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Thread: where do I go now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Post where do I go now?

    Hi all, i'm hoping someone can really get rid of my arrogance!!

    I've been training karate for a few years now, and currently about to go for 1st Kyu, now over the last couple of months i've changed jobs which means I can no longer get to the sessions I used to and don't have the space to train kata at home (can do Kihon etc but I just don't have space for Kata unless I stop and start)

    Now, i've looked around at other clubs and they just seem bloody awful! There's a few big clubs that hit the competition circuit (not a well known circuit, more of the small open tournaments = better chance of success and be able to put a post of a trophy on facebook....not for me) and a few that just seem to be rub by people with very different standards. Now don't get me wrong i'm not great (would generally say i'm about average) but I want a sensei I can respect and, well, admire. The one's i've seen so far are terrible, lots of unnessary hand movement, lot's of social media posts, lots of rubbish - very little substance.

    So, I just don't know what to do. If I had my black belt i'd just start a "study group" and train somewhere with others but I still need instruction I need showing right from wrong.

    I really don't want to stop. But there's literally no clubs that I can get to and as much as i'd like to I can't stop working. I'd spoken with my current sensei who had suggested that he'll be starting a later session but this actually turned into the same time as other classes he already runs. I have been practicing Judo and I attend a monthly study group for Daito Ryu, both of which I can continue but I still yearn for Karate.

    I don't know what to do. Do I suck it up, find a club I can go to and just go through the motions until I grade to Shodan and then go my own way within another Association. Do I train myself and attend as many seminars as I can.. Bah what to do what to do

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Seattle, Washington, USA
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    A lot depends on where you live and what your current style is. A few possibilities right off the top are:

    Try to arrange private sessions with your current sensei that work around your work schedule.
    Put your karate on hold until your work schedule changes. Establish a home workout routine to stay conditioned.
    Join one of the schools that have "different standards," and adapt and be flexible until something more to your liking becomes available.

    Remember the old adage: When the student is ready, the master will appear.
    Yours in Budo,

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    I have zig-zagged through different styles because of work, family, dojo closings etc. so I am still pretty far from my shodan after a lot of years. If the shodan is important to you stay with your instructor under whatever situation you can.

    If rank doesn't matter to you there is a lot you can keep doing. Tekki (naihanchi) can be done in any hallway.
    If you make a conscience decision to be non-threatening you can do kata at a local park. Police may stop you but if you are polite and follow instructions usually turns out ok.

    One thing I have learned about "bad" clubs is although they might be lacking in some area they may be far ahead of you in others.
    I trained for some time with a club that at first glance I thought I would just use for fitness and some sparring practice. After a couple months I realized they might not have great kata but they understood a lot more about point sparring than I did.

    Of course stay away from anyplace that you think you might get injured (physical or moral).

    I think Brian has the right approach.
    Len McCoy

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Shodan is still a beginner. Teacher's rank usually starts around 4th Dan but sometimes exceptions have to be made due to geographical situations.

    As a student I find the best teacher. Style doesn't mean a lot to me. That was a personal thing. After 35 years of Goju Ryu I'm sort of entrenched in that style but when I was young and moved I found the best training hall period.

    If you like your current Karate then pick something DIFFERENT.

    If you can take falls then Judo is a great skill set. If you don't like getting slammed so much but can still handle a few falls maybe Gracie JiuJitsu. Maybe a good MMA gym that teaches fighters and Non-fighters. I did MMA in my 40s just to incorporate striking into my BJJ and Judo in a free spar environment. I was never going to fight. I've been injured more in Karate than MMA. Good MMA gyms train smart with protective gear and there is 'control' used in a sparring and drill situations. Yes, some gyms are guys that just want to hurt someone ..... You will figure out pretty quick which you are in.

    Western fencing, Aiki, etc... It's all fun.
    Ed Boyd

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