Monday, July 19, 2010


The one ingredient that is vital for progress and happiness..... How to build it? I can only answer for myself; but for me it boils down to two things. Enjoying the grind of the regular trainings in the dojo and showing up for as many training-camps as possible.

Why does those two things work for me? Well, regarding regular classes: Its vital to enjoy the process otherwise you will quit before the real benefit of karate-do comes to you. How to enjoy it if you don't like the content of the class. Tricky, but doable. I used to just go into "auto-pilot"-mode and then just concentrate bout some minor detail in the technique that were taught. I found that what the teacher did was one thing and how i processed it and looked at it was even more important for my progress. Realize that *you* are the most important teacher you will ever have, so be careful how you teach yourself.

Then the other thing that makes me still be excited bout karate: Training-camps. These things have a host of stuff going for them; You get to see that your level is quite decent, cause you get exposed to lots of people that don't train all that much. You also get to meet "superstars" which is kinda nice cause you then see that you need to practice more, harder or smarter. You also get to train with teachers who have a slightly different take on karate which is really refreshing.

This summer i went to Amsterdam for 4 days of intensive training with Richard Amos sensei and as always the trainings were very enjoyable. Met students of Tom Kompier sensei from Holland, Switzerland and Japan. Good times. After that; one day break and off to Fredrikstad for another 4 days of lots of training. Richard Amos sensei, Steve Ubl sensei, Aidan Trimble sensei, Tom Kompier sensei, Scott Langley sensei teaching a total of 16 hours of karate in 4 days. Good times again. So many hours of training is of course a challenge for anyone to push through, but very gratifying to have done. This brings the participants closer together and gives you friends from all over the world.

All in all; 8 days of training for me and enough ideas to work on to improve my karate for a very long time. The new and old friends are too numerous to mention so i will just say a collective thanks to everyone that made these two events special. Feel free to friend me up on facebook if you have not already.

And lastly i would like to single out one person that really impressed me. Was he the highest graded guy? No. Had he trained for the longest? No. Did he have a handicap that made learning karate almost an impossibility? No. "Then what?" i hear you asking.... Remember this name: Jostein Espe. If he keeps moving forward like he has, then he will be very good, indeed. After 1 year and 7 months he passed his shodan in a very convincing fashion. This is what happens when an athletic guy goes full out. My theory is that total immersion is the key to his success. Thanks, Jostein, i will train harder now to make sure you don't catch up all the way too fast....