Why I Study Chito-Ryu Karate ? Part 1.

by on 27 June 2012

I was asked by a good friend last week, quite incredulous that at 51 + and being a little overweight (OK maybe more than a little – why do those mirrors in the Dojo have to be so BIG! ) – WHY would I do it to myself! Why did I take up karate at my age?

Like many, I’m sure, my journey started through my child (is SCK marketing based on Maccas? kids first, adults follow!!).

I’m lucky that I get to share the experience with my son Luc. I’m luckier again that ours is a unique experience. I am the junior partner in the scheme of things. In many cases as a parent it is hard to share a sport or passion with your kids as you have all the experience and knowledge, hard to share the game and see it from your kids’ perspective. In the journey Luc and I are sharing we are learning together, albeit he naturally is able to achieve and adapt more readily. He is the senior, has the higher Kyu rank (as I’m gently but continually reminded), he has earned the respect. It’s a different game.

Rod & Luc

However in truth, the reasons for my starting have led me to a more personal path. The real test is that I’m still going 6 months later and I do it because it’s fun. I am finding I want to be at the Dojo more and more.

Of course there are many layers that build the fun. The time with Luc, meeting new people, friends, but the continual environment of challenge, learn, review, assess and start the cycle again is the real key for me.

The real test is that I can see myself being involved for years…actually I can’t see myself not involved.

Each class is a challenge for me but each class brings a reward, sometimes small other times more substantial. I haven’t as yet left a class without feeling better for attending. Each class is a battle with self-doubt. Inspiration is a word used too easily yet within the Dojo it’s easy to find. In every class I find someone who gives me that jolt. Often from surprising avenues.

The fact that the karate journey is one of step by step, work to reward, suits me. The system works in my head. I’m a disciple of the very structured, process based, success path. Yes I aspire but I am very careful to check the aspiration and retain it within the boundary of the notion that I can control the planning, execution and effort. The result is simply the sum of those parts. It will be what it is. As to aspiration and challenges, I’ve got a long, long (OK really LONG) way to go and that’s incredibly enervating, sometimes daunting, but still fun.

So yes its fun. (Of course you have to edit out the sore joints / muscles and the fact that push ups are a right…). A positive is that I’ve made a friend of the washing machine on fast cycle as my GI seems to need to be washed daily.

Of course the Dojo would be a better place if an espresso machine were to find a home in the kitchen. I think I will start a fund raiser to buy a Nespresso machine for the Dojo for Christmas.


ViviD June 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Oh great Rod – yay for you. And don’t the kids make it look so easy. Look forward to hearing the next instalment.

Duncan Bigg June 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Hello Rod,
Congratulations on your blog, thought I would be the first to write comment as I have been intending to contribute myself and have procrastinated to this point. Enjoyed the article and the ever-present good humour you bring to the dojo. I find it most interesting that the reasons that you have identified are the same for me after nearly 6 years of training at Chito-ryu Karate. The default at its lowest level, during periods of struggle is always, ‘I always feel better afterwards’. When all it going well its the satisfaction of ‘ I can do that ‘, probably what is often missed is what comes in between. That is all the pre-thinking, testing in practice, and the resulted learning. The search that makes you reflect after every lesson and desire to test things at the next. ‘ Practice before Perception’- without the practice it is all just theory, with the perception it is all just physical. Regards Duncan

Rod June 27, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Hey Duncan , who’d have thunk that two old guys ( or maybe you dont quite qualify as old yet ) about to jump out of a plane can see the same things. Its funny , I feel a bit naked after the post but in truth its kind of fun too. cheers Rod PS – did I mention we are jumping out of a plane in a week or so…not that its on my mind.

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