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KARATE: BENEATH THE SURFACE

Spiritual Content of Kata

Roy Kenneth Kamen

What Did I Get Myself Into?

• 11-04-2019 •

Head In Hands

About 15 students shuffled one by one into the classroom now transformed into a Dojo, all chattering away and [latfully pushing each other. I stood at the front of the room watching the chaos ensue, raised my voice and said: “Where is my Please Teach Me?” One by one they complained: “Do I have to take off my shoes? Do I have to take off my socks? I’m not doing that!”

It took about 10 minutes for them to settle down to a calm group sitting on the Dojo floor and sort of paying attention. Those who refused to remove their shoes and socks were escorted out of the room by the assistant teacher assigned to my room. With about half of them now gone, we began our opening breathing meditation. Almost half of the remaining students closed their eyes and participated appropriately while the other half laughed or snickered and moved about on the floor touching and pushing each other. Ugggggg. I had never seen a Dojo with such unruly and disrespectful students!

Next they formed two rows and I ran a few basic exercises and taught how to make a fist, how to stand properly and how to punch. The entire time was like pulling teeth. I found myself screaming at them by the time the class was over.

I promised myself never to raise my voice again in the class.