Bruce Lee had a quote saying to the effect that it’d be better to practice a kick 10,000 times than to practice 10,000 kicks.
When I was learning Karate in college, I was taught 5 katas within a semester. I could perform those 5 katas fairly well. I thought I was good.
When I joined the Musokai Karate dojo, I was surprised that many blackbelts could do only one kata Naihanchi Shodan.
I only found out what Bruce Lee said was right when I sparred with my seniors. Even though I knew 5 katas, I could not even touch them. Their moves were natural, simple, precise, effective, and fast.
In other words, I was thinking what to do while they did not. They were used by their techniques while I were using my techniques. While I was trying to figure them out, they saw openings for effective actions and delivered what worked. Before I could figure anything out, they already finished their attacks.
I was lucky that Shihan Arakaki saw what I was doing and pin-pointed it out in a way that I got it.
Once I got it and was able to actually do it, I lived in a new world, the world of Musokai Karate (as Shihan explained, the word “Musokai” also means “an organization of infinite thought or action without conscious efforts”). Practices became more fun even though more challenging. Sparring also became more fun and more effective. What was ordinary, trivial and boring suddenly became extraordinary, fun, energetic, and challenging. A simple move like walking became a totally different move involving many different parts of the body. I loved learning Musokai Karate so much that I never missed a practice unless a real emergency came (I did live about one hour driving away from the dojo, was working full time and doing a MBA).
Once I was able to do Musokai karate, I lived into the world of Musokai Karate. Even I now live in another state, I come to live in that world whenever I practice or spar or teach Musokai Karate or come back to the dojo. And I do so without thinking or figuring out. In other words, what I mastered uses me.
I’d invite you to check in your own experience: what you master uses you. In order to master the art, you must discover for yourself.
P/S: Musokai Karate headquarter is located in Salt Lake city, Utah. There are classes for both adults and kids. If you are looking for a unique training experience and the opportunity to train with the world-class master who not only masters the art but also can teach you to master it, please check out Musokai Karate or its facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/okinawakaratedocenter/
Shihan Arakaki is the author of many best selling books. His English book “The Secrets of Okinawa Karate” is my bible and training manual while I am away from the dojo.
If you are in Salt Lake city, Utah, you and/or your kids are invited to try out one class. Click on the Musokai Karate website for detailed schedule and contact information.