Saturday 14 November 2009

Keizoku wa chikara nari

Keizoku wa chikara nari is a Japanese proverb meaning "Continuance is strength". Often when I see physically talented people, I think to myself... "If this person did karate, or if they simply practiced more seriously, I can't imagine how technically excellent they'd be!"

Regardless of one's potential, it is wasted unless it is constructively put to use... Therefore, if people don't start, or they don't continue training/practicing, their potential will mean very little, if anything. From my experience as an instructor, many high potential students learn very fast, but quickly loose interest, or simply rely on their natural ability. Whereas, the slow progressing students, who are not naturals, often 'really look into their techniques'. My advice to all practicing karateka is to not get concerned with those around you. Don't make comparisons between yourself and your karate colleagues, but rather focus on seeking 'perfect technique'. Study karate at your own pace, take your time, and make the most of yourself by being self-analytic. Whether naturally gifted or not, with continuance, you will keep improving! Over the years, many people will drop off the karate radar, but if you have "Keizoku wa chikara nari" in your heart, you will persevere. This perseverance is the inner strength gained from continuance, something that natural ability alone cannot give you. This is why, so very often, the average students end up technically surpassing those who are naturally gifted.

Regardless of being a natural or not, the biggest point in karate training (besides accessing good tuition), is continuance. Why? Because 'continuance' requires real mental strength, and this power will result in ongoing physical improvement.

© André Bertel, Japan (2009).

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