Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: What Karate means to me. My Shodan assignment.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What Karate means to me. My Shodan assignment.

I look back to the start of my journey, where I’ve been and where I am now, and realize that along the way Shotokan Karate has taught me something very special. It has taught me to be kind to myself.

Karate is not a team sport, I cannot defer blame if my stance is too narrow, or if I forget where I am in a Kata; every mistake I make lands squarely on my shoulders and weighs heavily. I am my harshest critic, my own worst enemy and I will always strive for perfection, that’s who I am – I wear this trait on my sleeve.

Somewhere along the way, a wise man told me “Mistakes are a part of learning”, and although I’m sure I’ve heard that phrase many times in the past, this time I finally listened. I started accepting my mistakes instead of beating myself up over them. I learned it’s OK not to get things right the first time, or the second, or even the third. It’s OK not to be perfect – I now accept this, forgive myself and move on. Dwelling and obsessing over my imperfections only held me back.

To put it simply, Karate has enhanced my life.
It has provided me with many years filled with personal goals and challenges.
It has tested my patience (and as it turns out, I do have some - very deep down, who knew!?!)
It has also given me a real sense of pride in the commitment I made to myself to make it this far in my journey.

1 comment:

  1. Sempai Karen,

    Well earned - my congratulations to you on your achievement. I know it has been a long journey but, look at all that you have accomplished and all that you have come to know about yourself along the way.

    I hope becoming a Shodan last evening was all that you thought it would be.