Striking Post – January/February 2017
At this time I would like to extend congratulations to the young students of Mukashi Dojo who just recently passed their gradings. Wyatt, Karlee, Mckenzie, Keyon, and Ben, who graded to 9th kyu. Also Sierra, Cameron, Journee, Turner, and Georgia who graded to 11th kyu. Congratulations is also in order for our not so young but young at heart students, Hart Stoll, 2nd kyu, and Ralph d`Entremont, San-Dan.
It is important to set goals and continue to challenge gradings. It helps to keep you motivated and moving forward. I remember Michael Delaney Sensei say many times “No one stays the same you are either moving forward or you are going backwards”. Do not be afraid to set lofty goals. It has been said “If you can dream it you can achieve it”. This is very true and it applies to martial arts as well.
Many years ago when I was a sho-dan, I was interviewed by my friend, Eric Bourque, for the local paper. At one point he asked me how far I thought I would go in karate? I had never really thought about this before. ” I don`t know” I said, “I am only beginning my karate journey”. He persisted and asked me to take a shot at it. “What would be your wildest aspirations?” “I don`t know” I said. “Perhaps someday I could achieve Go-dan and Shihan”. He then asked why I chose these as my goals. I told him that at that time I only knew a few in all Canada that had attained such high rank and title. It would put me in a very elite group and would mean that my understanding of my art was at a high level.
At the time, I thought this goal was way out there, scarcely in the realm of possibilities. Well, many years later, I find I have reached this goal! Now I find myself once again having to set new goals. Short term goals are important, but you should set long term goals as well. These will help keep you on track when the “Curve Balls of life” come at you and knock you off balance.
A good short term goal is to try not to miss class if you can help it. Challenging your next grading is also a good short term goal. Longer range goals would include being successful in competition, or getting your black belt. Long range goals would include things like, competing at the National Black Belt Championships, Training in Japan, going to the Olympics. There are all kinds of goals and each student will have their own. Challenge yourself, keep moving forward. The only limit is the one “YOU” set. If you say “I can`t do it” you are right. But if you say “I can do it” you are also right! Do not sell yourself short.
Of course, setting goals is not too difficult, achieving them, however, will require plenty of hard work and commitment. This begins in the dojo. O`Sensei Tsuyoshi Chitose, the founder of Chito-Ryu said ” practice what you have learned as much as you can”. He knew that only through diligent practice will the benefits of karate manifest themselves. I wish everyone success in their training in 2017.