Lesson 12 – What is Karate?
Karate can be whatever the student needs it to be. Karate can be an effective form of Self Defence, an excellent form of Fitness, a Sport or a Way of Life. Karate does improve Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem but Karate is basically a training to bring a person back to the natural state of mind, they were born with, dispelling delusions. Your real mind or authentic self is an inborn, pure mind and the wordly mind is a mind soiled by evil thoughts and impressions through the experiences of life. Karate aims to restore this soiled, vicious mind to its natural state of purity, as it was at birth.
A baby does not have a complex of fear. A person who narrowly escapes being run over by a car will remain motionless, their limbs frozen by fear. But a baby would continue to move innocently, because they have no fear complex.
The essence of Karate then, is to have a pure empty mind, as at birth, free from doubts, fears, and delusions. This requires years of dedicated training under correct supervised instruction, leading to increased awareness and wellbeing, more mindfulness, reduced stress level and a more positive outlook on life.
Self-Control – Handling your actions properly, choosing the right actions at all times.
We teach your children that self-control is choosing to do the right thing to do and doing it, even when you don’t want to. We ask have they ever been so mad that they wanted to break something? Or so angry that they wanted to scream? What type of world would it be if everyone acted out on their anger? World would be a pretty scare place if people were screaming, yelling and fighting whenever they wanted. Controlling how we act is very important and shows a child is growing up, as babies show no self-control. We teach your children how to deep breath for a count of 10, so they are able to think clearly and not be upset.
We review lesson 1; we know having self-control makes the world a better place , but let’s talk about what it does for you. We ask do they know anyone who had poor self-control? Someone who maybe yelled a lot, always talking during quiet time, or getting angry and hitting people? Who wants to be around someone like that? Self-control helps us get along with other people. If you want to be admired or respected, learn to be a person with self-control. When someone yells at you, stay calm. Show people you are mature and can handle responsibility. You are a leader.
We also teach self-control with regards to their Karate. Controlling your techniques in very important so we don’t hurt or damage our training partners.
Zanshin (Remaining Mind) in English is often translated as awareness but this word does not fully cover the full meaning of the word. One understanding of Zanshin is the accumulated information already processed by the brain, as well as the presence of your character and spirit within the current environment. It is not enough to be an observer in the world.
Warriors with Zanshin have an innate sense of their surroundings and the ability to reach out into the environment to capture information that others might find insignificant or irrelevant. The ever present need for more information is why Zanshin appears to be most present at the end of a technique or Kata. The mind remains present and hungry. It searches for more information and perceives any changes as it occurs.
Zanshin is to fit exactly within one’s environment, ever present and in harmony. Perceiving threats before or after an attack, snatching that seemingly irrelevant piece of information that gives insight into relationships both business and personal, being aware of your own body and emotions and how it responds to the stimuli from the environment around you. Zanshin is an experiential experience. It must be felt not thought, lived not taught.
Zanshin is free of fear, worry, emotion and prejudice. Words may describe the experience but never fully convey the true experience. Once experienced it may be recognised in others. One may experience Zanshin without having Mushin (No Mind), but Mushin does not exist without Zanshin. And we will cover Mushin in a later post.
Maai is the distance between you and your opponent. Those that control the distance control the encounter. The goal is to put your opponent in a weakened position while you maintain a position of strength. In Wado Ryu this is a vital aspect. We use deflection, evasion, body shifting and entering techniques to achieve this. Being in harmony with our opponent we can use their force against them, to defeat or frustrate them. If your opponent goes up, we go down, if the move left, we move right, when they attack directly, we move in circles, when they attack in circular action, we use angles to enter directly.
Maai does not only refer to your opponent but also your surroundings. Be in harmony with your surrounding, force your opponent into obstacles or uneven ground, have the sun behind you etc. Maai refers to the harmony of your surroundings when not in conflict, this needs to be studied to understand. But a simple example is, there is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.
Elite Karate Academy in Clondalkin unique character education program, consits of 3-5 minute mat chats in class, covering different values every week. Here is this week’s 2 lessons.
Word of the week: Week 11
We teach our students that loyalty means being true to others, like a good friend. Being the type of person who stands by their friends through thick and thin. We dont fall out over petty arguments, we can fight or disagree but the friendship always stays intact..
It is important to be loyal to our friends and family, but it is also important to be true to our beliefs. Your beliefs make you the person you are, being nice, treating people right etc. We should be loyal to our beliefs not just when its convenient. Some people change their beliefs so people will like them. But people respect loyalty. So decide on your beliefs and stick to them
This year 6th annual Elite Karate Expo will take place on the afternoon of Sunday April 9th 2017 between 2pm and 6pm, The Green Isle Hotel, Clondalkin. Doors open at 1.30pm and there will be a full bar service available. All students will be taking part, those not grading will be involved in demonstrations. All students must wear their karate uniform. The aim of the Expo, as always, is to allowing students demonstrate their skills and abilities to their family and friends, whilst educating parents about the aims and ethos of Elite Karate Academy, in a relaxed fun environment. This event is open to anyone, so extended family and friends are welcome, this year’s Expo will include;
• Grading (Usual fee of €20 applies for those eligible to grade, payable by 31st of March)
• Club Sparring Competition (semi-finals and finals only, entries now closed)
• Demonstrations (Instructor & Students)
• Award Ceremony (Grading, Competition, and Special Awards, including Student of the Year)
• Unveiling of Elite Karate Academy’s 1st generation of Senior Black Belts
• Bake & Cake Sale
• Raffle (asking parents to donate a price if they can)
Those eligible to grade must pay their grading fee before 31st of March to insure they receive their certificate at the Expo. Please check with Sensei Gareth if your child is eligible to grade. Students may only grade at the expo. Students may only grade if they are eligible and hold a current up to date grading licence, which must be presented with the usual fee of €20 before 31st of March.
Tickets are now on sale. Buy them before 7th April to avail of the cheaper rate. Grandparents, family or friend’s tickets can all be bought before the day. Presold tickets simply check in on the day.
Tickets cost: Before 7th April On Door
Adult Ticket €8 €12
Child Ticket* €5 €8
*Current students only or under 5’s do not need to purchase tickets.
Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children) €20 €30
Bake sale and raffle
Once again, we will have a bake sale in aid of Barretstown and a raffle. Parents/students are encouraged to bake or bring something for the day. We need your help in getting prizes for our raffle!!! Give a prize or a voucher from your work. Please donate your price before 7th of April, if possible.
Our Academy will be walking in this year’s parade and we are inviting all students, parents and their families and friends to come walk with us. Students must wear their Karate suits over their normal close. The parade starts at 2:30pm so we require anyone walking with us to meet in the car park of Clondalkin Sports and Leisure Centre at 1:45pm for a safety briefing etc and to explain demonstrations. Please support your club, so hope to see u there.
Elite mental programme – Lesson 6
Kohai / Sempai / Sensei
Kohai means junior, whilst Sempai means senior. This relationship is very important in martial arts, making students like family, with everyone having older or younger brothers and sisters. Sempai help Kohai by modelling the correct behaviour, training with them, showing them the correct way to train, under the watchful eye of Sensei. While Kohai watch the Sempai in training to see the sensei’s teaching in practice.
Sensei is often mis translated as teacher or instructor. But it actually means “one who came before”. The one who is further down the way. A good Sensei is a teacher or instructor but a great Sensei is more then that, being a motivator, mentor, parent, psychologists, priest, personal trainer, dietician.
The difference between a student and a Sensei is not personality or skill set it’s flight time, they have thousands more hours on the mats then you. A Sensei has travelled the path your on, he knows the pitfalls and perils, they’ve learnt the lessons your learning, they’ve trained harder then you and climbed the mountain you think you can’t climb. The open secret to success in the martial arts, practice, practice, practice, no mystery to mastery, just flight time