The Peaceful Warrior:

Strength + Technique + Speed = Power
My Ace No:1 GoodNight.

My training in Kyokushinkai Karate over the years which took me from an intermediate beginner to being a competent degree level practitioner, taught me many things. One is that no matter how good you become there is always someone better. Faster, stronger, more prepared & with greater intent.

There is a saying that: A good big one will always beat a good small one.

This is only usually true where there are rules of engagement and they are followed. In general the strength of another’s intent and any planning creates a disadvantage for the mind inside an opponent’s big or small body.

Saying: In order for the attacker to succeed, he must vanquish. In order for the attacked to succeed, he must merely survive.

However adept and skilled you become, however fit or strong you become or big or small you are, you are honing yourself as a practitioner of the art of becoming a weapon. If you consider all of your attributes and ability in a percentage term, then as a beginner you walk in through the door at a percentage of efficiency from day one. Some people that joined the club, came in with good fighting ability, often honed in situations that they either elicited or found themselves attacked or challenged. I found those that elicited violence, liked it. They were usually pleasant and personable people. They just liked or loved to fight. I never met thugs in the club. They are too simple and fearful to enter a group with mutual respect for learning, without a top dog status.

Putting aside early comparison and competition between students developing & learning, the task ahead of every student is to increase their personal percentage of efficiency, as a physical weapon. In essence your opponent is yourself.

I knew fairly early on that I could or would never be as good as the best physical examples in the club. Some of the front line and even outstanding junior ranks in the green belt line [all colours are divided into grades from 10 to 1. 1 being the last grade before black 1dan] demonstrated outstanding physical gifts and very good rapid learning. Much like as in gymnastics, we all know the people that can do a triple loop salco double flip are not going to be us. Not in a million years. Not in this life time. Imagine one of those athletes taking up karate. Imagine a male ballerina joining to convert his leg moving ability into kicks. The Strength, Speed and agility has to be seen to be believed. It looks like a supercharged terminator wearing a black belt. Of course they knew their power potential 'when it arrived' and everyone was able to get up for work the next day. I was good, quite gifted and became quite an effective average middle weight.   

This brings me on to, taking quite effective as a student and converting that into being effective outside of the club, in the real world of possible varied endangered events.

All instructors vary in their ability as teachers. They vary in the priorities of value for what learning karate is best for. Some consider fitness others as a sport perhaps focused on the Olympics. Teachers / Disciples vary physically. Some have short legs but strong torsos and big arms and hands. Others are tall, lanky but also maybe very strong. Because they are physically different they will have leaned that this or that technique works best for them and developed a personal set of manoeuvres and strikes that they then emphasise in demonstration & teaching.

They also may not emphasise techniques that do not suit them. Anyone should be able to learn basic kihon [repeated basic technique and movement] under any instructor of any style of the Japanese martial arts.

In my experience although my instructors were fine practitioners themselves [or were many years ago] their teaching was limited and hobbled [in most cases] by the club learning that they received which is mostly a commercial enterprise. Most club training in my varied experience of clubs & styles was like learning kendo but never receiving the additional teaching on top of ‘the training for the use of the sword’ with the use of a sword. In essence everyone knows how to defend themselves well with a broomstick but do not know how to butcher an attacker using the blade to end life in a moment.

Saying: The objective of Karate is to eliminate a violent attack.  

The objective of Kendo is to extinguish life as quick as possible.

To this end karate training [and all instructors] should take their intermediate students and help them select strikes and tactics that suit them and turn a proficient club practitioner / fighter into a very efficient violent weapon with immediate unconsciousness as the objective result of the moves.

Of course violence solves nothing, it usually results in escalation but if you are attacked, an efficient strike can save your life or at least your wellbeing.


The authors training choices for sons & daughters:

1. Home schooled kyokushinkai type basic kihon, strike development, positioning, strategy, kata & kumite. 2. Kendo.

Subsidiary compatible training: Archery, Fencing, Yoga, Basketball, Ballet.

Ballet because it is good for strength & balance. The training is very similar in that leg movements are to look graceful as opposed to knocking someones face off.

Yoga for flexibility, relaxation and peaceful mind focus.

Basketball for jump training & skill.

Fencing for a different variety of swords and swordsmanship, with an emphasis on speed.

Archery for the calmness of focus upon a Taget & because, I didn’t think running when hungry was necessary or healthy to get food.