Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

April 2nd, 2016

This week's thought is from Sensei Bob Dobrow, San-Dan
Ueshiro Northfield Shorin-Ryu Dojo


I think we have all had the experience of hearing something a thousand times, and then, for some reason, on the thousand-and-first iteration, the light bulb goes on and we suddenly "get it." I had such an "ah-ha" moment last February in Florida listening to Hanshi tell us to "just let it flow." Don't rush it. Don't muscle it. Don't over think it. Just let it flow.

Letting our karate flow is one of those basic principles that, on the one hand seems so easy and obvious, and on the other hand is so challenging to execute in practice, taking years of repetition to develop.

With this idea in mind, I recently came across the following gem written by a professional baseball player. The quotation has as much relevance for karate as it does for baseball, and speaks for itself. I offer it for your consideration and reflection.

"One of the supreme paradoxes of baseball, and all sports, is that the harder you try to throw a pitch or hit a ball or accomplish something, the smaller your chances are for success. You get the best results not when you apply superhuman effort but when you let the game flow organically and allow yourself to be fully present. You'll often hear scouts say of a great prospect, "The game comes slow to him." It mean the prospect is skilled and poised enough to let the game unfold in its own time, paying no attention to the angst or urgency or doubt, funneling all awareness to the athletic task at hand.”
? R.A. Dickey, Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball

Next week when performing kata, try to pay no attention to "angst, urgency and doubt," and just let it flow!

(Robert Allen Dickey pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays. He is most well known for the knuckleball pitch, which he uses about 80% of the time. In 2012 he became the first knuckleballer to win baseball's prestigious Cy Young award. The book which this quote is taken from is Dickey's autobiography.)

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei Bob Dobrow, San-Dan
Ueshiro Northfield Shorin-Ryu Dojo