Repetition. Drilling. Basics. Kihon. I have said it before, I know there are some who are bored or dread this type of work, but I love it and live for it. I know this is the type of work that will save me and make me a better karateka.
I have heard the stories of how the training was back in the day. Both in Japan and Europe, and even North America to some degree. How much tougher it was. Hardcore. Students being physically disciplined. I am on the fence around this. While I agree with the discipline, I don’t believe humiliation serves any purpose other than to beat someone down. That being said, I do believe very strongly in self-discipline and hard training. If someone isn’t giving it their all, or not at the level that should be performing, I don’t see anything wrong with being called out for that. Pushed mentally and physically to give it your all. A Shinai in class wouldn’t be that bad! lol
When we are training in the dojo, I have see it, Fogarasi Sensei has pointed it out, and we are all guilty it of it to some degree. We might be going through conditioning of basics. Perhaps Soto Mawashi Geri. We start to use less effort. Swinging the limb without commitment. Going through the motions.
As Sensei says, how can we expect a kick to work for us in competition, when we are fatigued? Or a technique to work on the street in a life and death situation, when we’ve only practiced it half-hearted? It won’t be the block, strike or technique that fails us. It will be a failing of ourselves.
Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10000 times.”
Sosai Mas Oyama similarly said, “One becomes a beginner after one thousand days of training and an expert after ten thousand days of practice.”
Yes, Kyokushin is a hobby for must of us, especially at my age. I don’t have aspirations of being a champion, but I do however have strong aspirations of being the best karateka that I can be. To push myself to my limits. To have the best technique, best blocks, best kata, etc., that I am capable of. To give it my all to perfect myself and forge the best man I am capable of being. I have one of the best Kyokushin instructors available, so, why would I cheat myself from this experience?