The most powerful weapon that we have as human beings is the brain. For many though within the Martial Arts the mind actually becomes detrimental to ones understanding, study and progression. Why? Well as humans we often tend to think that we know best or come to conclusions very quickly without researching subjects or seeking out the facts. In many ways Sigmund Freud and then others like Abraham kind of came to the conclusion that we are all psycho analysts by nature, and as a practising Karate Ka I see this clearly on a daily basis. A problem is we ALL instantly absorb information regardless of where it is received, and then we start to come to a self conclusion, and shall I say at times belief. You only have to watch the news channels on television that are full of propaganda whilst being rife with bias to know this to be true. And… Yes the Martial Arts are just the same, or full of Kuchi Bushi as they say in Okinawa, with most, but not all, of the bull coming from teachers in the West.

What tends to hold most people back in both Karate and in life is either themselves or others. Karate doesn’t hold you back and neither does life, you or we tend to do this ourselves. I have had many long deep conversations on this subject with Hinchliffe Sensei over the years, and like he often says, you cannot fault a lot of the Karate Ka out there for their desire, dedication, effort and commitment. Thus is actually quite honourable. But, like it or not a lot of Karate Ka are still in the green belt stages of understanding despite having many years of training behind them.

We can all go off course at times, and we can all be lead off track too, but hey not for a life time. The problem is though when we don’t listen, learn and research so that realisation for the good of us can prevail so we can then get ourselves back on track. The recent words of Senaha Sensei have most certainly struck a chord, in that most Karate Ka just don’t use their brain or they believe things to be true that just don’t make sense.

What is obvious to one person, another is totally oblivious”.

Let me just say that the amount of Karate Ka who blindly believe some of the stuff and teachings being spouted about by supposed big names is frightening.

Religion is a controversial subject that many have strong beliefs on and I fully respect that. So I’m not getting in to this one here, I’m just using the subject as a well-known example. Whereby we often hear people saying that they don’t agree with this faith or that, again I fully respect that. However, most have never studied Buddhism or the Bible the Koran or the Tanakh. But, they have strong opinions on them as though they have a deep understanding? That just doesn’t add up or make sense at all does it!?

If you were having regular serious chest pains and shortness of breath and knowing the potential seriousness and the heart being your centre of life, it stops and we sadly die. Would you honestly seek advice from someone who self-practises medicine? Be it yes they are a good talker and communicator with years of experience behind them, but in truth, much of this is through reading works and subject self concluding, not direct medical guidance or teachings. Or, would you seek advice and treatment from someone who has actually been to medical school, the doctor the physician the cardiologist? That makes more sense doesn’t it!?

Of course you wouldn’t just listen to anyone when it comes to your health or your life, or that of a loved one. So if Karate is a big part of your life, you should then be very wise and careful who you take advice from too, and especially so who you believe and listen to. Or… You may just spend your whole life missing the obvious as you train in a Karate that doesn’t make sense, all because you decided to listen to others instead of going out to find the true teachings and answers for yourself.