Progress, not Perfection - a Road to Success

July 2016

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Once you have chosen MuDoKai karate as your way, your path to excellence, embrace it with all of your strength. It is a path that you will walk for the rest of your life, if you are sincere. MuDoKai is not just a sport, a hobby, or a pastime. It can not be placed as the last of your priorities right behind baseball, or golf, or playing computer games. Such a weak approach would be a shameful waste of time for all concerned. MuDoKai is practiced best when it is practiced regularly and with intensity.


July 2016 Newsletter Progress Not Perfection

(3x State Champion : Sensei Chirstina Brigida)

During the course of training, for both children and adults, difficulties will arise. The Sensei know that students are not perfected masters when they enter the Dojo; therefore, when a student falls short in class, the Sensei understands and works to help the student get back on track. Sometimes Junior students, even when they have a high rank, misbehave in class, or in some way fall short of our goals for them. While the Sensei strive to be strict and fair in these situations, it is sometimes difficult for an observing parent to understand why a stripe was taken, or not taken, from the offending student. This is a matter for the Sensei, and while we are open to your input, we must be the teachers in the Dojo. The quest is to develop balance in all things, and this includes discipline and correction. There is a good reason why we award youngsters a “Junior Black Belt” rather than the same belt they would earn as adults. It is because we recognize that Juniors are not just physically immature, but also emotionally and psychologically immature. While the goal is to help them in the growing process with firm guidance where necessary, we must be careful not to crush their spirit. All of our advanced Juniors have made excellent progress, given where they started from. If some of them at times seem more immature than you might anticipate for their age or rank, you may not have known them as long as we have. Perfection is not so much a goal as a process. Perseverance and correction through enlightened instruction is the method we recommend.

Students and parents should never take instruction for granted, since one of the conditions of a true deshi (student) is to make himself or herself, worthy every day of the teachings he or she is about to receive. To offer the minimum effort to receive the maximum profit may be the axiom of a business professional or an investor, but not of a Karate student. In Karate we need the maximum effort at all times. Students often travel great distances in order to have the opportunity to train or compete. If the opportunity is close to home for you, be sure that you realize your good fortune.

Fortunately, compassion, humility, honor and loyalty are not obsolete virtues. The survival of the ancient traditions depends on them. Allow your appreciation of these virtues to grow with your weekly training The process of training is in some ways like alchemy. Our goal is to turn the information we receive in the Dojo, into knowledge, through the process of practice. Just as the alchemist turns base metal into gold.

© 2016 Adapted by Shihan Mason from the maxims of the Daito Ryu Aiki Jutsu