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Karate-No! Program

One of the activities of the Hikari Institute (the parent of the Hawaii Karate Museum), is the Karate-No! Program. The purpose of the Karate-No! Program is to encourage Karate students to make healthy decisions in life and to avoid drug and alcohol abuse.

What is the connection between Karate and drug and alcohol abuse? Karate is part of a healthy lifestyle.

I can remember times, however, and have heard many instances when going out drinking was almost assumed to be part of Karate training. After a rigorous night of training, sometimes teachers and students would go out to drink. Sometimes this could last into the early hours of the morning.

For younger students, it might be hard to avoid going out. There might be pressure from the seniors and from peers. With families and work, this could present some problems, not to mention being unhealthy.

I wonder how many high level Karate instructors have suffered poor health because of drinking? In addition, I wonder how many of these instructors have suffered family and work problems as a result of excessive drinking?

Have you ever seen a person when he was completely drunk? It is not a pretty picture. It does not matter whether the drunkard is a 1st kyu or a 10th dan. It does not matter that the person has no recollection of what they did or said. People will remember how he acted while drunk.

As Karate students, we must be in control of our actions. We must also be responsible for what we do and say. Drunkenness is no excuse. We cannot go back and undo things that we might have done while drunk.

I am not saying that a person should not drink alcohol at all. But there is a big difference between one or two drinks in a social setting and drinking until one is intoxicated.

And even one or two drinks can impair one's ability to drive. How many innocent people have been killed or injured by drunken drivers?

I also wonder how many fights have taken place because of drinking? If a Karate expert is drunk, he can still inflict great harm, even kill someone.

A Karate student cannot afford to be impaired, either because of alcohol or drugs.

Personally, I do not drink, smoke, or take drugs. I have neither the time nor the money for these things. Between my family, work, Karate training, and Karate research, there are already too few hours in the day.

I have to admit that I sipped a beer and puffed a cigarette when I was a youth. I did not like either. I have never tried any drugs. I am not saying that I am a saint. I simply have many better things to do with my life.

I remember a Karate student. He was really strong for five minutes. Then he would begin to huff and puff because he smoked. How could his Karate improve if he kept smoking?

I sometimes say that some people take better care of their cars than they do themselves.

Avoid alcohol, drugs, and smoking. Try to become as healthy and in as good condition as you can. Remember that you are responsible for your actions and that you are a representative of your Sensei, dojo, and the art of Karate. Karate is (should be) part of a healthy lifestyle.

See: Drugs -- Medications and Prescription Drugs.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin