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conrad665
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 158

Styles: Shotokan Karate, Ashihara Karate, Judo, Iaido

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:39 pm    Post subject: Giving up karate and taking up judo Reply with quote

Hi,

I am sorry for the long post, but I feel much better now, sharing my feelings with people who can understand me and guide me through my decision.

I have been practicing Shotokan karate for the past 9 years. I started it at 18 and now I'm 27. Since the day I started, karate has always been a passion for me.

However, in the last two years, my feelings about my karate club started to change. The club got more and more competition oriented, which is not a very bad thing for many, but just a source of frustration for the likes of me (who compete occasionally and not for medals). Instructors started to teach kids how to impress referees to get more points before correcting their techniques. And I started to find modern kumite more useless as I trained, and feel that it is more of a burden on my body trying to keep up with kids of age at most 16. And I started to think "What is the use of being fast or getting all flags up if your technique is not useful at all?" Last but not least, the club is swarming with little kids! There is not enough room for performing techniques without interruption and people bump into each other.

Not being a competitor, the instructors do not care about me much, either. They haven't corrected my technique for such a long time-maybe for two years.

To make a long story short, sadly, I do not feel that I am learning new things and improving my technique at all. And I am afraid I will not be able to find a new dojo in the entire city to my liking. I am not sure Sensei would let me go to another dojo, either. Because of all these reasons, I decided to try out new things. I started practicing iaido one year ago and judo three months ago, once a week, to get to know other martial arts. I enjoy iaido very much, but the sessions are once a week only. I hope to continue learning iaido as long as I can.

Although judo takes a toll on my body (probably because of not being used to hitting the ground) and I feel more injury-prone during sessions (because I cannot do much without a partner in judo and my partners are usually tougher than me), I enjoy trying the throws and falls. It is a totally different world.
Plus, Sensei corrects me whenever I make a mistake and then I can feel I am doing better, which makes me really happy. I can feel I am learning new things and improving what I once did wrong. And my classmates are serious and enthusiastic people, unlike the kids in the karate club who come to training because their family force them to.

I still do not know what I expect from a martial art. I do not know why I adhered to karate that much. Just for the feeling of achieving something? Because I was seeking some kind of guidance? To socialize with people? For gaining self-confidence? For keeping fit? Well, the last one would be the weakest reason, because I have never felt fitter my entire life. I simply loved karate and I still love it, but I feel it is time to move on.

I decided to quit karate for about six months and concentrate on judo. Then I will decide whether to quit it forever or give it another chance.

So, what would be your suggestions on the new path that I chose? I would love to hear any comments and ideas, or any tips that would help me have less pain after judo sessions. Thank you very much in advance.

It may sound trivial, but it was a tough decision to take for me and I was thinking over it all the time, and having decided at last, it feels great


Last edited by conrad665 on Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imho...

Everything in the MA must fit the practitioner like a well fitting glove...everything. After all, the MA journey is the practitioners, therefore, personal, and that journey, while it can be shared, is still traveled alone.

If ones school of the MA is/has taken a different path than the desired path of that practitioner, then possibly time has arrived to sojourn somewhere else to ones likens, and not to the likens of others.

Whether one quits a particular style of the MA or not, for the time being or for good, that decision belongs to that individual alone. A MAist can cross-train to their desires to fill their MA voids.

If a MAist was to quit a style of the MA, that acquired knowledge and experience will stay with that practitioner for quite some time or forever, no matter what!! Quitting Karate, if that be the choice...that knowledge/experience through muscle memory will still reside within that MAist. Yes, Karate knowledge/experience can be erased from the inner most of the MAist, but I do believe that the residue of that Karate knowledge/experience will still be harbored, and unleashed whenever a situation might be required of it.

If Judo is the track your MA train must be on nowadays, then relish the opportunities that are before you; you must be where it benefits the betterment of your MA. The style...the Sensei/Instructor...fellow MAists...the atmosphere...so on and so forth must nourish ones learning for anything to be learned.

This is what you must decide for your MA betterment to increase!!

Good luck, and train hard and train well!!



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Last edited by sensei8 on Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I would have continued on my Aikido journey that I started a decade ago... Pushing 40 and doing a style of TKD that incorporates a fair amount of Hap Ki Do after not doing much of anything has definitely put me in the hurt-locker.

Ultimately, you're paying for your martial arts journey. Financially, chronologically, and physically. The earlier you can start something new, the better. You can continue training karate on your own, while learning judo and iaido. This will make you a more formidable martial artist!

Osu!
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(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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conrad665
Orange Belt
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 158

Styles: Shotokan Karate, Ashihara Karate, Judo, Iaido

PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Imho...

Everything in the MA must fit the practitioner like a well fitting glove...everything. After all, the MA journey is the practitioners, therefore, personal, and that journey, while it can be shared, is still traveled alone.

If ones school of the MA is/has taken a different path than the desired path of that practitioner, then possibly time has arrived to sojourn somewhere else to ones likens, and not to the likens of others.

Whether one quits a particular style of the MA or not, for the time being or for good, that decision belongs to that individual alone. A MAist can cross-train to their desires to fill their MA voids.


Thank you for the encouraging words, Sensei8 I concur with what you say, if the dojo has chosen a different path, it would be best to follow your own. After all, each martial artist creates and follows his/her own way. It would be unfair to allow others-whether it be your instructor or some other thing- to make you go astray. I'm not talking about guidance and sharing wisdom. Unfortunately, both are hard to find these days.

sensei8 wrote:
If a style of the MA is quit, that acquired knowledge and experience will stay with that practitioner for quite some time or forever, no matter what!! Quitting Karate, if that be the choice...that knowledge/experience through muscle memory will still reside within that MAist. Yes, Karate knowledge/experience can be erased from the inner most of the MAist, but I do believe that the residue of that Karate knowledge/experience will still be harbored, and unleashed whenever a situation might be required of it.


And it is comforting to think that the karateka inside me will always survive somehow, somewhere

sensei8 wrote:
If Judo is the track your MA train must be on nowadays, then relish the opportunities that are before you; you must be where it benefits the betterment of your MA. The style...the Sensei/Instructor...fellow MAists...the atmosphere...so on and so forth must nourish ones learning for anything to be learned.

This is what you must decide for your MA betterment to increase!!



It helps to think of a martial art as a journey. You cannot walk forever, can you? You sometimes run, sometimes stand and watch beauties around you. You may also get tired and stop for a while or for longer. What matters should be the experiences you should have no matter what activity you do. Judo is a whole new journey, and I will pursue my new path as long as I can.

sensei8 wrote:
Good luck, and train hard and train well!!



Thanks!




singularity6 wrote:
I wish I would have continued on my Aikido journey that I started a decade ago... Pushing 40 and doing a style of TKD that incorporates a fair amount of Hap Ki Do after not doing much of anything has definitely put me in the hurt-locker.


Thanks for sharing your experience, Singularity6. It is nice to hear that you never lost your enthusiasm about martial arts, and I guess it is just normal to feel pain after training. We are both newbies in these martial arts and I wonder how much time it will take to get used to the new way of doing things.

singularity6 wrote:
Ultimately, you're paying for your martial arts journey. Financially, chronologically, and physically. The earlier you can start something new, the better. You can continue training karate on your own, while learning judo and iaido. This will make you a more formidable martial artist!

Osu!


This really elevated my mood I spent my time and money on karate and I never regret doing so, but when it is time to move on, it is better to move on. Quitting a dojo should not mean quitting karate altogether. I can-and do- train myself, and I can enrich my knowledge on martial arts at the same time.

Osu!
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conrad665,

I commend you on making a hard decision and wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

Just a bit of personal experience; if you do not like or are not looking for competition you may have chosen the wrong art. Judo is based around competition. You earn points towards grade in placement and the number of competitions you go to.

Don't get me wrong, I personally loved my time training and studying the art. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

I guess I'm just forewarning you that Judo heavily revolves around competition. But then if you're going into with that realization it would be different from your last school in that they didn't start out that way and that's not the reason you where there.

Either way I wish you luck on your new journey.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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conrad665
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 158

Styles: Shotokan Karate, Ashihara Karate, Judo, Iaido

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Conrad665,

I commend you on making a hard decision and wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

Just a bit of personal experience; if you do not like or are not looking for competition you may have chosen the wrong art. Judo is based around competition. You earn points towards grade in placement and the number of competitions you go to.

Don't get me wrong, I personally loved my time training and studying the art. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

I guess I'm just forewarning you that Judo heavily revolves around competition. But then if you're going into with that realization it would be different from your last school in that they didn't start out that way and that's not the reason you where there.

Either way I wish you luck on your new journey.


MatsuShinshii, thank you for your good wishes and your warnings. Unfortunately, many martial arts tend to revolve around competitions more or less, and judo is no exception. Nevertheless, I believe I will be able to circumvent this complication somehow. Our group consists of people who do not compete or did judo when they were young and returned after a while. This is one of the many reasons that attracted me to judo, my classmates have similar intentions in training the art. Hope our dojo will not take the turn my karate club did, though

Well, actually I'm not totally against competitions. They are great opportunities to test one's mental and physical abilities. What I do not like about them is they have become the sole reason for training for many people, and people can become champion without knowing anything about the true essence of the martial art, and without understanding what they do. As I mentioned above, I sometimes compete to see how I perform under stress. Although I will need many years of practice before, if Sensei sees me worthy, I'd like to give it a try


Last edited by conrad665 on Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2359
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the commitment and dedication to the teacher in MA is a highly romanticized thing. Loyalty works both ways. With the exception of things like monachs and the like, IMO loyalty has always worked both ways. And if we take a good look at history, a lot of the monarchs who werenít loyal to their people were dealt with.

I take issue with only one thing you said somewhere here - that you donít think your now former sensei would let you train in karate somewhere else. How is that? Thereís no need for permission. Unless itís a case of him paying your bills, providing for you, employing you, etc.; thereís no permission anywhere in this equation.

You made a difficult decision, but IMO it was the right one. You were no longer getting what you expected. You were no longer getting what you came for. Again, loyalty works both ways. If I was told I was going to be taught A, and slowly over the course of time I was no longer being taught A, but now solely being taught B, I wouldnít consider that being loyal to my needs. Everyoneís got to do what theyíve got to do. Things changed, and they werenít the changes you envisioned. Thereís no shame in saying itís no longer meeting the needs you came for. Thereís no shame in saying itís no longer meeting your goals and interests. Thereís no shame in saying ďthis just isnít for me.Ē Itís only an issue if one of the parties doesnít respect the other partyís reasons.

My CI isnít getting any younger. Iíve thought about what will happen when he eventually retires. Thereís several scenarios in my head. Iíd happily stay under some of them, and Iím quite sure Iíd eventually leave under a few others. I wouldnít hold any grudges nor would I feel dishonorable if I left under certain scenarios. Iíd remain friends with them no matter what, unless I was disrespected by my decision to leave. If my CI decides today that weíre going to focus on point fighting, tournament kata performance, and generating maximum revenue by filling the place up with wannabe ninja turtles kids, Iíd respectfully tell him my heartís not into training like that. If he had a problem with that, then unfortunately thatís his own problem that he needs to work out on his own. I donít foresee that happening, but in the grand scheme of things you didnít either, so one never really knows.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

conrad665 wrote:

MatsuShinshii, thank you for your good wishes and your warnings. Unfortunately, many martial arts tend to revolve around competitions more or less, and judo is no exception. Nevertheless, I believe I will be able to circumvent this complication somehow. Our group consists of people who do not compete or did judo when they were young and returned after a while. This is one of the many reasons that attracted me to judo, my classmates have similar intentions in training the art. Hope our dojo will not take the turn my karate club did, though


What organization do they belong too? Depending on the organization, they might not place as much focus on competition. However in my experience the art is a sport and is practiced as such so the chances of you not having to compete for grade is minimal. The organization my Sensei belonged to required you to compete to grade. I don't care for the tournament scene very much but there was no deception and it was actually fun. The thing is they do not claim to be teaching you something and turn around and teach you something else.

conrad665 wrote:

Well, actually I'm not totally against competitions. They are great opportunities to test one's mental and physical abilities. What I do not like about them is they have become the sole reason for training for many people, and people can become champion without knowing anything about the true essence of the martial art, and without understanding what they do. As I mentioned above, I sometimes compete to see how I perform under stress. Although I will need many years of practice before, if Sensei sees me worthy, I'd like to give it a try


The issue I have with tournaments in Karate is that there is no basis in reality and it gives students an over inflated sense of security in their skills. It also develops muscle memory which is not conducive to a real fight when your talking about pulling punches. It's also impractical as it's executed at long distance and pretty much all fights are up close and personal.

Patty cakes point sparring proves one thing and one thing only, you are faster than your opponent and executed a crisp strike worthy of a judge giving you a point. However it does not tell the tale of who would have prevailed in a real fight. To me I see no point in tournaments.

I also don't care for altering the Kata to impress judges that claim to be long time instructors but somehow deduct points for a properly executed Kata the way the founder passed them down and give mega points for made up high flying flash.

IMHO tournaments prove nothing and do nothing to prepare you for reality. Great for kids but worthless in teaching one to actually fight.

I have first hand experience on both sides of the fence and because of that I do not encourage students to participate in them. I personally think they build bad habits that are contradictory to self defense.

Opinionated?? Guilty as charged. But that's my 2 cents.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
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conrad665
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 158

Styles: Shotokan Karate, Ashihara Karate, Judo, Iaido

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:
I think the commitment and dedication to the teacher in MA is a highly romanticized thing. Loyalty works both ways. With the exception of things like monachs and the like, IMO loyalty has always worked both ways. And if we take a good look at history, a lot of the monarchs who werenít loyal to their people were dealt with.

I take issue with only one thing you said somewhere here - that you donít think your now former sensei would let you train in karate somewhere else. How is that? Thereís no need for permission. Unless itís a case of him paying your bills, providing for you, employing you, etc.; thereís no permission anywhere in this equation.


JR 137, thank you for your comment. Many people have recently quit the karate club, too, probably for the reasons I explained before. I do not feel any kind of dedication to the instructor except a certain level of respect for his knowledge. But I do not appreciate the way he sells his knowledge. Well, I guess we wouldn't get on well in real life...
For me to be able to go to somewhere else, I need to take a reference letter kind of thing from him. And I don't want to spoil our relationship, so I told him that I will be very very busy for a while and I need some time off. And he told me returning to karate is going to be hard after a long break, and he is quite right. As I told earlier, I do not think I will ever be able to find a dojo which fits my taste, so, for now, I think I will leave it there. No problem about returning back.

JR 137 wrote:
You made a difficult decision, but IMO it was the right one. You were no longer getting what you expected. You were no longer getting what you came for. Again, loyalty works both ways. If I was told I was going to be taught A, and slowly over the course of time I was no longer being taught A, but now solely being taught B, I wouldnít consider that being loyal to my needs. Everyoneís got to do what theyíve got to do. Things changed, and they werenít the changes you envisioned. Thereís no shame in saying itís no longer meeting the needs you came for. Thereís no shame in saying itís no longer meeting your goals and interests. Thereís no shame in saying ďthis just isnít for me.Ē Itís only an issue if one of the parties doesnít respect the other partyís reasons.

My CI isnít getting any younger. Iíve thought about what will happen when he eventually retires. Thereís several scenarios in my head. Iíd happily stay under some of them, and Iím quite sure Iíd eventually leave under a few others. I wouldnít hold any grudges nor would I feel dishonorable if I left under certain scenarios. Iíd remain friends with them no matter what, unless I was disrespected by my decision to leave. If my CI decides today that weíre going to focus on point fighting, tournament kata performance, and generating maximum revenue by filling the place up with wannabe ninja turtles kids, Iíd respectfully tell him my heartís not into training like that. If he had a problem with that, then unfortunately thatís his own problem that he needs to work out on his own. I donít foresee that happening, but in the grand scheme of things you didnít either, so one never really knows.


I have literally struggled for two years to finally reach this decision. It was rather my affection for karate that kept me nagging about all these issues without having the courage to take action. However, I realize that what we practice in the club is... artificial karate. It is not organic, it is mechanical and has no soul in it. I sweat a lot, I develop muscles, but I do not understand what we do. We just give the air around us a good beating, without knowing whether our technique which looks brilliant would actually work against a real human being.
I want to perform karate just for myself, not for other people to look and enjoy. I, too, will remain friends with other club members and sometimes even visit them.

MatsuShinshii wrote:

What organization do they belong too? Depending on the organization, they might not place as much focus on competition. However in my experience the art is a sport and is practiced as such so the chances of you not having to compete for grade is minimal. The organization my Sensei belonged to required you to compete to grade. I don't care for the tournament scene very much but there was no deception and it was actually fun. The thing is they do not claim to be teaching you something and turn around and teach you something else.


My new Sensei is a retired judo instructor who teaches us for his own enjoyment. Now this is the kind of spirit I would like to see in an instructor We do not even pay for the sessions. He told us we can take the belt exams if we wished to, but I haven't applied for a licence yet. I think I am not interested much with belts and rankings at this stage, but sooner or later I will apply for one. And I have never heard a prerequisite such as entering a competition for the belt exams o.o I think it may be dangerous, as having to compete without enough experience may cause injuries or loss of enthusiasm for the art, or too much enthusiasm for competitions and nothing else.

MatsuShinshii wrote:
The issue I have with tournaments in Karate is that there is no basis in reality and it gives students an over inflated sense of security in their skills. It also develops muscle memory which is not conducive to a real fight when your talking about pulling punches. It's also impractical as it's executed at long distance and pretty much all fights are up close and personal.

Patty cakes point sparring proves one thing and one thing only, you are faster than your opponent and executed a crisp strike worthy of a judge giving you a point. However it does not tell the tale of who would have prevailed in a real fight. To me I see no point in tournaments.

I also don't care for altering the Kata to impress judges that claim to be long time instructors but somehow deduct points for a properly executed Kata the way the founder passed them down and give mega points for made up high flying flash.

IMHO tournaments prove nothing and do nothing to prepare you for reality. Great for kids but worthless in teaching one to actually fight.

I have first hand experience on both sides of the fence and because of that I do not encourage students to participate in them. I personally think they build bad habits that are contradictory to self defense.

Opinionated?? Guilty as charged. But that's my 2 cents.


Once in a seminar, a Japanese Sensei told us scornfully about a world champion who was robbed on his way home. This is what I don't like about today's karate. As competitions have become the sole purpose for many people to train, everything about karate circulates around competitions and nothing else. For example, l have never been taught a technique against a person with a knife. We only work out with hand and foot guards. Competition techniques are limited to a few, like kizami dzuki, mawashi geri and ura mawashi geri. We never tried an empi or a hiza geri against each other. Or never a grappling technique, as if they do not exist in karate. I am not enthusiastic about hitting people and getting hit, but what we do is mock fight. What we do is amputated karate. And I share the same opinion, I am not able to hit people although I am faster than them (I experienced this with one judoka and one boxer). I have never got into trouble before, maybe I just didn't want to hit those people not to hurt them for no particular reason. But anyway, muscle memory is a dangerous thing.

I don't believe competitions are totally useless. After all, one can never know if his/her technique is useful without trying them out on people with different strategies, right? But the way the competitions are conducted is the whole problem about karate and partially the reason why I quit karate.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

conrad665 wrote:
My new Sensei is a retired judo instructor who teaches us for his own enjoyment. Now this is the kind of spirit I would like to see in an instructor We do not even pay for the sessions. He told us we can take the belt exams if we wished to, but I haven't applied for a licence yet. I think I am not interested much with belts and rankings at this stage, but sooner or later I will apply for one. And I have never heard a prerequisite such as entering a competition for the belt exams o.o I think it may be dangerous, as having to compete without enough experience may cause injuries or loss of enthusiasm for the art, or too much enthusiasm for competitions and nothing else.


Things may have changed but while I was studying the art the gradings where based on a point system to get to Yudansha and above.

I can't remember the exact point required as I do not have my manual handy but I do recall that you recieved points for class attendance, attending seminar's, camps and clinic's, for local tournaments, state tournaments, national tournaments and international tournaments. As far as the tournament points went you'd receive points for wins based on their grade (so many points for two ranks below, one rank below, equal rank, one above and two or more above). You'd also receive points for winning the tournament and that varied on local, state, national and international. You even received points for coming in 2nd or 3rd. We received points for Kata as well. Then you had service to Judo, assisting in tournaments, coaching, putting on seminars, for being the head coach of a club, etc, etc.

Point being you had to accumulate "x" number of points to be promoted. I guess you could collect points outside of competing but I think it would take a huge amount of time to achieve your next grade.

However I am like you in that I care less about what color belt I wear or if I even wear an Obi. When I was young this was not so much the case.

If he is willing to teach you the art, who cares if you wear a white belt or a black. The attainment of knowledge and skill is the only thing that matters in the end.

Which would you rather be - a white belt that can defeat black belts or a black belt that gets defeated by white belts? That literally is the difference in what some arts/schools teach. You can win all of the tournaments you want but the real proof of what you are is when it gets real.



conrad665 wrote:
Once in a seminar, a Japanese Sensei told us scornfully about a world champion who was robbed on his way home. This is what I don't like about today's karate. As competitions have become the sole purpose for many people to train, everything about karate circulates around competitions and nothing else. For example, l have never been taught a technique against a person with a knife. We only work out with hand and foot guards. Competition techniques are limited to a few, like kizami dzuki, mawashi geri and ura mawashi geri. We never tried an empi or a hiza geri against each other. Or never a grappling technique, as if they do not exist in karate. I am not enthusiastic about hitting people and getting hit, but what we do is mock fight. What we do is amputated karate. And I share the same opinion, I am not able to hit people although I am faster than them (I experienced this with one judoka and one boxer). I have never got into trouble before, maybe I just didn't want to hit those people not to hurt them for no particular reason. But anyway, muscle memory is a dangerous thing.

I don't believe competitions are totally useless. After all, one can never know if his/her technique is useful without trying them out on people with different strategies, right? But the way the competitions are conducted is the whole problem about karate and partially the reason why I quit karate.



I speak of personal experience. Of course this is my experience and mine alone so others may vary.

When I first started studying the arts I joined a traditional school and a friend joined another not so traditional school. My teacher was a task master and drilled us and almost every class I would leave with bruises, a busted lip or the like. We did not participate in tournaments. On the other hand my friend was already competing and had been promoted in grade after only two months. After 5 months I decided to check out his school and ended up joining. After a few months I had learned a few tricks and started placing higher in tournaments. After 6 months I was winning in Kumite and Kata. My speed, reach and a few tricks allowed me to dominate my competition.

I thought I was pretty bad and had already been promoted twice more. The problem came when I ran into a known bully (just a mean spirited kid that liked to fight) and he started picking on a friend that was with me. I stood up to him and for the first few minutes I danced around this rather large and slow bully. I tagged him at will but my strikes had almost no effect, then it happened, he connected and it went down hill from there. I lost and I mean I lost bad.

The next day I talked to my new teacher and explained what had happened. He listened to me whine how many times I hit this guy and how I had gotten beaten almost to death by this sloth. His comment changed my life. He admitted that what he was teaching me was for competition and to win points not to actually fight.

I left and rejoined my other teacher and never looked back. Funny thing was that about two years later that same mean spirited kid started a fight with me again. This time the outcome was not in his favor. I knew I had made the right decision for me.

Everyone does what's best for them. I am not condemning these schools for doing what their students want. However I personally feel that they should change the name of the art to something a bit more honest and stop making claims about teaching self defense.

I take nothing away from the athleticism of those that compete in what I call patty cakes or fake Kata. They do possess skills. It's just not skills that translate to actual combat.

To the bold above; forget about it. 98% of the stuff they teach for knife defense is worthless. If I have a knife and they try that worthless junk on me they get carved like a turkey.

If you wish to learn knife defense do not look to Karate to teach it. Go train in a knife fighting system so you can get realistic techniques that do not endanger your life.

I'm sure some here that teach this junk would disagree but again, if I am holding the knife and they are trying to defend using these techniques, it ain't going to be pretty. And I have only medium proficiency compared to others that devote large amounts of their life to the study.

The point is a novice with a knife is going to cut an expert of so called knife defense. It's just a fact.

To the underlined above; I never said that competition was necessarily bad. Its "a" way to test yourself. However if your training like you would fight you get tested every class.

It's a shame you quit Karate because of this. If taught in the old ways the art is quite efficient. Maybe you'll meet a good teacher one day and be able to regain your confidence in the art.

If not I hope you find what your looking for.
_________________
The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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