karate-my way of life

If you ever told me that I was going to not only study karate, but that I would become so enthusiastic about it I would never of believed you. I was always interested in doing martial arts, and to be the strongest version of myself possible. The image of karate is tarnished, and in some cases rightly so, the image of a stereotypical washed down karate, more geared for sport than a real situation, and more geared for kids fitness  put me and a lot of people off.

But when I found Goju Ryu, real authentic karate, oh my god it changed my life. I had been looking for the ideal martial art for myself, or should I say one that answered what always feels missing when I have tried other martial arts, it is something that is easy to describe why it holds so dear to so many hearts, and with so many styles of it, it would be an injustice to try and say what it is that makes karate so special.

I love the fact that each kata is like a different person, I love the fact that the bunkai can be so brutal and devastating, I love the fact that this old system has survived a long time, and is like an amalgamation of Asian marital arts blended into a fine wine in Okinawa, I love how it gives you the confidence to not need to prove yourself outside the dojo, I love the comradeship you get with fellow karateka and strong bonds of friendship through the battle of Kumite, one of the best ways to get to know a person and to gain lifelong friendships is to fight them.

With this new job, that has affected my karate more than I like, but hopefully after February it will get a lot easier (I asked for Thursday afternoons/evenings off to make sure I can do karate every week, and even though I got punished for asking I should finally be put on the monthly rota and with my hours I will be able to train once or twice a week again). The longer I am in this job, the more I think of karate, and when I cheekily find a little break to practice kata/bunkai and stances when I have to do a lot of standing, it keeps me a little bit saner, despite everyone else thinking that I am mad. I realise now that I took it for granted, and to keep up standards or to keep improving, I need to keep doing these little things daily.

I may start doing kata/bunkai daily again, along with some qigong. Ironically I chose this job so that in the long run it would improve my karate, I must carry on with daily practice and apply much more patience.

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