I read this morning that Sensei Michael Clarke, accomplished author and lifetime devotee to Karate, will be stepping back from teaching Karate to visitors to his Dojo. Instead, he will be devoting his time to his own training and to continuing to assist students from Shinseidokan.
I’ve been a long-distance student of Sensei Clarke in a sense, and it started after I read one of his articles in Shotokan Magazine. From there I read his book, Shin Gi Tai, and religiously followed his blog and read whatever articles of his I could find.
Here’s the interesting part. I have learned quite a lot from Sensei Clarke’s book, blog and from his articles, as well as from his responses to my emails, but there’s more. I have learned my most valuable lessons from what he decided not to tell me. That’s right, Sensei Clarke has often denied me an answer, and in doing so, made me a better student of Karate.
In trying to understand that Karate has to become my own, and that my training has to suit me in a way that is making me better, Sensei Clarke’s responses such as ‘The answer to that is in your training’ have been invaluable.
I’ll succinctly summarize Sensei Clarke’s most valuable teaching to me with this quote from Miyamoto Musashi: “See Nothing Outside of Yourself.”
A sincere Thank you, Sensei Clarke…especially for what you didn’t tell me.