Tuesday 14 September 2010

Karate Master

One idea which is regularly thrown around in karate circles and the martial arts in general, is that of `masters’. But really speaking, who actually is a master? And more importantly, what constitutes becoming a karate master?_________

Dr. John Church of the University of Canterbury brilliantly described `mastery’ in his 1999 publication Basic Learning Processes. He explains “Mastery refers to a level of skill of which the behaviour of interest can be performed sufficiently accurately and sufficiently quickly for it to be of use in most of the settings where it will need to be of use” (Church, J. 1999).

Sorry to recapitulate so mundanely but according to this very precise definition, it is clear that what matters is `the sufficient accuracy and speed of skills, in the setting where they are needed’. This point is certainly worthy of much thought, as it removes the majority of people claiming to be `karate masters' as their skills in reality are only useful in a karate setting... Needless to say, this is not mastery.
© André Bertel. New Zealand, 2010.

No comments: