Basics…for 10,000 hours?

It is sometimes the case that when Sensei or Senpai start out classes with the basics, Karateka are put off. Especially at Black Belt level and beyond, there seems to be so much to learn in Shotokan that basics seem less important. They are not. In Shotokan, I believe (and many others will agree) there are some techniques, principles and body mechanics that we need to strive toward mastery in.

In the boShotokan Reverse Punchok Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. He surmised this from his lengthy study of violinists and saw how those with 10, 000 hours of practice were an elite group in terms of their playing finesse.

Now, 10, 000 hours is a lot of practice time, but it solidifies the notion that relentless training in the basics will make your karate better. Also, is it not the case that if you have mastered one element of your training it will also allow for the subsequent mastering of another?

Bring on the basics!