"The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year. " -- John Foster Dulles
What I recommend is the following to reduce the amount of problems we're faced with regularly:“The first task here is to identify the time-wasters which follow from lack of system or foresight. The symptom to look for is the recurrent “crisis,” the crisis that comes back year after year. A CRISIS THAT RECURS A SECOND TIME IS A CRISIS THAT MUST NOT OCCUR AGAIN.”
Your emotional drainers and non-understanding in the way of the philosophy of Karate are your worst arsonists, you know. They're your crisis people. Setting fires deliberately.
But the real key to handling those flare-ups at the dojo is prevention. It takes somebody smart enough to anticipate the problem. Avoid it. Get ahead of it.
How much time do you spend trying to put out fires at the dojo?
Sorry ... smoke inhalation ... get down on the floor ...
We have good days and bad.Ive finally become fireproof here, thank you very much.
That's a combustible situation. A fire waiting to happen. Easily prevented.
In Karate, I've found that there's such a thing as the overly ego-centric student. You may have to consider letting go of such a student because there's such a high level of anxiety involved, fire after fire, crisis after crisis. You simply may not be able to satisfy anyone like this.
Panic this is all panic that sucks up a lot of the energy you could be using to continue your personal path to higher lever thinking.
But elsewhere in society, we tend to think we can "wing it." We love to think no preparation is needed for anything. What happens? -- havoc happens. And guess what: You pay a premium to fix it, too, because things are falling apart at the last minute.
For fires at the dojo, those things you're so used to putting out all the time, think firewalls. Stop the spread. Condos and computers have firewalls. Put them into place in your dojo. You might even want to assign one person in your operation the job of contingency planning, thinking ahead: your fire extinguisher.
In the process of choosing somebody to be your firefighter, think about what sets your operation up for these incidents. Your leadership structure? Your staffing levels? You may just have to bite the bullet if not, because these shortages throw off sparks, and keep throwing them off.
Quality not Quantity
"Karate is for everyone, but not everyone is for Karate."
Karate Concepts advocates karate training as a 'way of life'. The new mission is to offer a curriculum of education whose philosophies, practices, and methods, promotes strong minds, healthy bodies, and ethical spirits.
Not all Karate schools are alike. True freedom is the ability to choose. Determine your training goals, choose carefully, & enjoy the benefits karate training brings.
Self-Defense skills are not always meant for use against others. The discipline that dedicated training brings also defends us against "ourselves." The purpose of repetition is to turn training into reflex. This includes learning to make good choices, and the conviction to say 'no' when offered bad ones.
While casual students are accepted, it would be well to note our Karate do is not a fad. Hopefuls seeking 'instant gratification' or those looking to add 'flash for cash' should continue looking elsewhere.
Monday, May 5, 2008
THE VALUE OF AN IDEAL
Sansei Goju-Ryu Karate-Do, as formulated by its founder, Manny Saavedra, Sensei is an organizational approach to Goju-Ryu Karate which seeks to attract people who are willing, through their training, to become role models to humanity by exemplifying loyalty, honesty, the work ethic, strong family ties, and community service.
Sansei Goju-Ryu Karate is about ideals, principles, and ethics; these qualities have an essential function in the life of every human being. Each culture emphasizes certain behaviors, values, and a better way of being (some way to bring out the highest and best qualities). Most people do not consciously think about the effect culture and language has on behavior. Learning to be aware of these influences and their effect on a society as well as oneself is part of the study of the martial arts and part of knowing oneself. Sansei Goju-Ryu literally means “Third Generation Hard and Soft System.” The World Sansei Goju-Ryu Karate Organization was founded to support learning process. It is composed of “modern traditionalists” seeking to become better human beings through the study of the Sansei system.
The Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures have long dominated and influenced the values taught to students of the martial arts; however, modern traditionalists have not always been able to support such an unstructured blend of culture influences. Without structure in a martial arts system, the variety of cultural influences complicates one’s ability to maintain a strong sense of values. Too frequently people value materialism and seldom do they value principles they hold to be their ideals. While every culture has certain differences and influences the choices an individual makes in his or her lifestyle, all people share some of the same ideals. At the heart of these shared values are the concepts of loyalty, honesty, work and family. These are also the concepts on which Sansei Goju-Ryu is founded. As fundamental concepts, loyalty and honesty are directed first towards the self.
According to Sansei principle, being loyal and honest with one’s self often requires taking an unpopular position or sacrificing some basic comforts. Everyone has some qualities they would prefer not to accept and others they would like to possess. Maintaining clarity when applying the Sansei principles to one’s self is not easy. It becomes more complex when one extends the application to families, friends, community, and country. Through the extension, one returns to the more difficult interpretation of self-values. The Sansei Goju-Ryu Karate Organization directs its support and teaching to individual level.
Work is a concept of applying effort and energy to achieve a goal. Some people seek easier methods of achieving the same goal. To borrow cliché: “The end justifies the means” for many individuals. While the principle of work in Sansei emphasizes efficient results, also present is the idea of how that goal is attained and the method chosen to accomplish the task. Sansei supports the idea that hard consistent work directed towards achieving a goal will pay off; steady progress will achieve more lasting, more beneficial results than quick, poor quality, and less attentive efforts. One of the precepts of the World Sansei Goju-Ryu Karate Organization is “if you work hard enough, nothing is impossible
The concept of family overlaps and extends beyond all cultural boundaries. In every society the word “mother” evokes universal nurturing qualities. The concept of “father” brings to mind universal discipline and creative processes. Martial arts students are often considered the adopted children of the instructor or sifu, meaning “teacher-father.” This is the basis for continuity in all systems of martial arts. While the World Sansei Goju-Ryu Karate Organization supports the fraternal aspects of such a tradition, the emphasis on family is more personal. In Sansei, when one refers to strong family ties one is referring to personal family or immediate family. If strong family ties exist, organizational ties will follow.
Goju-Ryu translates as hard and soft, strong and gentle, or block soft and hit hard system. The translations can prove difficult to put into practice. Since language is a major factor to shape thinking and therefore movement, the words “hard and soft” can lead to confusion. Goju-Ryu may be viewed as being both strong and gentle as seen in the jungle cats, which move gently, but with strong force simultaneously. One ultimate goal of Goju-Ryu training is to achieve a balance of strength and gentleness, thus creating a harmony within the practitioner in all aspects of life. This is the “way” of Goju-Ryu karate.
More a temple than a gym, the dojo (do-way/jo-hall) is the martial artist’s sanctuary for training, meditation, and self-realization. The dojo can consist of nothing more than a room with smooth floor. It is the place where one trains in karate. The value of the dojo is reflected in the spirit of its students and their instructor and not in the dojo’s fixtures. If the sensei (instructor or teacher) by example encourages hard training and enthusiasm, the sensei’s efforts are reflected in the excellence of the students. The sensei accepts nothing less than the full development of each student’s potential; otherwise, the quality of the student’s performance will suffer. The student, however, retains the ultimate responsibility for progress in karate.
When first entering the dojo one should bow. Bowing is a ritual in which one shows respect for the dojo and humbles in a spirit of emptiness and openness. After changing into the karate gi (uniform) students clean the dojo voluntarily and then begin to limber up or practice techniques until the lesson begins.
The training session begins with the students sitting or standing in formal posture aligned in neat rows with higher rank students towards the front. The sensei sits or stands in the front center alone facing the class. First, everyone meditates silently, emptying his or her minds to permit total concentration on training. Then, the instructor and students bow to each other and the lesson begins. The first exercises are calisthenics to limber, stretch, and strengthen all body muscles. After the first exercises, beginners spend most of their time learning basic techniques while advanced students practice kata and limited kumite (sparring).
The student must concentrate in order to get the most out of training. If the student allows his mind to wander, the student’s attention will be divided and the value of the training will decrease accordingly; but, if the student maintains concentration on the training, even strenuous workouts leave the student refreshed and revitalized. The power of mind and body harmony can only be achieved through conscious effort.
Admiration is the foundation of a good dojo: the junior’s admiration for senior students; the senior student’s admiration for the junior’s effort, and their mutual devotion and admiration for their teacher. The teacher inspires much of the training of a student. If admiration for the teacher is not present or is lost, the student cannot hope to learn much karate.
Without mutual admiration in a dojo, a current of distrust and dislike may affect all and obtaining respect from anyone would be difficult. If not corrected, the dojo may die in a short time. A dojo has a life of its own during a class and unfortunately is as strong as its weakest link. The teacher must therefore always be on guard so the dojo ‘s total life will be strong. The teacher fosters admiration among the lower ranks by giving senior students the admiration in class that they deserve. Through such
Sure such respect does not disintegrate at any level.