Thought For The Week

Thought for the Week (June 17th, 2002)

From Keith Eng Sho Dan

Wilton Karate Club


Hanshi, Shihans, Sensei and Deshi, Onegai-shimasu!
Incorporate karate!
After having read Sensei Barnes TFTW email of 6/1, I was struck by the final
closing statement 'Don't stop showing up for your life'. It occurred to me
that karate is an obvious enhancement to my life. My life should also be an
enhancement to my karate. We should all take the opportunity to use our
daily lives to strengthen our karate skills. In Building Warrior Spirit
(Scaglione,1990) there are many examples of how one can build ones self into
a strong karateka in the dojo. We should not miss the excellent anecdotes
as to how Hanshi's own work may have enhanced his karate. His daily task as
a NY city police officer augmented his karate spirit and skills. I am sure
his active life added to his mental strength as well as his physical
Although, I am sure very few of us have occupations that can strengthen our
karate in the way that Hanshi's has, but I am sure that our hobbies and
leisure time could. Many of the deshi and sensei are involved in other
sports such as swimming, biking, skiing, hiking, etc. Incorporate these
aspects of your life into karate. Personally, I often exercise and weight
train in the gym. When I find my karate reaching a plateau, I push extra
hard in the gym. This also works conversely for my weight training. This
breaks the plateau and allows me to progress at a steady rate in both areas.
I also find that skiing helps build my legs (a weak spot for me). This has
obvious benefits in building a solid foundation for karate.
We should all incorporate our lives into karate as much as we do karate into
our lives. One should not supercede another, but augment one another.

Keith Eng
Sho Dan
AIG Wilton Karate Club