This site is based on my daily practice of traditional Shotokan Karate-Do here in Oita City, Japan. More than anything else, unlike the majority of other karate-do websites, this page is primarily dedicated to training itself; that is, Karate-Do as a vehicle for holistic development.
Often people ask me
“what is your key to my motivation in karate-do?” and, while I’ve talked about
this before, I’d like to reiterate my mental approach today. I’d like to
emphasise here that this is not `something new’, or a `new revelation’ for me.
It is reflective of my training since I was very young.
I believe that “…if we let go of our egos, we become liberated”; and
consequentially, we gain a level of motivation which doesn’t waver and `much deeper
satisfaction’ from our karate practice. Those who are better than us, we admire
and respect; likewise, we do not compare ourselves to those we have surpassed
(or are ahead of on the karate path).
that that “Your karate then truly becomes `your karate’”; thereby, setting the
stage for you to bolt forward and `to
really win battles against yourself’. Irrespective of whom you are, what your
goals are, and any other factors, I believe this is the ultimate key to
motivation in our wonderful martial art.
The ambitious junior or competitor as
`a motivator’… As
the lyrics of `The Fly’ by U2 go, “It’s no secret that ambition bites the nails
of success.” Some see this as a good thing, but I personally disregard this as
well (as it only works to a certain level and takes one psychologically away
from the highest level of motivation). Again, I’ll say it again, “motivation to
me should not be about others”. That way, regardless of outcomes, the process
is always emphasised over the product (or result). To me personally, this is the
MEANING OF KARATE-DO: the WAY or PATH of karate. Truly, it is THE PROCESS, and quality
(and authenticity) of this process, that matters most.
Well wishes for all the competitors
and nations attending the 2014 JKA World Championships: I’d like to wish everyone who is competing in the 13th
Funakoshi Gichin World Championships, here in Japan in October, the utmost
best. Also, I hope you remember my words in this post. Enjoy the tournament,
and just do YOUR BEST. To me, just by entering this event—the most prestigious
traditional karate-do event in the world—you have already ‘won’ from my perspective. While I’ll not be attending, I admire every
person who is entering: whether they go out in the first round or end up
contending for world titles.
By and large, as I
wrote in my 1996 karate-do memoirs “…don’t set the bar too low, nor too high.
Set it at a height where you are
challenged, but not so much that it is an impossibility”; furthermore, and just
as important for motivation (and as discussed today), don’t worry about whether
some can jump higher than you, or have `yet to reach your heights’. They (others)
are insignificant when it comes to your karate! What matters is that “YOU KEEP
PUSHING FORWARD without letting your ego becoming puffed up, nor flattened”. Focus
on the process: the process of self-progression, which can only be maximised
when it is "...devoid of ego that is steered and swayed by comparisons". This, of course, transcends karate-do.
Kindest regards and best wishes, André.
Movement four of Seiryu kata during my self-practice.