Hér eru nokkrir pistlar frá Einari Hagen sem var aðalþjálfari KAK um árabil, um það sem skiptir máli í karate:

Improvement that feels bad

Any accomplishment that you have to work hard for takes a bit of hard work and a fair bit of mental struggle. The feeling of stagnation in our improvement or even the feeling of getting worse is the topic for this piece of our webpage.

All the good karateka I have spoken to about this say they have felt the same way as I. When I was 6 kyu I felt very good about my karate. I felt that I had improved much in the time I had practiced, and that the new beginners were far from my level.

After another year of training, I probably had gotten better, but so had my understanding of what I tried to accomplish. Since I tried really hard at getting better, my understanding had improved more than my body and therefore I didn’t feel as good about my karate as I had the year before.

To illustrate: Imagine my ability and understanding was at level 2. Then a year after my ability was 5 and my understanding had improved to a whopping 7 or even 8. The net result for my feeling was that I was not as good as the year before when in fact I was more than twice as good. This due to Einsteins relativity theory. Understanding and ability at the same low level made me feel good, but a year later, the understanding was higher than ability and therefore I was depressed.

Be happy bout being able to see mistakes in your karate, and don’t beat yourself up bout not being perfect. (Nobody is, anyway) I mean, having perfection in our karate would take the fun out of it for me. Sure it would be cool right away, but after that, what would we do? If there was nothing left to fix, we could just quit karate and where is the fun in that?

Be happy that you still have stuff that you can improve upon and don’t feel bad because you want things to go quicker. The fact that it feels like its going slow (or even backwards) shows that your mind is racing to get your karate to the next level.

Celebrate that 🙂

And here is a link to what Rob Redmond has to say about this issue:
http://www.24fightingchickens.com/2005/09/06/improvement-that-feels-like-failure/

So, you want the black belt!

So, you want a black belt?

I remember when I was a kyugrade, I had a burning desire to rise from being the one everyone could win over. I wanted to be strong enough to not worry bout partnering up with the „big boys“, but it was a massive struggle to get past the fact that I was just a kid of mere 60-65 kilos at the time. Kumite scared me, the higher grades in our dojo was always kicking and punching me faster than I could escape (and harder than I thought I could deal with).

However, anyone with a burning desire can prevail over previously impossible opponents. The key is to put your mind to the task and never give up.

Some tips:

Practice regularly by making karate a habit.
Have a positive and focused mind when you come to class.
Always try your best.
Make any exercise in the dojo into an competition.
Leave your outside worries at the dojo-door.
Seek out good role models and copy them as best you can.
Attend as many training camps as possible.
Visualise yourself doing perfect karate.
Selftraining is absolutely vital.

Eitt. að leggja sig allan fram

Hitotsu. Doryoko no seishin o yashinau koto.

One. Foster the spirit of effort.
Eitt – Að leggja sig allan fram

These translations does not cover all the facets of the japanese original. Seishin means a lot of things to the japanese, it is also the name of my dojo back in norway. Seishin, in the meaning of my dojo, is mind, spirit and soul. In the dojokun it represents the spirit of trying your best and never, ever, giving up.

Imagine you are in a really hard training. Now you have two choices: Give up (or cheat, by not trying your best), or really give it your all (and rather puke than stopping)

If you constantly choose the second alternative your body will become strong, very fast and the others in the class will think your karate is very cool. However, if constantly make up excuses for quitting or cheating then the benefits of karatedo will elude you (or come to you slower)

You can do way more than you imagine, if you train your mind into a state of never quitting.

Come mentally prepared to every class with a positive attitude and never quit. This will help you in any other part of your life for as long as you keep your spirit.

From Karate-Do Nyumon

This is my first article for our website. I have chosen a text by the
founder of Shotokan Karate-Do to get us all to strive to improve in the
direction i want the club to go. Ideally i would like us all to stay out
of conflict. However, if some of us should have the need to defend
ourselves or our family, it is of utmost importance that our karate is
efficient as a means of self defence. For this to happen we need to
practice the right way.

————-

From Karate-Do Nyumon: The Master Introductory Text, by Gichin Funakoshi.

Since karate is a martial art, you must practice with the utmost
seriousness from the very beginning. This means going beyond being
simply diligent or sincere in your training. In every step, in every
movement of your hand, you must imagine yourself facing an opponent with
a drawn sword. Each and every punch must be made with the power of your
entire body behind it, with the feeling of destroying your opponent with
a single blow. You must believe that if your punch fails, you will
forfeit your own life. Thinking this, your mind and energy will be
concentrated, and your spirit will express itself to the fullest. No
matter how much time you devote to practice, no matter how many months
and years pass, if your practice consists of no more than moving your
arms and legs, you might as well be studying dance. You will never come
to know the true meaning of karate.

————-

My thought on this subject: It is totally cool to have fun in the dojo,
but when we are doing partner-exercises, i want everybody to practice
with a deep feeling of seriousness. The first couple of repetitions at a
reduced speed to figure out the technique and then speed up. When it is
going well at full speed; add 100% zanshin (mental focus) and go for it
in a real martial art kind of way.

Lets have fun, guys, but also remember in the months to come add more
speed and power to our karate. Together we will take Karatefélag Akraness
to the next level.

Dojo etiquette (siðareglur)

This month I wanna discuss the hows and whys of dojo-etiquette.

Karate-Do can be way more worth to you than an exercise you just dabble with for fun every now and then. For maximum results, (and I am talking bout result much bigger than a competition win or the next grade) you need to apply your heart and soul in the quest for improvement. This focused effort will make you grow as a person, not only as a karateka. Ultimately, you will be stronger, more confident, less prone to accidents and last but not least: with a way smaller chance of ever getting into trouble.

For this improvement of your whole person to take place, the ego needs to be kept down a bit. You might have read one of Funakoshi senseis most quoted sayings: „Karatedo starts and ends with courtesy.“ This means more than bowing to your partner before and after kumite. Its an outlook on life itself that will help you and your family in all of life’s endeavours.

And now for the more practical side of things…. In order to help your study of these ideals, we have some rules as to how to behave in the dojo.

  • Be on time
  • If you are early, warm up, stretch or work on technique
  • If late, bow in and sit down
  • When told to enter, perform a sitting bow and join the class
  • If you ever have to leave before class ends, tell the instructor in advance
  • Look like a karateka at all times in the dojo (Wear your gi and your belt)
  • When things are explained, assume musubi dachi or sit in a proper manner
  • Bow when going on or off the dojo floor
  • No drinking in class unless given permission
  • No chewing-gum
  • No jewelry (If your jewelry cant come off, use sportstape to cover it)
  • When pairing up, make sure that you both bow at the same time (It is considered smart to follow the tempo of the most senior partner…)
  • If there is no class after your class (or if there is ample space because of few students), feel free to stretch, do strengthening exercises or work on technique in the back of the dojo

    Let’s discuss just one of the rules in depth. Be on time…. Why? Honestly, I don’t worry much whether you come on time or 5 minutes before the class ends. However, karate-skills are not just magically going to fall into your lap, you have to try hard if you are going to reach the level of Shodan, Nidan or Rokudan or whatever your goal is. I think that if you come after the warm-up; Your mind is not ready to learn for at least the first 10 minutes (and your body certainly isn’t). Couple this with the fact that you don’t get to know the others in the club as well as you would if u were there 5 minutes before we start, the instructor thinks that you don’t value his presence and the others get the feeling that karate is not „your thing“. Also the atmosphere of the club is depending on you to bring a good positive feeling, not a stressed out „I really don’t have time to be here“-feeling. Of course, I understand that there are lots of other things in your life besides karate, but don’t make a habit of being late just because you don’t care one way or the other. (If you don’t care then maybe you would rather be doing something else?)So there you have both personal reasons and club reasons for being on time. The biggest advantage though, is when you take this „I am on time – attitude“ into the rest of your life. People know they can trust you, and this quality will make you more attractive to all of the people out there. This could mean that you get that new and exciting job, you find and manages to charm the love of your life or maybe the whole community gets behind you if you ever desire to get into politics.Remember at all times that you are a role model for the younger and/or lowergraded karateka in our club. Please help out by observing these rules and remind others to do the same.