I've been a keen karate student for 16 years, Shukokai and Shotokan, but there still seems to be no shortage of things to learn and explore. I'm hoping this blog will allow me to share my experiences and hear other martial artists thoughts.

Growing your circle of knowledge

I came across this blog post by a Tai Chi teacher called Paul Miller. I really liked his realisation that his progress wasn’t measured by the number or speed in which he’d gained his black belts and that the most important thing is mastering himself.

I’ve been working on the combination of moves I’ll need to demonstrate at my next grading. I mentioned in previous posts that I’m excited that this gives me a chance to start to practise some of the practical karate concepts I’ve come across recently. I’ve chosen to use our first Shukokai kata Shiotsuki No.1 as the basis.

What strikes me is that in my martial arts studies I find myself circling round and returning to a place I’ve started from previously. But all the time my knowledge is growing,  I’m learning more and also opening up new challenges.

So when I first started studying Shukokai karate the first kata I learnt was Shiotsuki No.1. Years later when I chose to widen my knowledge of karate by studying the Shotokan style I started afresh as a white belt and learnt Kihon kata which is like Shiotsuki No.1’s slightly bigger brother. Years on again my Shukokai studies bring me back to look at Shiotsuki No.1 with somewhat wiser eyes, to explore it on my own and understand what I need to really learn from it as a Karateka.

It’s made me realise that studying Karate isn’t a linear journey. Also you can only learn what you’re ready to learn at that time and place. As a new student you learn what you think you need to learn and that might just be learning the pattern of moves, going fast at this point, slow at that point. Later you return back to what is presented as a simple kata and realise it holds more to understand that you thought at the time.

I’m really enjoying the chance to complete my latest circle, I hope I find myself back at this point again.




  tkruczek wrote @

Great read. Expect a mention next week when I talk about Enso (that idea that life is circular you mention).

For me Naihanchi (Tekki) is that kata that I always seem to come back to.

SIde note: You should consider expanding the “blog” column of the site to half the page minimum. I love this layout, just wish I didn’t feel confined to this little slice of such a great page.

  nwukshukokai wrote @

Cheers Theodore, I look forward to seeing what you have to say. Thnaks for the side note, I know what you mean. I’ll have a look at seeing if I can rejig any of the other columns to give the post content some more width. Cheers for commenting and hope all is good with you.

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