Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Repost: Enjoy

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


Felicia said...

ENJOY - like that a lot, Michele...

What I enjoy most about training in the Martial Arts is that there is always, always, ALWAYS something new to learn and/or refine. My hubby-to-be - a runner and track coach - has a hard time with that. He studied Judo as a teen, but the concept of there being no "finish line" so to speak makes his head tip to the side like Scooby Doo. I ran my way through college and I coach now as well, but that same idea is what keeps me moving forward on the path. I ENJOY it :-)

Sue C said...

This is a very inspiring post, Michele.

I enjoy many aspects of martial arts training. I particularly enjoy the physicality of it. I didn't take it up until my mid forties and really appreciate the fact that my body is still fit enough and flexible enough to learn this stuff. I appreciate what my body can do now much more than I ever did when I was young. Like they say - 'youth is wasted on the young'. I appreciate being able to go for long walks in countryside for the same reason - I can do it!

When I worked as a Nurse I saw too many people cut down in their prime through accident or illness and feel lucky that this hasn't happened to me.

Martial arts is a great way to explore the limits of our body's abilities and we should enjoy every minute of it - whilst we can!

Anonymous said...

You make a good point, often in class I get so absorbed in the exercises time just seems to be flying by, I usually am a bit disappointed class is already over although we train a full two hours every class. Luckily my sensei’s a bit of a fanatic too and most of the time we actually train close to 2,5 hours. Training has become a bit of an addiction to me and while I feel sore and worn out a lot more than I used to the experience is also very fulfilling and it’s an extra confirmation the martial arts have become a major part of my life. It’s definitely something I want to pursue further and in time and with more experience and official rank behind my belt I’d like to become a teacher myself, both to repay my teachers for their kindness (carry on their legacy) and to give others the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits the martial arts have to offer. As you said the people in the dojo have become friends and it’s very uplifting to train with them and help them along on their path. Being a student is very worthwhile and enjoyable but to teach yourself, even as an assistant, is even more rewarding. I’m still amazed at the respect I get and how good it feels to be able to help others when they’re stuck or have a question. On top of that sensei is treating me more and more as an equal (although we obviously are not, not in skill anyway) and entrusts me with the responsibility of teaching when he’s away and being his assistant when he’s teaching elsewhere. Training one on one with him is amazing (aswell as extremely painful, lol): every time I learn new things and through executing and receiving these advanced techniques the essence of the art is becoming clearer. While training with the others during class is very necessary and fun your true education begins with private training with the higher ranks, only then will you become a true master.

I found the longer you train the more enjoyable it becomes, the first couple of years you really are a beginner (no matter the belt you’re wearing) and you need to pay attention to every detail, true mastery and enjoyment begins when you no longer have to think and you move freely, with ease and confidence.

Good article,


Michele said...

Thank you for your comments!

I think enjoying what we are doing is very important. We devote a lot of time training/teaching/studying and it should be something we want to do.

Thanks again. Sorry for the delayed response...I was without Internet access for ten days.

Mathieu said...


this is a great post. would you mind me translating it and putting it in our newsletter? All credit to you, of course.

you can mail me at mathieuvalotaire@gmail.com

be well

Michele said...

Mathieu: Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog.

Yes, you can translate this post for your newsletter.

Thanks again,