Guest Columnists - Karate and Bubbles!
A Sensei only gives credit where credit's due, and dedicated & loyal students deserve and will get the credit.
Passion is in the heart, and a Sensei can see and recognise passion in a student in the way they train in the Dojo and at courses. As instructors we guide and train to make students better than ourselves, but if the student doesn't want to be guided correctly, and thus wasting our time, we don't give ‘credits’ or ‘stickers’ for encouragement.
British Wadokai does not endorse stickers or merit badges as incentive to train, the practise of a life-skill for survival should be incentive enough to train. A student has to 'earn' our praise.
Karate, and in particular Wado, is a very small world (although as a system quite popular) if done in the traditional way. In today's ‘modern teaching methods’ many traditional instructors get frustrated at the way Wado is going, as at every turn our hands are continually being restricted in the way we must now teach, and undermining our fundamental principles - However, I refuse to be bound in these confines as I teach a ‘Martial Art’.
A ‘traditional’ Sensei may seem harsh at times, demonstrating impatience to some and even favouritism to others, as well as pointing out the ‘winners and losers’, which seem to be considered taboo in this modern ‘no losers’ society. However, these are all learning curves and character building processes and exercises, which is something else we are discouraged to promote and practise.
Martial-arts are turning into another 'politically correct' and 'H&S' paranoid minefield, which has become another element of our crumbling culture and society - taking the backbone out of us all as well as our survival instincts. You have to get wet to swim.
Over the past years I have seen the society become more and more rude, violent, ignorant and arrogant, and I blame the ‘softies’ in the politics that have subdued themselves to these ‘nanny-state’ fundamentalists. You have to experience pain and challenge to survive in the 'real' world outside of the protective bubble our society is creating for us, because if we don't, one day - that bubble will burst!
Gary E Swift, 8th Dan.
Chief Instructor to the British Wadokai Karate-do. British Wadokai