Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pay Attention, Work Hard

My Sensei, Daniel Gobillot of Pine Forest Karate Dojo, wrote the Thought for the Week that just arrived in my inbox. So much of what we learn in any discipline has parallels in our other efforts, and this is a great example. There are no shortcuts to success. The best way to achieve our goals is to pay attention and work hard.

Sensei Gobillot's TFTW:

Life as a Kata

Kata, literally "form" is a Japanese word describing prearranged choreographed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs. Kata is the single most important aspect in karate,(page 24, Red Book). While our individual techniques are all important to our art they can be viewed as limited and somewhat empty without kata to give them definition and purpose. Poorly executed technique can easily translate to poorly performed kata. A weak or misunderstood neko-ashi-dashi stance for instance can affect our entire karate world from yonkyu rank and up. We must always review all of our body movements and adjust to our current understanding and of course skill level.

Everyday life is also filled with moments and movements that we perform solo or with others. We wake up in the morning and maybe brush our teeth. This can be done with attention and purpose or without thought. When we relegate too much of what we do while we live to automatic action our lives, like kata with bad technique, become empty and bland.

Tomorrow our challenge is to select one (at least one) technique from our vast repertoire of movement then examine, define and expand it for use in our kata. For that hour and a half of class exploit and exhaust that one technique. Try this at least once. Then carry it to your personal life off the deck and use it for one of the many activities that you perform in your daily life. Answering the phone, getting dressed or just making eye contact.


So pick something in your work or personal life that needs attention. Give it what it needs. I guarantee it will flourish.

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