a thorough understanding of the mechanics and mentality behind it all and therefore *now* is the time to develop this skill and also to give back to the karate-community in the way of helping others attain your level. This will get you better partners for your kumite and bunkai and we can then all pitch in to make sure our art does not degenerate into an olympic joke. (Harsh maybe, but its my firm belief that Nakayama sensei regretted some of the sports-efforts he helped to make popular)

In my opinion there is four levels of karate, and we can choose which group we will belong to.

1. Beginner
2. Student
3. Student / Teacher
4. Student / Master

Please note; i do not mean you have to run your own dojo or have a special rank to progress into level 3, nor do i think everyone with a very high rank fits into level four. Also note that i advocate the concept of continuing your study, no matter what your level. (Sometimes people have been "training" for 40 years, but in reality they have 1 year of experience 40 times. Its not the same as 40 years of experience, imnsho)

I hope you will think bout this and decide to upgrade to the next level shortly. You decide. Own it.

:-)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.thejks.com/England/articles.asp click the article by scott called development that´s the one i was talking about on wednesday

villi

Einar Hagen said...

Thats remarkably similar to my thoughts on the matter. (no, i had not read that before)

:)

 
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