Sunday, August 28, 2005

karate ranch: the dark side

Something that fascinates me to almost no end is the inevitable result when a parent learns for the first time that karate is a very contact oriented activity. They see their "Billy" or "Judy" come home with a bruise or two and they instantly freak out and call me up.
Allow me to describe some activities that parents do not question, however. Running full tilt into someone while they are carrying the shaped skin of a dead animal, slamming each other like mis-handled luggage and wearing sharp blades on their feet as they skid on ice while carrying sticks...
There are reasons that parents sign waivers. It's because although a teacher may do everything in their power to prevent injuries, the reality of sports is that someone will get hurt. Does that mean that we should live our lives afraid to try anything that could be considered dangerous? Of course not. We should still encourage our kids to play football and wrestle and play hockey (if they are interested in doing so). We should also allow our kids to practice karate.
When one practices karate the benefits are many and may include : increased self-esteem, feelings of kindness and a desire to serve others, physical health and quickened minds.
I won't lie to you, though, there are days when I come home and have to take a breather...


Blogger Andrea said...

I liked what pei-shan was saying about what he would tell the parents of the kids he would teach- "if you don't want me beating your kids with bamboo sticks, don't bring them to me. That's part of practice."

I think that may be one reason why the mcdonalds varieties of martial arts are so popular- the emphasis is more on show than practical usage, more on being politcally correct than learning how to give- and take a blow. Kids don't go home crying if the only thing they ever fight are bags and pads.

People forget that martial arts, while they could not exist in fulness without a spiritual and artistic element, are MARTIAL and that means contact.

as far as your question- "should we be afraid to practice anything dangerous?" of course not- because someday there will come a time when you are not practicing anymore, and when you are really threatened and you can take a punch to the face standing (I can't by the way...) and respond with a REAL blow back... you will be glad you let some fellow-students hit you in a safe and respectful enviroment to get you to that level.

uh.. yeah. Rant over. :)

2:57 PM  

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