This is a repost from July 2, 2008.
If I had one word of advice for karate students, it would be ENJOY. Several other good phrases that came to mind were work hard and be patient.
ENJOY your time in the dojo. Often the dojo community becomes a second family and these people will be there for you when you need them.
ENJOY learning from different instructors within your organization or dojo. If your school has several instructors, take the time to participate in their classes. Each instructor has unique ways of presenting the same material. View it as an opportunity.
ENJOY learning from guest instructors. If available, participate in workshops or training camps that will expose you to different styles and instructors. The purpose is not to change styles rather to augment concepts or ways of thinking.
ENJOY the techniques. During one class, we were working on individual kata. After the student performed, I made a comment on a kick. I told the student to enjoy that part of the kata. Take their time and execute the kick. Enjoy it. The student looked at me and then looked at the other Black Belt in the room. Apparently, in class the night before, he said the exact same thing. Do not rush techniques.
ENJOY the role of student. Absorb as much as you can during class. Learn something everyday whether it is in or outside the dojo. Learning is a gift.
ENJOY the process. I believe that kata is the foundation. First, you must learn the patterns and techniques. Next, take the time to explore the kata and learn what the kata is teaching. Work on bunkai with various partners.
ENJOY sparring. I had a tough time with this one. When I was a kyu rank, I did not like to spar. I had some unpleasant experiences sparring such as a black eye, a broken finger and a dislocated shoulder.
ENJOY how it functions. The bottom line is that the techniques must work. It has to be functional such as a punch executed with proper bone alignment, hip rotation, a self-defense move, a bo disarm, a tunfa swing, a sai strike or a joint lock. We must remember that we are learning a combative art.
What do you enjoy most about practicing a martial art?
Tuesday Tip: Enjoy