So, mastery in the Martial Arts doesn’t come quickly…or easily. According to Mas Oyama (notorious for his brutal training and conditioning program in Kyokushin karate) after 1000 days you’re a beginner, and you can look for mastery after another 9000. The thing is, most of us twice-a-week karate people aren’t focused too much on Mastery, but we do want to continue to get better. Getting better requires some rigorous training; rigorous training requires discipline; and discipline requires inspiration.
Inspiration here is more than dragging your arse off the couch to make it to class. Inspiration is finding the spirit to dig deep and go at training like your life depended on it. So where does that inspiration come from?
For the person next to you in the Dojo, it should come from you.
A Shodan should be able to look at the Nidan and say. ‘man, he’s really serious about this stuff!’ And a green belt should be able to look at a brown belt and think ‘that’s where I need to get. I need that spirit.’ If you’re a white belt – oftentimes feeling like a deer in the headlights – your Sensei should be able to look at you and feel like you’re head is really into it: attentive and fired up.
I think we need to own inspiration, and help it spread. No matter who you are, when you tie on your belt you should churn up your karate spirit. (It’s been said that when Guchin Funakoshi donned a Gi he was transformed.)
The karate Dojo is already an excellent place to work together toward the common goals of becoming better fighters and better people, so adding a bit of contagious inspiration is sure to bring the spirit up.
“Be the change!”