Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

May 7th 2012


Kyoshi Matt Kaplan, Shihan,Ueshiro Okinawan Karate Family Club

State College, PA


“Normalize” Your Training

When was the last time you counted the number of swallows taken to finish a glass of milk? How about tracking the steps taken from your bed to the bathroom? If you’re like most people, your answer would be “never.” These are behaviors that we do naturally, often without forethought or conscious effort.

This idea – of doing without thinking or trying – has application in our karate training. I remember Hanshi Scaglione’s comment after returning from his trip to Okinawa two decades ago. He noted the relaxed way the senior karate students, some with 50+ years of training experience, arrived at the dojo and put on their gi’s. Showing up to train was nothing out of the ordinary; it seemed to be a fully integrated part of their natural rhythm of life.

I recommend that we try this notion on for size in our own training. Whether it’s the next time we travel to the dojo, put on a gi, or practice delivering blows meant to subdue an opponent, consider such acts to be part of the normal routine. No special planning or analysis. No need for fanfare or public announcement. Just let it flow.

Domo arigato gozaimasu,

Kyoshi Matt Kaplan, Shihan

Ueshiro Okinawan Karate Family Club

State College, PA