Doing Damage by Doing it ‘Right’

The thought of questioning karate, or having to adjust a technique to fit your body seems like blasphemy to some: if it isn’t in its original form, its wrong. After all, we’ve been doing the same stuff for hundreds of years. How can it be wrong?

EmpiWell, the science of kinesiology has proven it can be, and part of improving karate is digging deep and sometimes accepting that we were wrong – accepting that sometimes there is a better way to practice and to execute techniques.

I’m 45. I have a somewhat unstable right knee and a left shoulder that dislocates. My left Haishu-uke in Kanku-Dai isn’t as vertical as it should be and my Handachi position in Empi isn’t as deep as it should be. So does that make it wrong?

No, the small adjustments I have to make allow me to still do karate. Sticking to solid, age-old karate principles and forms is crucial to the life of karate, but doing self-harm trying to do every waza in it’s original form is futile.

Accepting our limitations in the Dojo means two things, I believe: we don’t have to give up training, and we open the doors to a wider range of potential  Karateka of varying age and physical ability.

David didn’t kick Goliath in the head; he used his best weapon and dropped him with a rock.

Not everyone is great at everything, but everyone is great at something.