Karate Thoughts Blog


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It Just Takes Time

One of my students recently told me that he felt bad because it takes him a long time to learn new movements. Many of my new students have told me the same thing over the years. I have felt the same way myself.

Almost all new students feel bad that it takes them time to learn new movements and that their instructors and seniors have to take time to teach them.

But even instructors were new students once. Even the highest sensei was a beginner. There is a starting point for everyone.

It is natural that it takes new students time to learn. I often say that you cannot bake a 2 hour cake in 5 minutes. It takes 2 hours to bake a 2 hour cake. If you rush it, you will ruin the cake!

If you rush new students, you will teach them poor basics and allow them to form many bad habits. Sometimes it takes years to undo a few months of rushed training. Honestly, there are some Karate instructors with poor basics. Once a person reaches an advanced level, it is extremely difficult -- almost impossible -- for him to correct his basics.

Some students do learn faster than others. That does not necessarily mean that they will become skilled at Karate. Some students learn fast and forget fast too! Some students learn fast but only know the surface of the movements. One of my instructors used to say that such students "burn quickly like paper."

It is best to take the necessary time to learn correctly. For instructors, it is best to take the necessary time to teach correctly. Sensei Shoshin Nagamine said that Karate is a lifelong marathon, not a sprint. Viewed in the context of a lifelong pursuit, there is no rush to learn.

Learn each movement correctly and the next will be easy... it just takes time.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin