Easy Karate and a Better Training Recipe

Some people aim for easy karate. But I have a better training recipe. Some people think they will have more time to do karate while they are on Spring Break or Winter Break. They will make up for missed classes while on vacation. Sometimes I talk to the parent who wants to put their kid in classes only during the summer. Or an adult student who wants to attend class on a holiday weekend.

Who Wants Easy Karate?

This easy karate idea seems to be most popular with people who are deficient in regular weekly class attendance. They think they’ll make up for their lack of classes when schedules and life in general are just easier. But they have proven time and again that this does not work.

When they’re on break, family members visit and there is just so much other stuff to do. During vacation, you are either seriously relaxing or going out (and I think you just forget about classes and class schedules). When summer comes, it’s too hot; you’re too tired during the dog days of summer. Or maybe it’s just the misguided (though well-intentioned) case of getting stuck in the “I’ll do it later” mindset.

I have heard the motivational speaker Jim Rohn describe the dangers of putting something off, thinking you’ll do it later. He also said, “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” Here are more great quotes by him. The three monsters, Laziness, Procrastination and Quitting, love it when people say, “I’ll do it later.” That recipe doesn’t work; you need a better training recipe.

Karate is not Easy, but it is Worth It

Karate is not easy. As Michael Newland Kyoshi used to tell the students, “This is not easy. If it was, this place would be full.” Then he would go on to tell why it is very much worth it to put in effort into your training.  

In order to progress at a decent pace and in order to succeed at karate, you need to use a better training recipe. Martial arts help us learn to fight against and to defeat the natural human tendency to be lazy. But the first requirement is showing up. Then the next requirements is showing up and doing your best on a regular basis. To get good at anything, you must practice it regularly and karate is one of those things that you must practice every week in order to be proficient.

The better training recipe requires making your karate training a part of your daily life. You don’t just pursue it and think about it when things are easy and life is slow. You commit to a training regime and you follow through. Then you keep at it. Sure, take a break once in a while when you’re on vacation, if you want to. But for the most part, for the great majority of the weeks in any year, get in your training.

Karate is not like floating down the lazy river on an inner tube. Putting on your gi should not be like putting on a tuxedo for a rare special occasion. If you want easy karate, go watch a martial arts movie.

However, if you want to have the skill of a martial artist, you must earn it, day after day, week after week, year after year. You must put in the time regularly, training with skilled martial arts instructors, in order to retain the valuable lessons and to be able to apply them. You must fight against Laziness, Procrastination and Quitting, and you must let go of the notion of easy karate.

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

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