Technique of the Week (March 20th 2011)
My technique of the week was to be about breaking. However, in light of recent events in North-Eastern Japan, I have chosen to pen a new text.
Firstly, Im sure I am not alone in thoughts and prayers going out to those stricken and struggling in what may well be the worst natural disaster of the 21st century thus far. May those affected find comfort and solace in their time of need.
Secondly, we can all learn great lessons in the average Japanese citizens response to their horrific situation. In many cultures by this time we would be witness to unabashed looting and panic. Not so with our Japanese counter-parts. They cue up patiently and wait for hours in order to spend money to buy what few items may be left in stock. When the stores run out as they will, I imagine that they will continue to line up patiently for whatever relief supplies might become available. Most of the panic, now from potential radiation contamination, is taking place in city centers and amongst foreigners scrambling to flee the country. I can fully imagine many masters dutifully conducting their martial arts classes calmly and patiently in the middle of this chaos, in complete control of themselves.
We can learn from this and do learn this from our karate training: Patience instead of anxiety, calm as opposed to panic and tenacity instead of despair. Next time life throws you a problem, remember the lessons coming from North-Eastern Japan, lessons the Japanese start teaching their children early in life and that we develop through our karate; Patience, calmness and tenacity. And remember, if you are feeling anxiety or despair for any reason, doing kata can replace those feelings with a peaceful sense of patience and calm. This is one of the many benefits of our training, preparing us to react properly to lifes disasters. So, keep training and developing. Your years of training may come down to a single day or moment when it makes all the difference to you and those around you.
And please pray, hope and give generously to help those facing overwhelming odds right now.
Hanshi, Kyoshi, Sensei, Senpai and Deshi.