I was reading recently when I came across a portion of text where the author was making the point about the different between knowing about something as opposed to knowing something. His analogy went something like this ‘knowing all about China doesn’t make you Chinese.’
I know a lot about karate, its history, its origin, its principles and its philosophy, but to say I know karate is a huge leap. Even after years of study, I think the best I can say is that I am learning. Karate is something that has to be approached from the angle of study and of experience.
You study your Sensei, as well as the good material available out there (I say good because there is quite a lot of garbage out there as well), but if there is ever any hope of truly knowing Karate you have to practice it. Practice in Shotokan is oftentimes painfully repetitive and there is a reason for that. You can do a technique or Kata for merely a few months and feel physically that you’re getting pretty good at it, but in order for it to flow seemingly without effort, and to develop the most power with the littlest exertion, you have to perform it in perpetuity.
Karate doesn’t end with a tournament in the spring or goal that ends the season. Karate is a process where you look inward as much as outward for your progress and you always train.
Knowing about karate doesn’t make you a Karate-ka…